Marian Wright Edelman
Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund, has been an advocate for disadvantaged Americans her entire career. A graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School, Mrs. Edelman 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, Mississippi. In 1968, she moved to Washington, D.C., as counsel for Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s March. She founded the Washington Research Project, a public interest law firm, and served as director of the Center for Law and Education at Harvard University.