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.
On any given day nearly one in four children in foster care is taking at least one psychotropic medication—more than four times the rate for all children. Nearly half of children living in residential treatment centers or group homes take psychotropic medications. Children in foster care are more likely to be prescribed multiple psychotropic medications at very high doses, although research shows higher doses can result in serious side effects.
It’s always very challenging for a parent when their child has a serious health condition. It’s even more challenging when their child has a serious condition but has no health insurance to cover the needed care and emergencies. Both were true for one Texas mother whose 12-year-old daughter Evelyn was diagnosed with a heart defect.
The recent Department of Justice report on police and court practices in Ferguson, Missouri put a much needed spotlight on how a predatory system of enforcement of minor misdemeanors and compounding fines can trap low-income people in a never-ending cycle of debt, poverty, and jail. In Ferguson this included outrageous fines for minor infractions like failing to show proof of insurance and letting grass and weeds in a yard get too high. In one case a woman who parked her car illegally in 2007 and couldn’t pay the initial $151 fee has since been arrested twice, spent six days in jail, paid $550 to a city court, and as of 2014 still owed the city $541 in fines, all as a result of the unpaid parking ticket. The Department of Justice found each year Ferguson set targets for the police and courts to generate more and more money from municipal fines. And Ferguson isn’t alone. The criminalization of poverty is a growing trend in states and localities across the country.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com or (202) 662-3554.