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  • Marian Wright Edelman Lectureship

    Marian Wright Edelman is the president and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund; an internationally known organization established to advocate for the rights of children. Mrs. Edelman is a graduate of Yale School of Law and was the first African American woman admitted to the bar in Mississippi. In 2014, the OPH will launch the Marian Wright Edelman Lecture Series, which will feature nationally and internationally known scientists, educators, and child advocates, who will present and discuss cutting-edge research and policy issues regarding child health and child health disparities. Lectures will also highlight work in cross-cutting areas such as child education, policy, public health, medicine, social justice, and economic development. Lectures will be held annually in the fall and will be open to all University students, faculty and the general public.

    The Marian Wright Edelman Lecture will be held annually in the fall, with the precise time announced early in each academic year. The activities associated with the Edelman Lectureship will be open to all University students, faculty, and the general public and will provide venues for members of the university and surrounding communities to interact with distinguished individuals whose innovative research and/or programmatic endeavors have made significant advances in the fields of child health and child health disparities.

    Travel costs and an honorarium will be provided to each Distinguished Lecturer.


    All off-campus guest should park in Parking Garage A on UMMC’s campus.

    Directions from I-55:

    • Take exit 98A Woodrow Wilson Ave
    • At the 2nd red light, turn right onto North State Street
    • At the red light, turn right into UMMC’s campus
    • Make the 1st left turn and follow the road to the first stop sign
    • Turn right into Parking Garage A

    There will be a van with a sign labeled "Marian Wright Edelman Lectureship" making frequent rounds through Parking Garage A. This van will transport individuals to and from the Student Union. Please obtain a ticket from the gate. Someone will validate your ticket at the event.

    Lecturer eligibility criteria

    The speaker must possess a(n):

    • Distinguished background in child health/child health disparities research, advocacy for children’s rights, child health policy leadership, federal, state or local government service for child health issues.
    • Ability to share experiences and skills with diverse audiences.
    • Willingness to stay on campus for a minimum of two days to deliver the lecture and to interact with professors, fellows, staff, and community members in smaller group settings


    Lecturers will be selected using the following process:

    • Nominations for the annual Marian Wright Edelman Distinguished Lecturer will be sent to the Chair of the Selection Committee.
    • Selection Committee members will review the nominations, discuss, and formally vote to choose the annual lecturer.
    • Following receipt of approval by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Mississippi Medical Center, a formal letter of invitation will be sent from the Chair of the Selection Committee on behalf of the Medical Center.