Marian Wright Edelman Visits Minnesota Events

March 20, 2012

Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota Held Three Events on March 16th with Founder & President, Marian Wright Edelman

Children’s Defense Fund Black Community Crusade for Children in partnership with Stadium View School

Mrs. Edelman spoke with a group of advocates dedicated to children. Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® program was highlighted as an example of how its program is making a difference in closing the achievement gap; especially in unique settings like Stadium View School located at Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center. The CDF Freedom Schools® program provides summer and after-school enrichment that helps children fall in love with reading, increases their self-esteem, and generates more positive attitudes toward learning. This summer there will be eight Freedom School locations in Minnesota serving hundreds of young students.

Panel Discussion with African American Leadership Forum & Next Generation Leaders

The Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota and the African American Leadership Forum welcomed Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President of Children’s Defense Fund  and 55 attendees to a special event on March 16, 2012 at We Are Fallon to share her vision of closing the Cradle to Prison Pipeline® and promoting cradle to career educational opportunities for children of color.  As she shared, “never has there been a more urgent task than to train the next generation of youth leaders and to lift others as you climb.”  

A panel of next generation community leaders followed Mrs. Edelman’s inspiring presentation with their recommendations for harnessing the creativity, energy, and talents of youth in our community. *Panel Members Listed Below. The program ended with a spirited call to action urging participants to get involved in advocating for increased investments in education for our youth as a top priority.

For more information, please check out the following program resource links:

  • African American Leadership Forum:  For more information about AALF and to download a copy of "A Crisis in Our Community: Closing the Five Education Gaps” report published December 2011:

Beat the Odds® Celebration

Over 600 people attended the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Beat the Odds in Minnesota on March 16th.  Four amazing youth were honored who represent the thousands of Minnesota children struggling to beat the odds.  Mrs. Edelman addressed the group with memorable quotes.  Read what inspired the social media ambassadors on Twitter at #BeatTheOddsMN.

Read Bios of our Four Honorees, Raymond Perez, Anne Sinner, Eduardo Sanchez Beltran and Lashay Thompson.  Watch for inspiring videos coming soon.

* The CDF-Minnesota and African American Leadership Forum Panel Included:

Anthony Williams, CDF-MN Beat the Odds Alumnus 2000 and Freedom School Director, Kwanzaa Community Church;  Alicia Frosch, CDF-MN Beat the Odds Alumna 1996, and Director of Organizing & Civic Engagement at Child Care WORKS; Kenneth Scales, CDF-YALT® Trainer, and Family Engagement Connector, Northside Achievement Zone;  Trista Harris, Executive Director, Headwaters Foundation for Justice and Co-Chair, African American Leadership Forum; and Chris Stewart, President, Yielding Assets LLC and Co-Chair, African American Leadership Forum Education Work Group.