Remembrance and tribute articles are added to the 4WardEver website as often as possible. They will chart some of the heroes and sheroes of our times, and cases of significance that have shaped society’s development, history and judiciary.
Marian Wright Edelman is a lifelong advocate for disadvantaged Americans and is the Founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF). Under her leadership, CDF has become the nation’s strongest voice for children and families.
Mrs. Edelman, a graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School, began her career in the mid-60s when, as the first black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar, 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 that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. began organizing before his death. She founded the Washington Research Project, a public interest law firm and the parent body of the Children’s Defense Fund.
For two years she served as the Director of the Center for Law and Education at Harvard University and in 1973 began CDF. Mrs. Edelman served on the Board of Trustees of Spelman College which she chaired from 1976 to 1987 and was the first woman elected by alumni as a member of the Yale University Corporation on which she served from 1971 to 1977.