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Follow the Need

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Children’s rights pioneer Marian Wright Edelman shares insights at USC Gould

By: Erin Bailey

Gould staff and students had the opportunity to ask Marian Wright Edelman questions. 

Civil rights activist Marian Wright Edelman inspired an audience of USC students, faculty and staff when she joined the USC Gould School of Law for a panel discussion last week.

Edelman, who is the president and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, shared her story of growing up in the segregated South, her involvement in the civil rights movement and her experience as the first African American woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar. A champion of children’s healthcare, Edelman emphasized the importance of education and perseverance in the face of adversity. 

She advised Gould students to “follow the need” in their legal careers and pursuit of social justice. An important aspect of this was to get involved in the local community and meet the people you are trying to help.
 
Other inspirational advice included: “If you see a need don’t ask why somebody doesn’t do something, you ask what you can do and then YOU do it.” 
 
The interactive discussion was moderated by Gould Professors Camille Gear Rich, Clare Pastore and Alex Capron, vice dean for faculty and academic affairs. (In the summer of 1967, Capron served with Edelman at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund Office in Jackson, Miss.)

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