September 30, 2008
For immediate release
Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), will present a free public lecture on Monday, February 23, 2009 at 7:30 pm at UCSB Campbell Hall. This event is presented by the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, UC Santa Barbara’s Critical Issues Forum, and UCSB Arts & Lectures. The event is the Gevirtz Centennial Lecture, as the school celebrates 100 years of preparing teachers, psychologists, and educational leaders at UC Santa Barbara and its antecedents going back to the founding of the Santa Barbara State Normal School in 1909.
Under Mrs. Edelman’s leadership, the Children’s Defense Fund has become the nation’s strongest voice for children and families. The Leave No Child Behind® mission of the CDF is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.
“We are delighted and honored to support Ms. Edelman’s Centennial Lecture,” says Dean Jane Close Conoley of the Gevirtz School. “For decades, she has been a steady, strong, and creative force sounding an urgent call to support children and families. She presents a vision of our democracy’s stewardship responsibilities for the future.”
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 l973 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. She has received many honorary degrees and awards including the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Prize, the Heinz Award, the Library of Congress Living Legend 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: 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; Lanterns: A Memoir of Mentors; Hold My Hand: Prayers for Building a Movement to Leave No Child Behind; I'm Your Child, God: Prayers for Our Children; and I Can Make a Difference: A Treasury to Inspire Our Children.
Her latest book The Sea is So Wide and My Boat is So Small: Charting a Course for the Next Generation was released on September 23.
The lecture is a key part of UC Santa Barbara’s year-long Critical Issues Forum. The theme for this year’s forum is Economic Justice: Policy and the Political Imagination, and it is being organized by Prof. Alice O’Connor in the History Department.
Courtesy of Borders, books by Marian Wright Edelman will be available for purchase and signing at the event.
For more information about the Gevirtz School Centennial see: http://www.education.ucsb.edu/About/100years.htm
[For more information contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]
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