Marian Wright Edelman is the president and founder of the Children's Defense Fund, an internationally known organization established to advocate for the rights of children. She is a graduate of Yale School of Law and was the first African American woman admitted to the bar in Mississippi.
In October 2014, the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) Office of Population Health and the Myrlie Evers-Williams Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities launched the Marian Wright Edelman Distinguished Lectureship Series. This lecture series features nationally and internationally known scientists, educators, and child advocates, who present and discuss cutting-edge research and policy issues regarding child health and child health disparities. Lectures also highlight work in cross-cutting areas such as child education, policy, public health, medicine, social justice, and economic development.