Name: Marian Wright Edelman
Professions: Founder, The Children’s Defense Fund Alma Mater:
Spelman College Graduation Date: 1960
University Twitter Account: www.twitter.com/spelmancollege
Major: Bachelor of Arts
Hometown: Bennettsville, South Carolina
Interesting Facts: Marian Wright Edelman is the first African-American woman to be admitted to the Mississippi Bar. She graduated valedictorian from Spelman and has more than 100 honorary degrees.
For Marian Wright Edelman, growing up in the segregated south and her parents’ emphasis on community service motivated her to become an activist. While enrolled at Spelman College, she was involved with the Civil Rights Movement and was arrested during an Atlanta sit-in. It was that run-in with the authorities that prompted Edelman to study law.
Over the years she has worked for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, started a community Head Start program in Mississippi and organized the Poor People’s Campaign for Martin Luther King, Jr. These social justice causes were the catalysts that inspired Edelman to create the Children’s Defense Fund in 1973 to advocate on behalf of poverty-stricken, minority and developmentally disabled youth.
Today, Edelman continues to lead the organization as its president. She also sits on the board of the Robin Hood Foundation.