Program Directory

City Club of Cleveland - Marian Wright Edelman, Children's Defense Fund
Every year, tens of thousands of poor children are funneled into the prison pipeline, and down life paths that often lead to arrest, conviction, incarceration and even death. The sinister architecture of this pipeline often comprises a complex set of factors that includes poverty, race, lack of quality early childhood education, low-performing schools, lack of access to health and mental health care, broken child welfare and juvenile justice systems, struggling families and depressed communities, and a toxic youth culture.

Marian Wright Edelman, who has been an advocate for disadvantaged Americans for her entire professional life, will speak about the work of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) to dismantle the prison pipeline crisis that is devastating our nation's low-income Black and Latino communities.

Edelman began her career in the mid-60s when she directed the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund office in Jackson, Mississippi. In l968, she moved to Washington, D.C., as counsel for the Poor People's Campaign. She founded the Washington Research Project and served as the director of the Center for Law and Education at Harvard University for two years before founding CDF in 1973.

Edelman has received more than 100 honorary degrees and many awards including 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 eight books. In partnership with Cleveland Bar Association and Cuyahoga County Bar Association.
June 18, 2007