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Marian Wright Edelman Steps Down, and a New Generation Takes Over

September 06, 2020

Nikita Stewart, New York Times

Marian Wright Edelman, 81, took to the streets this summer, joining millions of people around the country in protesting police brutality after the killing of George Floyd.

Mrs. Edelman, a longtime rights activist and the founder of the influential nonprofit the Children’s Defense Fund, said the protests thrust her back to the 1950s, when she was a teenager in the segregated South, hoping to make a difference in the world.

‘I was out there every night,’ said Mrs. Edelman, who had been an adviser to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a mentor to Hillary Clinton. ‘It felt like the sit-in movement to me. It felt like everything I’ve been living all my life. You see yourself again at 17, 18 and 19. … Young people were finding their voice, … and I could relate in a deep way.’

It was one of her last protests as the head of the organization she founded in 1973. On Wednesday, the Children’s Defense Fund announced that Mrs. Edelman would hand over the reins to the Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, an activist known for his work in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, a Black teenager, by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo.”

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