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Jean McGuire

Source: Paul Marotta / Getty

Civil rights leader and activist Jean McGuire was stabbed by an unknown attacker while walking her dog in Boston Park on Oct. 11.

The violent attack happened around 8:30 p.m. as McGuire and her pet, Bailey, walked in Playstead Park in Jamaica Plains.

The assailant reportedly approached the activist and stabbed her several times, leaving her unconscious.

McGuire, 91, “was transported to a local hospital where she was treated for non-life-threatening injuries,” according to a press release by Boston Police. “Preliminary investigation reveals that the suspect may have been injured during this attack.”

Police additionally shared their belief that Bailey may have injured the attacker by attempting to protect McGuire, according to PEOPLE.


Jean McGuire Sheds Insight In The Aftermath Of Her Attack

McGuire is both a civil rights advocate and a pioneer in education.

She is the first Black social worker to work in Boston Public Schools, the first Black woman elected to the Boston School Committee, and a co-founder of a school desegregation program called METCO. 

The latter, also known as the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, was founded in the 1960s, per PEOPLE’s details.

While speaking with reporters at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, McGuire discussed fending off her attacker and those who came to her aid.

“You’re angels without wings, I’ll tell you that,” McGuire told The Boston Globe about those who got her medical assistance. “Their parents should be so proud that they cared enough to get help because somebody’s laying on the street bleeding.”

“I used the training I had — which I do with my staff — to protect myself when somebody attacks my body,” she explained on aiming for the attacker’s groin. “That was my foot and my knee and…”

Ultimately, McGuire said she wants to know what her attacker was thinking.

“I always want to find out why you’re so angry,” she said. “Or why you want to hurt somebody else. That’s something that becomes a foundation of why people go to war at the national and international level … This issue of putting money into weaponry instead of into homes, and roads, health care and dental care, good food, grass and trees, you know, animals. Things that make you happy.”

“For life, not death. It’s always got to be for life,” McGuire added. “It’s got to be for the future.”

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