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Chrystine Ramsey Shack

Educator Chrystine Ramsey Shack was born on November 18, 1926 in Memphis, Tennessee. She attended The College of New Jersey where she received her B.A. degree and earned elementary education certification. She continued her education at Rider College in New Jersey where she received her M.A. degree.

In 1952, Shack became a document custodian for Project Matterhorn B, a magnetic fusion research project under the direction of Lyman Spitzer, Jr. at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Shack was in charge of filing and transferring top secret documents at the laboratory. After Project Matterhorn, Shack went back to school to earn her Ph.D. from Rutgers University in New Jersey. In the late 1960’s, Shack began working for the New Jersey State Department of Education in Trenton. She then moved to Michigan where she worked in the Department of Vocational Education in Lansing. While in Michigan, Shack contributed a chapter to a publication funded by the Michigan Business Education Association on business curriculum. In 1981, she was named president of Highland Park Community College and was the first woman president of a community college in Michigan.

Shack has served in several capacities as a leader of The Girl Friends, Inc. including as national secretary, parliamentarian, national advisory board chair, president of the Girl Friends’ fund, national budget chair, and national president in 1978. She was profiled in the book They Made It – So Can You, showcasing her career development and was the subject of a senate concurrent resolution praising her academic accomplishments in 1981. She also served on several business associations including the United Business Education Association and chaired their Consumer Economics board.

Chrystine Shack was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 24, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.087

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/26/2010

Last Name

Shack

Maker Category
Middle Name

Chrystine

Schools

Florida Street Elementary School

Booker T. Washington High School

Wilberforce University

Rider College

Rutgers University

Trenton State College

Colorado State University

First Name

Ethel

Birth City, State, Country

Memphis

HM ID

SHA06

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Birth Date

11/18/1926

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Memphis

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Death Date

8/16/2010

Short Description

Education executive and civic leader Chrystine Ramsey Shack (1926 - 2010 ) was a member of the Project Matterhorn team at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and has served in several executive positions for the national organization, The Girl Friends, Inc.

Employment

Central State College

Hampton Institute

Bordentown Manual Training School

Princeton University

Hamilton Township Public Schools

State Department of Education

Mercer County Community College

Rider College

Rutgers University Graduate School of Education

New Jersey State Department of Education

Michigan State Department of Education

Michigan State University Graduate School of Education

Highland Park Community College

Wayne County Community College

Migrant Demonstration Schools

Trenton State College

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:21410,300:22364,319:33500,397:33998,460:43540,594:43880,626:44560,679:48810,737:62152,857:65308,887:66168,898:66512,903:78783,1020:80602,1048:83170,1070:86808,1134:93814,1222:109567,1484:114272,1509:131668,1647:145455,1791:147240,1832:148855,1856:149365,1863:154340,1958:156290,2002:160270,2053:160680,2059:166470,2117:190020,2350:191295,2384:191635,2389:202600,2491:222907,2705:223183,2710:223666,2718:223942,2723:237340,2864$0,0:13556,179:38634,358:49003,411:49731,503:94368,895:100893,954:125610,1053:131082,1161:143156,1314:144695,1340:149040,1363:150480,1392:152160,1418:161140,1469:161996,1478:163580,1489:164924,1517:172165,1570:173948,1595:182158,1669:196638,1826:196886,1831:207850,1959:214106,1980:214953,1992:216570,2014:217571,2028:223355,2049:230680,2057:256180,2175:258010,2181:258998,2195:259302,2200:262190,2247:262646,2254:262950,2259:279838,2373:281500,2395
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Chrystine Ramsey Shack's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack talks about her maternal family's roots

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack recalls her mother's career

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack talks about her father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers her early experiences of religion

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes her neighborhood in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack talks about the Great Depression

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers her maternal family's grocery store

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers her backyard

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers her family's cars

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers her parents' strict discipline

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack recalls her childhood activities

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers the Florida Street School in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes her early influences

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack talks about her extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers her early aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack talks about her experiences during World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack talks about her decision to attend Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack recalls her admission to Wilberforce University

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers the campus of Wilberforce University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes the tensions between students at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers her mentors at Wilberforce University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack recalls her social activities at Wilberforce University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers the reputation of Bishop Reverdy C. Ransom

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers her graduation from Wilberforce University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes the split between Wilberforce University and Central State College

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack recalls obtaining a secretarial position at the Hampton Institute

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers meeting her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers how she came to work for Project Matterhorn, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers how she came to work for Project Matterhorn, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers the physicists at Project Matterhorn

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes her responsibilities at Project Matterhorn

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers the women at Project Matterhorn

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack recalls her decision to leave Project Matterhorn

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack reflects upon her experiences at Project Matterhorn

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers her transition to teaching

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers teaching business courses at Hamilton High School West in Hamilton Township, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes her graduate education

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack recalls earning a Ph.D. degree at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers moving to Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes her experiences as the president of Highland Park Community College in Highland Park, Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack talks about her work with Shriners International

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack recalls joining The Girl Friends Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers her leadership positions in The Girl Friends Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes the social activities hosted by The Girl Friends Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Chrystine Ramsey reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Chrystine Ramsey Shack narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

9$3

DATitle
Chrystine Ramsey Shack remembers how she came to work for Project Matterhorn, pt. 1
Chrystine Ramsey Shack recalls joining The Girl Friends Inc.
Transcript
So in 1948, you went to Bordentown manual training school [Manual Training and Industrial School for Colored Youth] in Bordentown, New Jersey--$$Um-hm.$$--where you were secretary to the superintendent.$$Yeah.$$Okay. And, now that's near Trenton [New Jersey], I suppose that's where--. Now did you like living in New Jersey?$$I liked--loved New Jersey, uh-huh, um-hm. I wanted to go back there when we retired, but he [Ramsey Shack's husband, Arthur Shack] wanted to come to Memphis [Tennessee], so that's how we ended up here. I loved Trenton. I really did.$$Well, that's unusual because he's from New Jersey and you're from Memphis, but you would rather have lived in New Jersey, and he wanted to live in Memphis. So what did he like so much about Memphis?$$I don't know. I have no idea (laughter). But he, he's the one who came here, and left me working in New Jersey. And I ultimately came here. Well, it wasn't ultimately, I guess within a, before a year was over, I was home.$$Okay. Now, 1950, you were secretary to--you got a job with Lyman Spitzer at Princeton University [Princeton, New Jersey].$$With who?$$Lyman Spitzer, right, Dr. Lyman Spitzer at Princeton?$$Yes, and he was the Project Matterhorn director, the atomic energy research program [Project Matterhorn; Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory].$$Now how did you get this job? How did--I mean, how did you hear about that?$$I don't know. I guess I was the best thing coming down the pike (laughter) at that time. I was a good secretary, a damn good secretary. And I had to get top secret clearance to work on the job. And they had interviewed two or three other people, but they didn't pass the clearance procedure, and I did. And I guess, that's how, that's how I got it.$$You know, we know when we look back at that era that there was a lot of really, just ridiculous racial prejudice--$$Um-hm.$$--in the United States. And there's still some now. But, so I guess the question becomes even more so, how did, you know, how did you overcome that or--did--was it an issue raised by Dr. Spitzer or anybody else at the time?$$No, I never ran into a single ounce of prejudice at Princeton, not a one, not a one. When I went for the interview, I had no problem whatsoever until it came time for me to move into the Project Matterhorn office, and I hadn't gotten top secret clearance. And I couldn't work there without it. And I worked in another building completely from where Dr. Spitzer worked. And he would come over to--from Project Matterhorn to where I was and bring work to me there because I couldn't go into the building where they had the top secret, you know, investigations going on. But that didn't last long because they rushed through my clearance, you know. They, somehow they managed to get it going just like that. And I was cleared in a rather short time.$Tell me about The Girl Friends [The Girl Friends, Inc.]. How did you get involved? We don't know the date, but just tell me how you got involved with The Girl Friends?$$Yeah, I remember I was packing up maybe to leave--where was I? In Memphis [Tennessee]? No, I don't think I was in Memphis. I was moving to the Detroit [Michigan] area. I can tell you that. I don't know where I was moving from. And--$$From New Jersey, I guess, right?$$Uh-huh. And I had just gone into The Girl Friends in New Jersey. That's how. So when I moved, I affiliated with the Detroit group right away.$$Okay, so that's 1974 then.$$Um-hm.$$Yeah, that's when you moved to Lansing [Michigan]. So, okay. So you moved to Lansing and there was a chapter in Lansing?$$No, not Lansing. I moved to--when I moved to Detroit--$$Um-hm.$$--that's when I (unclear).$$Okay, and well, tell me, what are The Girl Friends about? What do they do?$$(Laughter) First of all, they're about fun, friendship. They do civic projects nationally, and I guess that's what they're about. They don't--they're not like The Links [The Links, Incorporated] at all where they're constantly asking for money. You pay dues in it, but whatever projects they have, the money, the financing of the projects must come from the dues that you pay. It's not an extra assessment like The Links, and they're not like The Links where they're constantly asking you for money, you know. Each chapter establishes its own national programs. They follow a pattern, it's true, but it's not a demand like The Links where you must put--participate in this paying. You must pay this or pay that. It's not that at all. It's really more of a fun group than it is--they do have projects, national projects, and they make wonderful contributions to, you know, community affairs. But they don't demand money like the other group does at all.$$Okay. So what kind of projects do--national projects do The Girl Friends work on or support?$$Scholarship programs with younger people coming along, I'm trying to think. Most of it is educational. They also have a, The Girl Friends have a Girl Friends Fund [The Girl Friends Fund, Inc.] where every chapter must make contributions to this fund, and then they invest that money in community affairs. I can't, I can't think of the many things they've done, though they do a lot of good work. They really do.

Diane McCoy-Lee

Diane McCoy-Lee was born on February 3, 1947 in Chicago, Illinois to Charles and Dimples McCoy. After graduation from high school in 1966, she attended the University of Southern Illinois for a brief period. McCoy then married a service man that she had known and dated since they were freshmen in high school. She earned her B.A. degree in sociology in 1981 from Chicago State University’s University Without Walls program. In 1988, McCoy earned her M.A. degree from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.

McCoy’s first observation of family violence was an incident she observed between her parents prior to their divorce. In 1978, McCoy’s life experience as a battered wife with children led her to work as a volunteer addressing the issues of battered women. She is a founding member of the Chicago Abused Women’s Coalition and served on its Board of Directors from 1978 to 1986. In 1982, McCoy developed and directed the first hospital based crisis intervention program for battered women at Jackson Park Hospital in Chicago. From 1989 through 1992, McCoy worked with the Council on Battered Women, in Atlanta, as the Client Service Manager and served as Acting Director of the agency for a brief period.

From 1990 until 1992, she served as Supervisor of Foster Care for Ada S. McKinney. From 1992 until the present, McCoy serves as curriculum writer for the Georgia Department of Human Resources – Department of Family and Child Services.

Married to Robert C. Lee since 1986, they are the parents of three adult children, one of whom is deceased, and six grandchildren. They reside in Atlanta, Georgia.

Accession Number

A2006.029

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/20/2006

Last Name

Lee

Maker Category
Middle Name

McCoy

Occupation
Schools

Holy Angels Catholic School

Doolittle Elementary School

Loretto Academy Catholic High School

Southern Illinois University

Chicago State University

University of Chicago

First Name

Diane

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

MCC07

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

Let Go And Let God.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

2/3/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Social activist Diane McCoy-Lee (1947 - ) served as client service manager with the Chicago Battered Women's Organization.

Employment

Jackson Park Hospital

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:790,12:1106,17:3081,49:3634,58:4503,113:7189,157:7742,164:13272,305:14062,322:21093,445:21488,451:25916,464:26980,484:27436,491:30520,506:31795,528:38245,687:40420,725:55764,969:56296,977:57056,990:57892,1010:58348,1019:58652,1024:60172,1065:61844,1095:63972,1190:67152,1203:68388,1218:69521,1228:72290,1243:73082,1258:75314,1304:90948,1420:91971,1434:92808,1444:93180,1449:101710,1570:108030,1683:111470,1741:118620,1755:120952,1769:121332,1775:122472,1798:126285,1850:126723,1857:127161,1864:127453,1873:128548,1896:141120,2094:141528,2102:142548,2129:143092,2138:145200,2176:146220,2196:151148,2251:152036,2266:152554,2275:152850,2280:153590,2299:159690,2385:164934,2481:165542,2492:165846,2497:166226,2503:167366,2523:167670,2528:168278,2537:168810,2546:169950,2593:175186,2614:175458,2619:176206,2633:182686,2703:187162,2731:187624,2739:187888,2744:189670,2788:190132,2796:193036,2871:193498,2879:193762,2884:195412,2931:197194,2960:197656,2968:198118,2976:198382,2981:198712,2987:199306,3006:199966,3020:200428,3028:200692,3033:201352,3046:206173,3059:206659,3066:209818,3133:210223,3140:216285,3233:219730,3276$0,0:2671,39:3027,44:9742,128:12290,175:20499,252:23127,300:24952,341:27361,399:27653,404:28018,410:43100,549:50035,745:50546,754:53320,812:54415,833:55072,846:55583,854:59855,880:60179,885:61880,910:62366,917:67226,1000:69737,1044:75134,1133:77290,1170:77598,1175:78445,1224:82372,1303:83219,1316:83681,1329:88384,1378:88902,1386:92602,1448:92898,1453:94748,1501:95192,1508:96672,1543:97412,1554:97930,1562:107054,1650:109450,1692:110010,1701:110430,1708:110710,1717:112040,1739:112460,1749:112880,1756:113370,1764:115400,1812:115960,1822:116380,1829:121848,1883:123303,1904:123788,1915:124952,1938:125631,1946:126019,1951:126795,2022:133328,2063:134318,2076:138614,2109:139158,2118:141190,2149:142615,2183:142915,2188:147000,2251:147600,2264:148560,2285:148980,2293:153833,2343:154834,2360:157006,2379:160614,2433:161188,2442:161516,2447:165114,2498:166150,2515:169258,2611:170664,2639:180573,2757:181665,2775:182393,2784:182939,2792:183940,2805:184577,2813:184941,2818:185305,2823:189870,2877
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Diane McCoy-Lee's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Diane McCoy-Lee lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Diane McCoy-Lee recalls the accident that paralyzed her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Diane McCoy-Lee describes her mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Diane McCoy-Lee describes her maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Diane McCoy-Lee describes her relationship with her father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Diane McCoy-Lee describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Diane McCoy-Lee describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Diane McCoy-Lee describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Diane McCoy-Lee remembers growing up with a handicapped mother

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Diane McCoy-Lee describes her mother's accident

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Diane McCoy-Lee recalls growing up in Chicago's Ida B. Wells Homes

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Diane McCoy-Lee describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Diane McCoy-Lee remembers the supportive community of Ida B. Wells Homes

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Diane McCoy-Lee recalls her primary education at Holy Angels Catholic School

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Diane McCoy-Lee recalls her early aspirations to better her community

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Diane McCoy-Lee describes her religious upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Diane McCoy-Lee recalls her experiences at Loretto Academy in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Diane McCoy-Lee explains her motivations for going to college

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Diane McCoy-Lee recalls President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Diane McCoy-Lee describes her experiences of racism during high school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Diane McCoy-Lee talks about Vietnam and her first husband

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Diane McCoy-Lee describes the abuse she experienced during her first marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Diane McCoy-Lee recalls divorcing and remarrying her first husband

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Diane McCoy-Lee recalls returning to Chicago and escaping her abusive husband again

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Diane McCoy-Lee recalls beginning to work with battered women while living a homeless shelter

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Diane McCoy-Lee describes her work with Greenhouse Shelter and Chicago Abuse Women's Coaltion

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Diane McCoy-Lee describes her career in social services for battered women

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Diane McCoy-Lee reflects upon her service to victims of domestic abuse

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Diane McCoy-Lee describes her work at the Division of Family and Children Services in Atlanta

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Diane McCoy-Lee reflects upon her experiences with abuse

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Diane McCoy-Lee reflects upon her life

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Diane McCoy-Lee describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Diane McCoy-Lee talks about the importance of family and her second husband

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Diane McCoy-Lee describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Diane McCoy-Lee talks about her children and grandchildren

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Diane McCoy-Lee reflects upon the importance of history

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Diane McCoy-Lee reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Diane McCoy-Lee narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Diane McCoy-Lee narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

5$7

DATitle
Diane McCoy-Lee recalls beginning to work with battered women while living a homeless shelter
Diane McCoy-Lee describes her career in social services for battered women
Transcript
Let's again fast forward to the homeless shelter with two children [Tamila Brown Taylor and Barry Brown II], and you're not wanting your children to believe that a relationship that they would have in the future should be like yours, please continue what you were telling us regarding that?$$Well, when I first got to the shelter, we were in a room with my two children. It was an old hotel, that's what it was and there a number of many fifty other people there some families, some single people. I was just at the depths of despair one night when I woke up in the middle of the night and the room was filled with moths and I started killing moths and I'm saying, "Oh my God I got my children here." I can't go to my job because he'll [McCoy-Lee's first husband, Barry Brown] find me there. They made me apply for public aid. I'd never been on public aid, never planned to be on public aid, I had a job and we had sizable income, we had savings, why? Then I was sitting outside that morning, I couldn't sleep, I went outside it was about five o'clock in the morning and the newspaper was delivered and I looked in the newspaper and my mother [Dimples Broadway Hester] had written an article to a columnist in a newspaper asking for me, what can I do, where can I get help and kind of described my situation. And I said well if my mother believes, I gotta keep going.$$Now you were in a homeless shelter but your situation was different from other homeless, jobless women there.$$Yeah, I had different issues. I was not homeless because I couldn't find a job or because I had a mental illness that made so I couldn't, you know establish myself in, in a place, I was homeless because I was in fear of my life. I was being abused. I couldn't live safely in any place because my husband was always there. And he found the shelter you know, a family member told him where the shelter was, where I was. So in a sense I wasn't even safe there. It was at that point, well I did try to have him committed and I think I mentioned to you. He broke out of the mental institution and then we went to court, the judge said he's paranoid schizophrenic but not recommended for commitment. And he left before I did. In, in, in court where I filed for divorce it was much the same thing, it took two years to get the divorce and they could not make him give me any of the savings. His attorney finally gave up and said, "I can't represent you anymore." But it was at that shelter that I saw more women coming in there who were battered women as well.$$And what did this inspire you to do?$$I started working with some people at the shelter who wanted to establish a program for battered women and used that to give me strength in working with other women. I started going with women to recover some of their belongings when they knew their husband was at work you know knowing that that was you know the only time they could get some of their belongings. I started working with women going with them to court and and working with them gave me strength and around that we organized a program for battered women and then went on to open a shelter.$$When was your divorce final?$$My divorce wasn't final, it took two years so it was about 1980, '81 [1981] before it was final.$And from a vocational perspective, you have worked with battered women for a living since your own experience?$$Yeah. Well, in Chicago [Illinois] I did keynote addresses for which I was paid. A stipend or honorarium or what have you for giving those speeches, just describing where I was and how I felt and what it took to get out of that situation for other women and for the women to understand more about this whole issue of family violence and what needed to be done. And I went from there when I came to Atlanta [Georgia] I got a job with a Chicago Abused Women's Coalition [Connections for Abused Women and their Children] in Chicago--Council on Battered Women here in Atlanta and I was a client services manager for the sixty-five bed shelter, which was the largest shelter in the State of Georgia I'm sure and I was their first client service manager. They had an old home that was donated and had enough money to add on to that home so they were able to accommodate sixty-five women and children.$$When did you come to Atlanta for that purpose?$$I came to Atlanta in '88 [1988] right after I got my master's degree.$$So throughout this time your experience from high school [Loretto Academy, Chicago, Illinois] throughout the marriage [to Barry Brown], throughout the battering period, you continued to work on your education?$$I did.$$And when did you finish your college degree and what did you major in?$$I got my bachelor's degree from Chicago State University [Chicago, Illinois] in social work. I actually went through the University Without Walls [program] getting college credits for the speeches that I was giving and the work that I did with battered women. I got my master's degree from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration [Chicago, Illinois] in, master's degree in social work in 1988. But prior to that, I started the first service for battered women in a hospital. I worked at Jackson Park Hospital [Jackson Park Hospital and Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois] from 1981 to 1986 I believe it was. And that was the first hospital based program for battered women in the State of Illinois because at that time when a woman came into hospital and she said she had been beaten by her husband, there was no documentation in the medical records of what she went through and she was just treated and sent back home, whereas that was the opportune time to offer a woman services when she came into the emergency room. You know, in addition to treating you, we have a safe place for you to go if you want to go there. And even if you don't want to go to a shelter, I can refer you to support groups where you can get some information. And that was completely staffed by volunteers at the hospital and many staff at the hospital came to that program because they were experiencing violence. They were being abused. Yeah.