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Duke Sanford School of Public Policy
October 26, 2012
In this presidential campaign season, “Our biggest national security threat is the status of our children,” Marian Wright Edelman said on Thursday. With 16.4 million poor children, the U.S. child poverty rate is the highest in the developed world. Edelman, co-founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, gave the Crown Lecture in Ethics to a full house in the Sanford School’s Fleishman Commons. She said advocating for children should be the next great social movement in America, and children should be involved in it. “We all must become movement builders. Some are waiting for Dr. King to come back, but we’re it,” said she. During the civil rights movement, children were on the front lines, she said, bearing the brunt of the fight to desegregate schools, including Ruby Bridges and a family in Drew City, Miss., that she represented in court. Eight children from that family were the only black children to attend the white schools in their town and all eight went on to college.
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