Marian Wright Edelman Scholarship

About the Sponsor

Mrs. Edelman, a graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School, began her career in the mid-60s when, as the first black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar, she directed the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund office in Jackson, Mississippi. In 1968, she moved to Washington D.C., as counsel for the Poor People’s Campaign that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began organizing before his death. She founded the Washington Research Project, a public interest law firm and the parent body of the Children’s Defense Fund. For two years she served as the Director of the Center of Law and Education at Harvard University and in 1973 founded the Children’s Defense Fund.

Mrs. Edelman served on the Board of Trustees of Spelman College which she chaired from 1976 to 1987 and was the first woman elected by alumni as a member of the Yale University Corporation on which she served from 1971 to 1977. She has received many honorary degrees and awards including the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Prize, the Heinz Award, and a MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship. In 2000, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award for her writings which include: Families in Peril: An Agenda for Social Change; The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to My Children and Yours; Guide My Feet: Meditations and Prayers on Loving and Working for Children; Stand for Children; Lanterns: A Memoir of Mentors; Hold My Hand: Prayers for Building a Movement to Leave No Child Behind; I’m Your Child, God: Prayers for Our Children; and I Can Make a Difference: A Treasury to Inspire Our Children. Her latest book is The Sea is So Wide and My Boat is So Small: Charting a Course for the Next Generation.

Marian Wright Edelman is married to Peter Edelman, a Professor at Georgetown Law School. They have three sons, Joshua, Jonah, and Ezra, two granddaughters, Ellika and Zoe, and two grandsons, Elijah and Levi.

Mrs. Edelman is the namesake for the scholarship, but is it financially sponsored by Dr. Kimberly A. Gordon Biddle and family. Dr. Biddle is very grateful and appreciative of her educational experiences and the financial support she received. She is a professor of Child Development programs at Sac State. She also believes that education can truly change lives. Therefore, she and her husband, Christopher Biddle, and son, Emmanuel Biddle, sponsor this scholarship for Child Development students at Sac State.





  • Minimum 3.0 overall GPA
  • Limited to students who are majoring in Child Development in one of the two undergraduate non-teaching concentrations (Social and Community Settings or Individualized Program) and to graduate majors in the Applied Setting Track
  • Preference given to students who are the first in the family to attend college
  • Financial need is required
  • Must be enrolled at least half time at time of award