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Release date:
Aug. 24, 2001
Contact: Elaine Justice, Assistant Director, 404-727-0643, or

Edelman To Speak At Kick-Of of New Interfaith Initiative For Atlanta Area Children

Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), will speak at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11 at a kick-off breakfast for the Metropolitan Atlanta Interfaith Children’s Movement (MAICM), a new grassroots effort to create a collaboration among Atlanta area faith communities and civic organizations to help children and families through prayer, education, service and advocacy.

The breakfast, to be held from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at the Loudermilk Center for the Regional Community, 40 Courtland St., downtown, is funded by the Freddie Mac Foundation, the Georgia Department of Human Resources, the Chidren’s Defense Fund, the Barton Child Law & Policy Clinic at Emory University, and the Faith and the City program at Emory’s Candler School of Theology.

Attending will be leaders from Atlanta area faith communities, professionals working on child welfare issues and elected officials. The breakfast will provide opportunities for attendees to consider the faith community’s role in the lives of children and to discuss what actions to take to meet area children’s needs.

"Metro Atlanta’s children need help," says David Jenkins of Faith and the City at Candler, which has helped organize the event. Statistics make the point: Last year nearly 30% of the children in Fulton County were living in poverty; the five metro counties received 13,837 reports of child abuse or neglect; and 2,828 children in the five counties resided in foster care.

Honorary hosts of the breakfast are: former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young of Faith and the City; Rosalynn Carter, former first lady and vice chair of The Carter Center; Imam Plemon T. El-Amin of Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam; Rabbi Alvin Sugarman of The Temple; Archbishop John F. Donoghue of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta; Ann W. Cramer of the Governor’s Child Protective Services Task Force; and the Hon. Nina Hickson of Fulton County Juvenile Court. This interfaith group is working with Children’s Defense Fund to open a conversation on the new initiative. The "call to action" breakfast is the first event in what is planned as a long-range interfaith movement for continued advocacy and action by faith communities.

The breakfast will be held in conjunction with a resource fair, which will provide information about the needs of children in metropolitan Atlanta and ways to help them. Topics will include:

o How to motivate long-term collaboration among communities of faith and civic organizations to help children and families through prayer, education, service and advocacy; and

o Examples of other communities that have improved the lives of their children through involvement of faith groups.

Breakfast attendees also will be encouraged to participate in a metropolitan Atlanta Interfaith Celebration of the Children’s Sabbath at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, 1911 Cliff Valley Way, NE. Anyone interested in building a faith community movement for children is invited to attend.

For more information, contact the Barton Clinic at 404-727-6664 (phone), 404-727-6820 (fax), or

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