Edelman, Kerry to serve as honorary co-chairs for 10th Yale Day of Service

John Kerry and Marian Wright Edelman
John Kerry ’66 and Marian Wright Edelman ’63 L.L.B.

John Kerry ’66 and Marian Wright Edelman ’63 L.L.B. have dedicated their lives to service – to country, cause, and helping under-resourced children around the world. On May 12, these two luminaries will lend their efforts to the university’s signature alumni community outreach endeavor, serving as the honorary co-chairs for Yale Day of Service.

This year marks the 10th global Yale Day of Service, a program that began in 2009 with 180 sites and which has grown to more than 250 locations annually in recent years.

Yale Day of Service is an opportunity for alumni all over the world to come together and celebrate Yale’s long tradition of giving back,” said Weili Cheng ’77, executive director of the Association of Yale Alumni. “John Kerry and Marian Wright Edelman represent the very essence of service. Having them as honorary co-chairs for our 10th Day of Service is extraordinarily fitting.”

Marian Wright Edelman reading to children.
Edelman reads to a group of children from Pete Seeger and Michael Hayes’ “Abiyoyo.” (Courtesy of Johnson Publishing Co.)

Yale Day of Service is celebrating its milestone with events planned across the country and around the globe. Past service sites have spanned New Haven to New Orleans and Anchorage to Zurich, with a similar array anticipated in 2018.

More than 3,500 members of the Yale community — alumni, their families, and friends — came together for the 2017 Day of Service, representing 20 countries, 40 states, and more than 250 sites.

I often say: Service is the rent we pay for living,” said Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund. “It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time. I’m so grateful for this event that unites Yale community members across the country and world around this shared sense of purpose.”

The alumni co-chairs for the 2018 Day of Service are Elvira Duran ’05 and Matt Meade ’87, who work with a team of regional coordinators to create service opportunities for fellow alumni, family, and friends.

And while the Yale Day of Service on May 12 is the headlining day, service events are held all month long and ongoing during the year, an extension of Yalies’ dedication to serving their local areas.

John Kerry poses for a photo with workers at the Melissa Organization, a migrant aid group staffed by former migrants.
John Kerry (center), during his tenure as Secretary of State, poses for a photo with workers at the Melissa Organization, a migrant aid group staffed by former migrants, while in Athens, Greece in 2015. (Photo credit: U.S. State Department)

Giving back to our communities is a responsibility that is part of our lifelong commitment to country and citizenship. It follows us every day of our lives wherever we go, whatever we do,” said Kerry, the former U.S. Secretary of State and senator from Massachusetts. “I am grateful for Yale’s deep tradition of public service — teaching each generation of students what we can do together as a community and how we can empower one another to make an impact.”

Click here for more on how you can get involved in the 2018 Yale Day of Service.

Video: Get ready for the Yale Day of Service 2018!

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Media Contact

E.J. Crawford: ej.crawford@yale.edu, 203-436-3632