[x]

CLIENT LOGIN: ADD SPEAKER TO FOLIO

Please enter your username and password below to add this speaker to your folio.

Marian Wright Edelman
Speaker Fee Range SPEAKING FEE RANGE ** Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.
$30,000 to $50,000
Book This Core Agency Speaker BOOK MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN
speakers@coreagency.com
PROFILE
Marian Wright Edelman
Travels From SPEAKING FEE RANGE*
$30,000 to $50,000
Email Core Agency Book Marian Wright Edelman
speakers@coreagency.com
  • A veteran of the civil rights movement and of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign.
  • Founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund, Edelman has spent over 40 years advocating for children in need.
  • Honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 2000.
  • Winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award for her remarkable body of published work for both adults and children.

Marian Wright Edelman has been a life-long advocate for disadvantaged Americans and one of the nation’s most prominent champions of children and families. As founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), she has led efforts to ensure children receive a healthy start in life, advocating for equality of opportunity, strong educational institutions, good moral foundations, and a safe environment.

Edelman’s work with the CDF emerged from her earlier efforts as a pioneering lawyer and civil rights activist. A graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School, Edelman was the first black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar. She began her legal career in the mid-1960s as director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund office in Jackson, Mississippi. She became legal counsel for the Poor People’s Campaign, an advocacy campaign the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. began organizing shortly before his assassination. Edelman then founded the Washington Research Project, a public interest law firm from which the CDF would emerge in 1973. Also influential in academic circles, she served two years as the Director of the Center for Law and Education at Harvard University.

Edelman holds over 100 honorary degrees and many awards, including the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Prize, a MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor, which she was awarded in 2000. She has received the Robert F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award for her remarkable body of published work, which ranges from Families in Peril: An Agenda for Social Change, The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to My Children and Yours, and Stand for Children to literature geared toward children such as I’m Your Child, God: Prayers for Our Children and I Can Make a Difference: A Treasury to Inspire our Children.

A board member of the Robin Hood Foundation and the Association to Benefit Children, Edelman is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

VIDEOS
TESTIMONIALS

"Her namesake is Marian Anderson, one of the greatest American singers of all time. The power and range of this Marian's voice is even greater. It brought Robert Kennedy to Mississippi, helped to organize the Poor People's Campaign, inspired Hillary and thousands of other citizens, young and old, to join her through the years in the crusade that has become known as the Children's Defense Fund, the base from which she has changed the future for millions of America's children, by grassroots actions and successful lobbying in Congress, for health care, child care, education, and so much more.

"Marian Wright Edelman has lived a life of giving. In the process, she has built a family of distinguished citizen-givers. She is a tireless advocate, a driving force, a crusader of conscience. Like her namesake, Marian's voice is always strong and true, singing that we are all children of God and, therefore, must protect all our children."
    President Bill Clinton

PROGRAMS

Few, if any, Americans are more qualified than Marian Wright Edelman to speak to the enduring problems of poverty among our nation’s children – or of the capacity each of us has to make a difference. Certainly none can speak with greater eloquence. Edelman brings the cadence of the civil rights movement’s greatest orators and the wisdom borne of a half-century working on behalf of America’s poor. Her rich imagery connects with listeners on a profound level, compelling her audiences not only to listen, but also to act.

Edelman feels a calling to enlighten others about the current state of America’s children, and especially about conditions faced by those living in poverty. She also enjoys charting a course for the future. Even the toughest problems have solutions, if Americans exercise the will to address them. Having spent a lifetime creatively composing plans to resolve these enduring problems, Edelman values her opportunities to share these ideas with others.

In addition, Edelman excels at investing her audiences with full awareness of their potential. Child poverty is not an intractable condition. We can creatively and constructively take steps to eradicate child poverty in our lifetimes. Edelman inspires her listeners with greater understanding of how they can make a positive difference.

Topics Include:

  • The State of America's Children
  • Charting a Course for the Next Generation
  • The Measure of Our Success
  • I Can Make a Difference
  • BEST-SELLING BOOKS

    measure_of_our_success

    The Measure of our Success: A Letter to My Children and Yours
    To help parents chart a course for their children based on traditional values—self-reliance, family, hard work, justice, the pursuit of knowledge and of brotherhood—Edelman, founder and president of the Childrens Defense Fund, effectively recounts her experience and vision in essays variously addressed to her own children, to all children and to parents. Edelman, who grew up in the segregated South and was the first black woman admitted to the Mississippi bar, recalls the community of her childhood where one child's accomplishments gave joy to all, where neighbors took care of each other and where parents instilled a sense of responsibility in their offspring. In the introduction the author's son Jonah examines the value and pressure of being raised by an African American mother and a Jewish father.


    lanterns

    Lanterns: A Memoir of Mentors
    Marian Wright Edelman, "the most influential children's advocate in the country" (The Washington Post), shares stories from her life at the center of this century's most dramatic civil rights struggles. She pays tribute to the extraordinary personal mentors who helped light her way: Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, Fannie Lou Hamer, William Sloane Coffin, Ella Baker, Mae Bertha Carter, and many others.

    She celebrates the lives of the great Black women of Bennettsville, South Carolina—Miz Tee, Miz Lucy, Miz Kate—who along with her parents formed a formidable and loving network of community support for the young Marian Wright as a Black girl growing up in the segregated South. We follow the author to Spelman College in the late 1950s, when the school was a hotbed of civil rights activism, and where, through excerpts from her honest and passionate college journal, we witness a national leader in the making and meet the people who inspired and empowered her, including Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, Howard Zinn, and Charles E. Merrill, Jr.

    Lanterns takes us to Mississippi in the 1960s, where Edelman was the first and only Black woman lawyer. Her account of those years is a riveting first-hand addition to the literature of civil rights: "The only person I recognized in the menacing crowd as I walked towards the front courthouse steps was [a] veteran New York Times reporter. He neither acknowledged me nor met my eyes. I knew then what it was like to be a poor Black person in Mississippi: alone." And we follow Edelman as she leads Bobby Kennedy on his fateful trip to see Mississippi poverty and hunger for himself, a powerful personal experience for the young RFK that helped awaken a nation's conscience to child hunger and poverty.

    Lanterns is illustrated with thirty of the author's personal photographs and includes "A Parent's Pledge" and "Twenty-five More Lessons for Life," an inspiration to all of us—parents, grandparents, teachers, religious and civic leaders—to guide, protect, and love our children every day so that they will become, in Marian Wright Edelman's moving vision, the healing agents for national transformation.

    SIMILAR SPEAKERS
    Peter Sims
    Bowdoin College graduate Peter Sims is much in demand for his expertise in entrepreneurship and innovation. His book Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from…
    Brett King
    Considered the foremost global expert on retail banking innovation, Brett King is also a three-time bestselling author and founder of the mobile banking startup “Moven.”…
    Bill Nye
    Mechanical engineer and television personality Bill Nye got a generation of Americans hooked on science. A master of “edutainment”, Nye became a household name in…
    Ben Hines
    Businessman and musician Ben Hines improves the way groups do business through teaching them how to harness the power of music. He is Founder and…
    Diana Nyad
    “I have three messages. One is we should never ever give up. Two is you are never too old to chase your dreams. And three…
    Jason Jennings
    Named the Number 6 Global Guru for Leadership in 2015 and 2016, Jason Jennings is an internationally in-demand business thought leader and speaker. His breakthrough…
    Keith Ferrazzi
    Keith Ferrazzi is one of the preeminent experts in professional relationship development. He uses two decades of research and experience to transform the lives and…
    Todd Hewlin
    Disruptive technology expert, Todd Hewlin helps businesses develop plans that can be executed in real life and not just in theory. As co-founder and manager…
    Geoff Colvin
    Senior Editor-at-Large, FORTUNE Magazine Geoff is an award-winning thinker, author, broadcaster, and speaker on today′s most significant trends in business. As a longtime editor and…

    WHAT CLIENTS ARE SAYING ABOUT CORE SPEAKERS

    “Our Account Executive was a pleasure to work with to arrange our keynote presenter for the Sustainable Brands Sydney Conference. He was swift to respond and his communication was always clear. If I am looking for international speakers, I will think of SPEAKING.com in future.”
    Sustainable Brands
    Sustainable Brands
    “Our client rep was a pleasure to work with. He was well organized and kept me updated every step of the way. The level of professionalism and the quality of the materials received were excellent. I will be in touch for future speakers!”
    Mattel
    Mattel
    “My account executive was very professional as well as patient with us. The entire experience of working with your agency was cordial and professional, with attention to all the, sometimes complicated, important details.”
    U.S. Department of Agriculture
    U.S. Department of Agriculture
    “Everyone at your speakers bureau was incredibly attentive and easy to work with; you have been a conference organizer's dream!”
    ABS Capital Partners
    ABS Capital Partners
    “It was an extreme pleasure to work with our account rep. She was friendly, flexible, and knowledgeable about all their speakers. She made the process simple. I cannot begin to put into words the impact that our speaker had on our audience. People are still taking about his presentation and his program set a standard on all diversity programs.”
    FDIC: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
    FDIC: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
    “I'm extremely impressed with your speakers bureau's follow-through, responsiveness and willingness to understand our needs so that he could match the best speakers with what we are looking for. I will definitely work with you again in the future. Thank you for all that you did to help us create an exceptional learning experience for our attendees.”
    American Society of Association Executives
    American Society of Association Executives
    “I so appreciated my representative for his responsiveness and for the ease with which I could communicate with him. This was my first time having to secure the talent for our program myself, and I could not have asked for a better experience with your speakers agency.”
    Mayor’s Commission on Unity, Diversity and Prosperity for Columbus, GA
    Mayor’s Commission on Unity, Diversity and Prosperity for Columbus, GA
    “Working with your speakers bureau has been a pleasure. Everyone on your team was extremely responsive and informative, and really helped us to customize our event. I will be sure to reach out to your agency again in the future with any speaker needs that I may have.”
    The Advisory Board Company
    The Advisory Board Company
    “Once again our agent did an outstanding job. Not only did he provide me with a number of options for potential speakers but he helped with seeing who was available, when they could speak, and getting everything done in a timely fashion. I look forward to working with him again.”
    Auburn University
    Auburn University
    “Our speakers were absolutely outstanding and top class. Once again, thank you for making this happen for us. You have been outstanding and the best speakers bureau we have ever worked with!”
    Volkswagen
    Volkswagen
    “SPEAKING.com / Core Agency were very helpful in every way possible. I would recommend them to others and we will most definitely secure all our future conference speakers through them again.”
    Babcock & Wilcox
    Babcock & Wilcox
    “Everyone at your speakers agency were professional and helpful throughout the process, making it easy to book, communicate, and prepare for our event.”
    Hewlett Packard
    Hewlett Packard
    “Working with your speakers agency on our training projects during the year proved to be a great business choice. I felt that my account reps were always around when I needed them, willing to help and listen. They showed flexibility when it was required and were reliable and dependable. ”
    KPMG, Europe
    KPMG, Europe
    “My Account Executive was able to work within my quick turn around time and price limitations to find the perfect speaker for the job. Although I thought finding and booking a speaker for our sales meeting would be the most difficult part of the planning process, your agency made it the easiest.”
    Ales Group USA, Inc.
    Ales Group USA, Inc.
    “Our Account Executive is an extraordinary person. Always available, very kind and funny. Eager to help and always quick to respond. I have so much fun working with him. A very delightful experience. I hope continue working together for years to come!”
    Credicorp Bank
    Credicorp Bank
    “The retreat was extraordinary, professional, and personable. Everyone is still raving about it. They said it was the best experience of their lifetime. And, I would have to agree. I most certainly hope we have the opportunity to work together in the future.”
    YPO: Young Presidents’ Organization
    YPO: Young Presidents’ Organization
    “Our account rep was fantastic; he is very responsive, handled registration for our speaker, submitted the contract and invoice quickly - so easy to work with. Thank you!”
    Deloitte
    Deloitte
    “I just wanted to send a quick follow-up note to say – THANK YOU! I appreciate your partnership, and perseverance in helping us to find the right speaker for our group. Our speaker was absolutely excellent! The group loved him; it was perfect.”
    DeVry Education Group
    DeVry Education Group
    “SPEAKING.com does a wonderful job! Our AE always responds promptly and is very professional, thank you!”
    AlphaNet
    AlphaNet
    “This has been one of the most outstanding speaker agencies I have had in my 25+ years in the hospitality industry. They have helped my company secure speakers for years to the delight of my attendees. They have secured high profile speakers, even within the confines of a tight turnaround and an even tighter budget. I recommend their services without hesitation. They are truly leaders in their profession looking out for their clients: excellent is all I can say!”
    AHIMA
    AHIMA
    “Finding the appropriate speaker for an event is a challenge. Your stellar speakers agency made the process extremely easy. I would recommend your agency to anyone.”
    Mercury University
    Mercury University
    “Our event was what I would call 'over the top'... The survey results were at 92% very favorable. The speakers formed such a good relationship with myself and others at the conference. I am confident we will bring them back to do more. I will definitely contact you when we are in need of additional services. You have been the best!”
    American Express
    American Express
    “Your speakers bureau was a tremendous resource for the NHL as we planned and executed our NHL Club Business Meetings. Their assistance with securing our keynote was invaluable. They provided detailed information in a timely manner which was crucial to the success of the event. The execution was seamless! ”
    National Hockey League
    National Hockey League
    “Our agent was great to work with. Very easy to reach when needed and promptly returned messages. Thank you for making our event such a big success, we are looking forward to working with you again soon!”
    American Lung Association
    American Lung Association
    “I will certainly recommend to others that they contact you for guest speakers in the future. It was a pleasure working with you as well. We all appreciate your professionalism and exemplary service.”
    BASF
    BASF
    Core: the central, innermost, or most essential part of anything.
    Contact Us