Over 40 years in the struggle to end poverty in America

Marian Kramer has been in the front lines of the welfare rights and civil rights movement from its origin in the 1960s. She is Co-chair of the National Welfare Rights Union (NWRU) an organization of, by, and for the poor in America. She is a leader in the struggle to turn water back on for up to 45,000 low-income Detroit families who had their shut off for non-payment. She was a recipient of the Purpose Award for Americans leading with experience.

For decades she has fought government programs such as "workfare"; defended poor women against unjust prosecution for "welfare fraud"; and led electoral campaigns to elect the victims of poverty to political office. She has helped organize "summit meetings" of grass-roots leaders of poor people's movements, housing takeovers by people without homes, and efforts to unionize in the South. She is the recipient of numerous awards for community service, and known as a mentor to college students fighting poverty. Today, she retains her commitment to end poverty in America by empowering the poor, and especially women, as the leaders. In her inspirational lectures, she takes a stand for a new morality and a new America - where the guarantee of health, happiness and a full cultural life is a right.

Marian Kramer is a contributor to "For Crying Out Loud: Women's Poverty in the United States," a book about the commonality of poverty and solutions.

Other Activities :

Delegate to the NGO Forum on Women in Beijing. Attended as part of the largest delegation of Black American women sponsored by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the National Council of Negro Women. Participant in the African American Women's Caucus and the first-ever Women of Color Caucus at an international Conference.
Arrested for civil rights, welfare rights, housing take overs with Patricia Ireland of the National Organization of Women, (NOW), for protests in Washington, D.C.; Speaker at the "March for Women's Lives",
Organizer of Detroit's tent city protests of homeless and welfare recipients against Michigan Governor Engler's elimination of General Assistance
Organizer of the Michigan Welfare Rights March against Budget Cuts


Board Member, National Board of National Anti-Hunger Coalition; Staff person, CORE in the 1960's in Louisiana and in Detroit; Founding member, Black Panther Party in Detroit Michigan which helped get youth involved in the community;

Founding member, League of Revolutionary Black Workers which laid the foundation for more blacks and women to be included in certain jobs and positions of the United Auto Workers and in the auto plants; Organizer, Welfare Workers for Justice based in New York, 1975; Staff member, CETA, Wayne County Welfare Rights Organization; Paralegal, Wayne County Neighborhood Legal Services; President, Michigan Welfare Rights Organization for 8 years, 1982-1989; Member, UAW, District Council 65 until Governor Engler cut the funds for the program; Board Member, League of Revolutionaries for a New America


Speaker, Expo, 96, organized by the Feminist Majority; Speaker, "March for Women's Lives", organized by National Organization of Women (NOW), 1995; U.S. Representative, Executive Commission of the Continental Front of Community Organizations (FCOC), Dominican Republic, an urban poor people's organization based in the Americas and in the Caribbean; Delegate, Seventh Pan African Congress in Kampala, Uganda in April, 1994. Speakers at the pre-Woman Conference;

Recipient, Letelier-Moffit National Award for Human Rights from the Institute for Policy Studies, October 1993; Speaker, NOW March on Washington in 1992; Keynote Speaker, NOW Conference, June 1992; Participant, National Poor Women's Conference, Oakland, California, 1992; Participant, National Tribunal in Washington, D.C. in 1991;

Organizer, 1989, the first National Survival Summit, National Up and Out of Poverty Now; Participant, Housing NOW March in 1989, where homeless people from Tompkins , ./ Square Park Tent City marched from New York to Washington, D.C. under the slogan "No Housing, No Peace;"participant and an Organizer, Michigan Welfare Rights Organization's "No Heat, No Peace" campaign when four children died because their heat was shut off. As a result gas was kept on for the poor through the winter;

Participant, National Youth Survival Summit, Minneapolis, Minnesota where students, welfare recipients and homeless youth hammered out a poor people's agenda for youth;

Participant, National Anti-Hunger Coalition in Louisiana in 1991 where over 300 people agreed to a program to eliminate hunger in America.