Exhibit: Women Who Dared
BiographiesMultimediaBy CityAbout WWD Jewish Gender Activism
What She Said
  Marion Stone
  Community Activist
  Chicago WWD Event 2004
  Born in 1920
  Co-founded WITS (Working In The Schools), an innovative volunteer tutoring and mentoring program which supports the education and development of children in the Chicago Public Schools.
Biography  up to top

Marion Stone was born in 1920 to immigrant parents from Russia. She grew up in the small community of Chicago Heights with railroad tracks separating the town's black and white populations. She attributes her concerns with social injustice to this early exposure. "This early sense of discrimination and poverty was a seminal experience that I took all through my life." At a time when women went to college to "find a husband," her family was insistent that she cultivate a career. After receiving a B.A. in Social Science and an M.A. in Psychiatric Social Work from the University of Chicago, she worked as a social worker in the schools and in private practice. After moving to Chicago in 1970, she spent eight years working at the Michael Reese Psychiatric Institute studying the genetic and environmental effects of schizophrenia in a research study headed by Dr. Roy Grinker. In her community she founded the community's first nursery school, participated in anti-war movements, held community and political forums in her home, and served as President of the National Council of Jewish Women and numerous other educational and cultural boards. While spending winters in Palm Springs, California, for 10 years she served as Chair of the Education Department at the Palm Springs Desert Museum. Here she developed a volunteer program bringing art instruction to the elementary schools. She created a similar volunteer program with Joanne Alter in the Chicago schools. In 1991, she began tutoring with Alter in Cabrini Green, an inner-city housing development project and home of several public schools. Thirteen years later, the project, called WITS (Working In The Schools), has grown to include 1,500 volunteers and serves 6,000 children in 26 schools in Chicago. Stone says it's been one of the best experiences of her life. "You hear people say, 'I've done that, now I'll let other people do it,' and it's not true. If you're able and capable, you have a responsibility to do what you can."

Marion Stone and her husband Jerome have six children and twelve grandchildren and live in Chicago and Palm Springs, California.

What She Said  up to top
There were only forty Jewish families in the town of 22,000 inhabitants. ...More 
I think that my parents were very anxious to be up and aware of what was going on, particularly as immigrants. ...More 

I was president of the National Council of Jewish Women in the south suburbs. That was in the 1960s. It was a very active organization with a speaker's bureau.

It became so important because the community was exposed to what was going on in these schools ...More 
[T]he teachers were very skeptical, and the principal was extremely worried because they were, you know these two fancy ladies, coming in ...More 
Multimedia  up to top
Photographs Photographs
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How to Cite This Page
For a bibliography: Jewish Women's Archive. "JWA - Women Who Dared - Biography Marion Stone." <http://jwa.org/exhibits/wwd/jsp/bio.jsp?personID=pmstone>.

For a footnote: Jewish Women's Archive, "JWA - Women Who Dared - Biography Marion Stone," <http://jwa.org/exhibits/wwd/jsp/bio.jsp?personID=pmstone>.