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.
A number of years ago, I heard a deeply moving story at a Children’s Miracle Network event, a charity that raises money in partnership with children’s hospitals around the country and helps serve sick and injured children in their local communities. A speaker shared this heart-wrenching story of a father and son with the audience and agreed to let me share it with others after I requested a copy.
On Wednesday, Senator Cory A. Booker (D-NJ) and Representative John Lewis (D-GA) joined the list of speakers testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee against the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) for Attorney General of the United States. Both were assigned to a panel at the very end of the hearing process, a slot fellow panelist Representative Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA), the head of the Congressional Black Caucus, called “the equivalent of being made to go to the back of the bus.” Several Senate committee members who have already publically supported Senator Sessions left before Senator Booker’s and Representative Lewis’ important testimony began. But that didn’t deter them from speaking out against the threat they see to the civil rights progress our nation has made if Senator Sessions becomes Attorney General.
I begin each year with a women’s spiritual retreat at Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Haley Farm in Tennessee. This year Reverend Janet Wolf, Director of CDF Haley Farm and Nonviolent Organizing, shared a meditation based on Langston Hughes’ brilliant 1943 poem “Freedom’s Plow” that she had been using in her ministry on Tennessee’s death row consisting of both incarcerated “insiders” and “outsiders.” All of us were caught up in the poem’s descriptions of centuries of American struggle against oppression and for America’s promised dream of freedom and justice for all.
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.