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Children’s Defense Fund Announces Change in Leadership

The Children’s Defense Fund, known as the nation’s top child advocacy organization, has announced a historic leadership change.

After nearly 50 years of leading the CDF, Marian Wright Edelman has welcomed nationally recognized children’s rights and racial equity champion Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson to carry forward her legacy and lead the organization into a new civil rights movement, according to a recent New York Times report.

Wilson, who has also been a vocal advocate for Black Lives Matter, has vowed to continue Edelman’s legacy and use his own experiences to help guarantee the rights of all children through servant leadership.

“I’m honored to extend the legacy of Marian Wright Edelman and serve young people through the Children’s Defense Fund at this critical time,” Wilson said in a statement. “As we wrestle with the politics of the pandemic, protests, and a presidential election, it’s a little too easy to forget about crafting policy for children who don’t get to vote, don’t have lobbyists and can’t make campaign contributions.”

Edelman, CDF founder and president emerita, called Wilson “the right leader at the right time” for the organization.

“I’ve gotten to know him over the years, and I have only grown more impressed,” she said. “We’ve worked closely together on CDF Freedom Schools and he has a longstanding relationship with the CDF Proctor Institute. Dr. Wilson shares our sense of servant leadership and is committed to training the next generation of servant leaders. This is the right step forward for CDF at exactly the right moment.”

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