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Sun, 08.19.1973

The Children’s Defense Fund, Activist For Our Future

The Children's Defense Fund, Logo

*The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) is celebrated on this date in 1973. CDF is an American nonprofit organization that focuses on child advocacy and research. Based in Washington, D.C., and created by Marian Wright Edelman. The CDF exists to improve federal policies concerning child welfare and public education systems. CDF has offices in several states: California, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. CDF programs operate in 28 states.

Since its founding, the CDF has lobbied for passing legislation, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in 1975 and the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act in 1980. Its legislative interests include Head Start, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the Child Tax Credit.

Citing inspiration from the American Civil Rights Movement, the CDF has run several public awareness campaigns and programs that include a modern Freedom Schools program launched in 1993 for child enrichment through reading, a Beat the Odds program launched in 1990 that hosts awareness events, and awards partial college scholarships, and a Youth Advocacy Leadership Training fund. CDF funds generated numerous child advocacy reports, from ending child poverty and minority incarceration rates (and the school-to-prison pipeline) to gun safety concerning children.

In 2008, the CDF was among the charities receiving donations from the "Idol Gives Back" televised fundraising event. Numerous notable individuals are involved with the charity. In 2020, CDF announced the appointment of Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson to succeed Marian Wright Edelman as CEO.

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