MHS is proud to celebrate the 2017 Inamori Ethics Prize winner, Marian Wright Edelman, with Case Western Reserve University and the University Circle community. Each fall, MHS students and staff attend the prize reception and symposium, held by the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence to recognize the recipient.

What is the Inamori Ethics Prize?

As part of its mission to foster ethical leadership around the world, the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence at Case Western Reserve University presents the Inamori Ethics Prize annually to an individual who has demonstrated exemplary ethical leadership. The Inamori Ethics Prize honors outstanding international ethical leaders whose actions and influence have greatly improved the condition of humankind.

The prize was first awarded in 2008 to Francis S. Collins, a physician-geneticist and leader of the Human Genome Project.

The Inamori Ethics Prize carries with it a monetary award, which is intended to support the recipient’s ongoing work. Each year’s recipient is conferred the prize at Case Western Reserve University, where he or she also delivers a public lecture about his or her work and the challenges that lie ahead.

The Honoree

The Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence at Case Western Reserve University has selected Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Washington, D.C.-based Children’s Defense Fund, for the 2017 Inamori Ethics Prize.

Edelman has been an advocate for children’s rights and the disadvantaged for decades. Under her leadership, the nonprofit Children’s Defense Fund, which Edelman established in 1973, has become the nation’s leading advocacy organization for children and families, championing policies and programs to lift children from poverty, protect them from abuse and neglect, and ensure their access to health care and quality education.

Edelman, a graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School, began her career in the mid-1960s when, as the first black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar, directed the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund office in Jackson, Mississippi. Edelman has received more than 100 honorary degrees and many 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.