So much work to do

Marian Wright Edelman t580
Marian Wright Edelman



Children’s Defense Fund


As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment this week, I offer these words for all of us who are still fighting to protect the right to vote and for equality, justice and the world our children and grandchildren deserve.

Mothers. Grandmothers. Women.

We have so much work to do.

So many mothers and infant lives to save.

So many child dreams to realize and hopes to nourish and protect.

Our countries and a common world to change and such long distances to travel – from waging war to waging peace; from sickness and death to health; from doubt to faith in Creator’s feminine spirit within

Let some of us – you and I – begin this minute on that journey

To speak for those unable to speak for themselves

To stand with those who cannot stand alone

To gather family and friends to stand with us.

Let us begin this day singing a new song for all our mothers and sisters and brothers and fathers and children around our world who are our own.

“If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back and get it right side up again.”

– Sojourner Truth, American abolitionist and women’s rights activist


Marian Wright Edelman is founder and president emerita of the Children’s Defense Fund whose mission is Leave No Child Behind. For more information, visit


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