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.
here for information on other offerings during Black History