Marian Wright Edelman

Children’s Defense Fund founder and president Marian Wright Edelman is one of the country’s leading advocates for disadvantaged Americans. She founded the CDF in 1973 to promote policies to lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care, quality education, and a moral and spiritual foundation. Ms. Edelman is the author of several books, including her latest "The Sea is So Wide and My Boat is So Small: Charting a Course for the Next Generation," a call to action for all Americans to address the urgent needs of the country’s youth. The book is a series of letters to a variety of audiences—educators, faith leaders, youth, mothers, elected officials and concerned citizens nationwide—that reflect on the social and economic progress as well as the setbacks since Dr. King’s death 40 years ago.