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Bestselling Author Marian Wright Edelman Releases New Book, the Sea Is so Wide and My Boat Is so Small

For Immediate Release
September 23, 2008

For More Information Contact: 
Ed Shelleby
(202) 662-3602

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today Marian Wright Edelman, New York Times Bestselling author and President of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), released her new book, THE SEA IS SO WIDE AND MY BOAT IS SO SMALL: Charting a Course for the Next Generation, a call to action for all American’s to address the urgent needs of our country’s youth.

“As a new grandmother, I experienced a renewed sense of responsibility to continue the work to leave our children a better world,” said Marian Wright Edelman.  “This year’s presidential election demonstrates how much progress we have made in the past 40 years; however we still have millions of children we have left behind.  Every person must step forward and take action to improve the lives of our children and our nation’s future.”

The book is a series of letters to a variety of audiences—educators, faith leaders, youth, mothers, elected officials and concerned citizens nationwide—that reflect on the social and economic progress as well as the setbacks since Dr. King’s death 40 years ago. Mrs. Edelman challenges each audience to step up and take action at this pivotal moment to ensure a level playing field for the next generation.  Edelman identifies the societal problems affecting and harming poor children and offers readers courses of action to take that will stop and reverse these problems.

“We now have the opportunity and awesome responsibility to compose and play the next movement of America’s symphony of freedom and justice,” said Edelman. “I hope that through this book our nation is motivated to take on this challenge and step forward for all children.”

Marian Wright Edelman, a graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School, began her career in the mid-’60s when, as the first Black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar, she directed the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund office in Jackson, Miss. In l968, she moved to Washington, D.C., as counsel for the Poor People’s Campaign that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began organizing before his death. She founded the Washington Research Project, a public interest law firm and the parent body of the Children’s Defense Fund. For two years she served as the director of the Center for Law and Education at Harvard University and in 1973 founded CDF.

The author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to My Children and Yours, and eight other books, she is also the winner of many awards for her work, including a MacArthur Fellowship, the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award, a Heinz Award and a Niebuhr Award. In 2000, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Robert F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award for her writings.

The Children’s Defense Fund is a non-profit advocacy organization that has worked relentlessly for 35 years to ensure a level playing field for all children. To find booksellers and learn more about Marian Wright Edelman and CDF, visit