Marian Wright Edelman

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Never work just for money. Money alone won't save your soul or build a decent family life or help you sleep at night. We're the richest nation on Earth, with the highest number of imprisoned people in the world. Our drug addictions and child poverty are among the highest in the industrialized world. So don't ever confuse wealth or fame with character.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Money
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Amidst protestations of 'Who can be against the children?' too few people are FOR children when it really matters.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Children
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If it's wrong for 13-year-old inner-city girls to have babies without the benefit of marriage, it's wrong for rich celebrities, and we ought to stop putting them on the cover of People magazine.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Girl
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We're a violent nation, and we need to confront it. This gun plague has to stop.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Gun
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I don't care what my children choose to do professionally, just as long as within their choices they understand they've got to give something back.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Children
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Children teach us to be courageous and to stand up against injustice.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Children
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Children cannot eat rhetoric and they cannot be sheltered by commissions. I don't want to see another commission that studies the needs of kids. We need to help them.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Children
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It is a spiritually impoverished nation that permits infants and children to be the poorest Americans.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Children
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I wasn't thinking about history. I was thinking about how we were going to end segregation at lunch counters in Atlanta, Georgia.We would have never thought about making history, we just thought: Here is our chance to get out our sense of rejection at this kind of racial discrimination. I don't know that there was a time that anybody growing up in the South wasn't enraged about being segregated and being discriminated against.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Growing Up
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You have to have a fundamental change in the culture of policing, and who is the police person. How do they change? How do you learn from England and the other places, or Australia? In England, they don't carry guns on the whole. It's a different kind of mentality that does not demonize, and it's justified on race and income and class.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Gun
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The old notion that children are the private property of parents dies very slowly. In reality, no parent raises a child alone. How many of us nice middle-class folk could make it without our mortgage reduction
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Children
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The legacies that parents and church and teachers left to my generation of Black children were priceless but not material: a living faith reflected in daily service, the discipline of hard work and stick-to-itiveness, and a capacity to struggle in the face of adversity.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Teacher
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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. We've got to send messages to our kids about what is important.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Children
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Let all children come unto me.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Children
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I'd like to transform the system in very fundamental ways, but you've got to do that in every way that you can. You can't wait for some magic bullet or some magic politician or some magic anything to have that happen. You got to get out there and use your vote.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Waiting
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[Martin Luther ] King didn't pick his leadership position. Most movements are not started by single people.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Kings
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You can't tell parents to teach children the value of work when we don't have jobs and the jobs we have don't pay a decent wage. You can't tell children to achieve and then let them go to broken-down schools with teachers who don't care. We need a consistency of values in our public, corporate, and private lives.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Teacher
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There comes a time when you roll up your sleeves and put yourself at the top of your commitment list.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Commitment
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In 1990, when we started the Black Community Crusade for Children, we were always talking about all children, but we paid particular attention to children who were not white, who were poor, who were disabled, and who were the most vulnerable.Parents didn't think their children would live to adulthood, and the children didn't think they were going to live to adulthood. That's when we started our first gun-violence campaign. We've lost 17 times more young black people to gun violence since 1968 than we lost in all the lynching in slavery.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Children
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There were these great women in Montgomery, [Rosa Louise] Parks was among them. Jo Ann Robinson [who organized the bus boycott] was among them. It's always these ordinary women and men of grace who have been waiting and seething and planning to change things that are unjust that bring movement.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Men
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History does not pose problems without eventually producing the solutions.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Doe
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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.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Strong