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~National Child Advocate Marian Wright Edelman to Present
Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture

For immediate release:
February 13, 2002

Mary Ann Hill,

WELLESLEY, Mass. - Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), will present the 2002 Quintessence Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Lecture Sunday, Feb. 17, at 6 pm in Alumnae Hall. Doors open at 5 pm, and a reception will follow. The title of her lecture is "Loving what you do: Service is the rent we pay for living." The event is sponsored by Ethos as part of the college's celebration of Black History Month.

Edelman has been an advocate for disadvantaged Americans her entire professional life. Under her leadership, the CDF has become the nation's strongest voice for children and families. The CDF vows to "leave no child behind" by ensuring a successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.

A graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School, she began her career in the mid-1960s when, as the first black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar, she directed the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund office in Jackson, Miss. In 1968, she moved to Washington, D.C., as counsel for the Poor People's Campaign begun by Martin Luther King, Jr. She founded the Washington Research Project, a public interest law firm and parent body of the CDF. For two years she served as director of the Center for Law and Education at Harvard University and in 1973 began the CDF.

She has received the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Prize, the Heinz Award and a MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship. In 2000, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award for her writings, which include five books: Families in Peril: An Agenda for Social Change; The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to My Children and Yours; Guide My Feet: Meditations and Prayers on Loving and Working for Children; Stand for Children; and Lanterns: A Memoir of Mentors.

Click here for information on other offerings during Black History Month.



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