Marian Wright Edelman

Marian Wright Edelman
Marian Wright Edelman
  • Born: June 6, 1939
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Children's Rights Activist









Marian Wright Edelman is an American activist for the rights of children. She has been an advocate for disadvantaged Americans for her entire professional life. She is president and founder of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF).

Quotes About
Author Quote
Quote Topics Cited
Being considerate of others will take your children further in life than any college degree. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Life
You didn't have a choice about the parents you inherited, but you do have a choice about the kind of parent you will be.
It was very clear to me in 1965, in Mississippi, that, as a lawyer, I could get people into schools, desegregate the schools, but if they were kicked off the plantations - and if they didn't have food, didn't have jobs, didn't have health care, didn't have the means to exercise those civil rights, we were not going to have success. Health, Healthcare & Medicine ;Success ;Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
My faith has been the driving thing of my life. I think it is important that people who are perceived as liberals not be afraid of talking about moral and community values. Life ;Religion & God
Semi-automatic weapons have no socially redeeming purpose.
Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time. Life ;Time
To all those mothers and fathers who are struggling with teen-agers, I say, just be patient: even though it looks like you can't do anything right for a number of years, parents become popular again when kids reach 20.
If you don't like the way the world is, you change it. You have an obligation to change it. You just do it one step at a time. Time
We are willing to spend the least amount of money to keep a kid at home, more to put him in a foster home and the most to institutionalize him. Money, Coins & Minting
A nation that does not stand for its children does not stand for anything and will not stand tall in the future. Future
I'm sure I am impatient sometimes. I sure do get angry sometimes. I think it's outrageous how hard it is to get this country to feed its children and to take care of its children, to give them a decent education. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
We must always refill and ensure there is a critical mass of leaders and activists committed to nonviolence and racial and economic justice who will keep seeding and building transforming movements.
You're not obligated to win. You're obligated to keep trying to do the best you can every day.
A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi to come back - but they are gone. We are it. It is up to us. It is up to you.
I'm tough in the sense that I believe as strongly in what I'm doing as anybody else believes in what they are doing.
I never thought I was breaking a glass ceiling. I just had to do what I had to do, and it never occurred to me not to.
Our true remembrance to President Kennedy is in our actions to honor the unspoken words and finish the unfinished work today and tomorrow and for as long as it takes. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
No one, Eleanor Roosevelt said, can make you feel inferior without your consent. Never give it.
You really can change the world if you care enough.
We do not have a money problem in America. We have a values and priorities problem. Money, Coins & Minting
The future which we hold in trust for our own children will be shaped by our fairness to other people's children. Future ;Trust
The key is that your children are aware that you love them a lot, and that you are there when they really, really need you. If a kid was ill, I would simply leave a meeting and go home. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I try to act out of faith. Religion & God
Remember and help America remember that the fellowship of human beings is more important than the fellowship of race and class and gender in a democratic society. Society
The Declaration of Independence was always our vision of who we wanted to be, our ideal of freedom and justice, how we were going to be different, and what the American experiment was going to be about. Independence ;Freedom & Liberty
Parents have become so convinced that educators know what is best for their children that they forget that they themselves are really the experts.
I hadn't planned on going to law school. I wanted to study 19th-century Russian literature.
Don't feel entitled to anything you didn't sweat and struggle for.
So much of the deep lingering sadness over President Kennedy's assassination is about the unfinished promise: unspoken speeches, unfulfilled hopes, the wondering about what might have been.
Never work just for money or for power. They won't save your soul or help you sleep at night. Power ;Money, Coins & Minting ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
In every seed of good there is always a piece of bad.
I need to work outside government, on my own. Government ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
If we think we have ours and don't owe any time or money or effort to help those left behind, then we are a part of the problem rather than the solution to the fraying social fabric that threatens all Americans. Time ;Money, Coins & Minting
If things are too easy, life is a whole lot less interesting. Life
You just need to be a flea against injustice. Enough committed fleas biting strategically can make even the biggest dog uncomfortable and transform even the biggest nation.
Service is what life is all about. Life
No person has the right to rain on your dreams.
Learn to be quiet enough to hear the genuine within yourself so that you can hear it in others.
I feel very lucky to have grown up having interaction with adults who were making change but who were far from perfect beings. That feeling of not being paralyzed by your incredible inadequacy as a human being, which I feel every day, is a part of the legacy that I've gotten from so many of the adult elders.
Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Together we can and must fight for justice for our children and protect them from draconian tax cuts and budget choices that threaten their survival, education and preparation for the future. If they are not ready for tomorrow, neither is America. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Future
When President Kennedy was elected, many black Americans, like so many Americans, were captivated by his youth and energy and promise and were especially hopeful that he might move the country in a new direction on civil rights.
Hunger and malnutrition have devastating consequences for children and have been linked to low birth weight and birth defects, obesity, mental and physical health problems, and poorer educational outcomes. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
We have the capacity to make sure that every mother has pre-natal care. Yet, we don't do it. What is it about America? It says we don't value children and families. We are hypocrites.
I worry about the kids who have too much. As a parent living in a so-called good neighborhood with children who went to private high school, I found myself spending much time in parent groups worrying about alcohol, unsupervised parties, and parents not being parents. Time
In politics, there are no friends. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Children under five are the poorest age group in America, and one in four infants, toddlers and preschoolers are poor during the years of greatest brain development.
I've always hated being hemmed in or seeing anybody being hemmed in. Even when I was the smallest child, I couldn't bear being told I couldn't drink at a so-called white drinking fountain.
Whoever said anybody has a right to give up?
If we don't stand up for children, then we don't stand for much.
It never occurred to me that I was not going to challenge segregation.
Family and moral values are so central to everything that I am. Families, Children & Parenting
The challenge of social justice is to evoke a sense of community that we need to make our nation a better place, just as we make it a safer place.
Unless children have strong education and strong families and strong communities and decent housing, it's not enough to go sit in at a lunch counter. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
People who don't vote have no line of credit with people who are elected and thus pose no threat to those who act against our interests.
I grew up in a very religious family and it is the motivating force to every thing I do. I am fortunate to have had adults all around me who really lived their faith, in helping other people and doing the best you can do. Religion & God ;Families, Children & Parenting
It was clear to me as a civil rights leader in the '60s that unless we put the social and economic underpinnings beneath the political and the civil rights, we wouldn't go anywhere.
We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee. Time
Education is a precondition to survival in America today. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
There should not be one new dime in tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires as long as millions of children in America are poor, hungry, uneducated and without health coverage. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
Far less wealthy industrialized countries have committed to end child poverty, while the United States is sliding backwards. We can do better. We must demand that our leaders do better.
Bipartisan injustice to children is no better than partisan injustice to children. Families, Children & Parenting
Democracy is not a spectator sport. Democracies & Republics
Parents have become so convinced educators know what is best for children that they forget that they themselves are really the experts. Families, Children & Parenting
Children cannot eat rhetoric and they cannot be sheltered by commissions. Families, Children & Parenting
I'm an outsider by instinct.
Just because a child's parents are poor or uneducated is no reason to deprive the child of basic human rights to health care, education, proper nutrition. Families, Children & Parenting
We are willing to spend the least amount of money to keep a kid at home, more to put him in a foster home, and the most to institutionalize him. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
We've got the budget deficit and we've got the human deficit. Budgets & Budgeting
Changing social policy is just dogged hard work. Policy & Policy Making
Millions of Americans who are not poor are health care poor. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
The American people are willing to invest their money (taxes) in things that work. Taxes
I have no objection to doing anything that is within the law to help children. Families, Children & Parenting
Never work just for money or for power. They won't save your soul or help you sleep at night Welfare