The Children’s Defense Fund is dedicated to providing a strong, effective and independent voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby, or speak for themselves. We pay particular attention to the needs of poor children, children of color and those with disabilities.
CDF’s mission 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. That is why CDF educates the nation about the needs of children and encourages preventive investments before they get sick, drop out of school, get into trouble or suffer family breakdown.
In the wake of Ferguson and a series of young Black male deaths at the hands of official law enforcement personnel (and one self-appointed neighborhood watchman who cost Trayvon Martin his life), I hope we will use this November time of Thanksgiving and celebration of Native American Heritage month by some first Americans, as an opportunity for national and personal soul searching and discussion about what it means to be an American. I also hope we will recommit to doing what we can to serve, speak up, and work with others to build a nation where every child is safe, seen, heard, respected and hopeful, and every parents’ son – and daughter – is valued and justly treated
On December 10th President Obama hosted a White House Summit on Early Education, bringing together a broad coalition of philanthropic, business, education, child advocacy, and elected leaders and other key stakeholders. It was a welcome chance to celebrate progress in expanding access to quality early childhood development and learning opportunities for children from birth through age 5. Although we haven’t yet seen the passage of needed comprehensive legislation to provide low-income and other at-risk children a full continuum of quality supports from voluntary home visiting programs to Early Head Start and Head Start, child care, pre-kindergarten and — I hope — full-day kindergarten, progress has been made in increasing access to and expanding quality programs and building support for future investments.
Sometimes childhood experiences motivate a lifetime of extraordinary work. That is certainly true for Georgetown University Law School professor and bioethicist Patricia King, a brilliant scholar and one of the most effective leaders you may not know. She’s spent forty years at Georgetown Law School and has long been involved in higher education leadership. A graduate of Wheaton College in Massachusetts and Harvard Law School, she’s served on both institutions’ governing bodies as a member of the Harvard Corporation and the first woman, first African American, and first alumni to chair the Wheaton College Board of Trustees. Earlier this year she gave the Faculty Convocation Address at Georgetown University and spoke movingly about her “life of learning,” explaining that her passions for education and health that have shaped her professional life—and her perspective—are rooted in her segregated childhood in Norfolk, Virginia in the 1940s and 1950s.
Thank you for your interest in inviting a CDF speaker to your event. Note that if a request requires CDF staff to make a trip out of town, CDF asks that the requesting organization pay all expenses for travel and hotel accommodations.
Requests for Marian Wright Edelman to speak should be emailed to Michele Smith at email@example.com. Please include the date, time and location of the event, as well as background on the event/organization and the expected attendance. If Mrs. Edelman accepts, you will be responsible for lodging and round-trip travel expenses for Mrs. Edelman and a staff member, plus a $35,000 donation (honorarium) to the Children’s Defense Fund in lieu of a traditional speaker's fee.
For media inquiries, to request an interview with Mrs. Edelman, or to request information about any other CDF speaker, please complete and submit the form below. Because of coordinating schedules and travel, it may take a few weeks to confirm whether a CDF speaker is available. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Patti Hassler at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 662-3554.