Women’s Hall of Fame

Emily Marks Skilnick

EMILY MARKS SKILNICK has been pursuing her passion for human rights, equality and economic justice since she was a young girl in Des Moines, Iowa. She was graduated from Wellesley College in 1937, Phi Beta Kappa, majoring in Labor Economics. Emily had a career doing Field Studies in the Social & Economic areas from 1938-1943 and has been engaged in volunteer activities over 60 years. During the 1940s Emily fought for school desegregation helping instigate what became the landmark case Brown vs the Board of Education. In 1946 she and her husband moved to San Mateo where she helped found the COOP Nursery School and organized a pilot preschool program which preceded the nationwide Headstart Movement. She was deeply involved in the desegregation of the San Mateo Union High School District in the 1950s. In 1958 Emily spearheaded another field study which led to passage of the San Mateo City Fair Employment Practices Ordinance, building support for the State Fair Employment Practices Act. Emily helped launch the Lawrence Child Care Center, providing a referral service for child care facilities. She worked to establish the local chapter of the ACLU in 1978. Emily has always championed minorities, women and children. Emily is a devoted mother to three adult children and loving wife for 56 years.
*This biography and photo of the honoree was published in .

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