The Office for Religious Life hosted Marian Wright Edelman as the 2011 Rathbun Visiting Fellow, the fourth in the series aimed at encouraging students to reflect upon the greater meaning of life. She delivered her version of “Harry’s Last Lecture on a Meaningful Life” on Wednesday, November 30, in Memorial Auditorium for an audience of Stanford students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the greater community.
Mrs. Edelman is the founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), the country’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to the advocacy of all children in America since 1973. At the beginning of her career, she practiced law as the first African American woman in the Mississippi Bar after graduating from Yale Law School. Later, she moved to Washington, D.C. where she founded the Washington Research Project, a public interest law firm, and worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his Poor People's Campaign. She has been awarded numerous honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2000 (the highest civilian award given by the President of the United States), the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Prize, and the MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship in 1985.