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Jonah Edelman  

Children's Advocate & Founder of Stand for Children

"Jonah Edelman is one of the most dynamic and talented leaders in the country. He has become my go-to person when it comes to moving the toughest advocacy issues in America. When it comes to education issues, he is one of a kind. No one does it better." –Geoffrey Canada

It was the Civil Rights Movement, combined with a life-changing volunteer experience teaching a bilingual first grader how to read, that inspired Jonah Edelman to commit his life to public service. As the son of Marian Wright Edelman he comes by it naturally, but has earned his own accolades for his visionary work as one of the nation's leading voices for children.

As co-founder of Stand for Children, Edelman has guided the innovative nonprofit advocacy group in harnessing citizen commitment to affect political decisions and elections in order to get results for children. Beginning with his organizing "Stand for Children Day" in Washington, DC, where 300,000 people made it the largest rally for children in American history, he helped the organization grow in influence, changing the lives of over a million children and families. Since 2009, the organization has doubled in size with a presence in eight states nationwide. During the 2010 elections, Stand was responsible for reaching voters and strategically investing $1.1 million in PAC funds to help elect dozens of education champions.

Recently recognized by Time.com as one of the nation's top 11 education activists for 2011, Edelman will never stop breaking new ground with his pioneering innovative strategies for advocacy. Committed, focused, and gifted in his ability to galvanize others, he brings energy and vision to improving the lives of our children on a grand scale.

He strongly believes in the power of a number of motivated people to create change and, through his leadership, dedication, and influence, he makes sure that the welfare of our children remains a central priority for all.

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Speech Topics


Making a Bigger Impact for Children: A New Model for Child Advocacy

Effective Advocacy for Children

In this workshop, leading national child advocate Jonah Edelman will provide a compelling overview of the basics of effective advocacy for children. The workshop will include powerful concepts and approaches that will help you build a stronger constituency for children, identify winnable issues to work on, develop practical solutions, communicate highly effectively about them, and, finally, how to develop effective strategies for winning decision makers' support for your solutions. Don't miss this chance to learn how to build your advocacy skills.

A Conversation about the Future of Public Education in the United States

Public schools are at a crossroads. Students need better preparation than ever to compete in the global economy. The federal government is imposing higher standards than ever before. In the context of declining financial resources, how can public schools possibly deliver the product that students urgently need and the public expects? Stand for Children Executive Director Jonah Edelman will share a provocative and practical perspective.

Education Reform & Innovation: Equipping Students to Succeed in the Global Economy

What Works: Identifying & Supporting Children’s Programs that Make the Greatest Impact

Making a Bigger Impact for Children: A New Model for Child Advocacy

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