Marian Wright Edelman Joins Former President Bill Clinton and others at GA Charter Conference

June 28 - Marian Wright Edelman spoke at the GA Charter School Conference with other speakers including Former President Bill Clinton, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker last Tuesday.

“Public education is the battleground for the future and soul of America,” she said. “Today education is the Freedom Ride and the sit-in movement of this era.”

Edelman, adding to Mayor Cory Booker’s theme of ending the cradle-to-prison pipeline, reflected on the moment in which she realized the desperation of many poor children’s lives – the day after the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when she went into Washington D.C. schools to warn students not to riot or loot because arrests would hurt their futures and one boy responded “Lady, what future? I ain’t got no future. I ain’t got nothing to lose.”

“I have spent the last 40 years and will spend the rest of my life proving that boy’s truth wrong,” Edelman said. “I had no idea how hard it would be. This boy saw and spoke the plain truth for himself and millions of others like him.

“Despite great progress for some over the last 40 years, so much peril remains to snuff out the hopes and dream of children like him,” she said. “Incarceration is becoming the new American apartheid, and poor children of color are the fodder.”

 

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