Photo: Getty
  /  10.16.2022

Civil rights pioneer Jean McGuire is on the mend after being stabbed multiple times in Boston in what authorities have called an unprovoked attack. 

According to PEOPLE, McGuire and her dog Bailey were on a walk in Playstead Park around 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday (Oct. 11) when she was approached and stabbed five times by an unidentified person.

It is believed that Bailey helped McGuire fend off her attacker. “She was kicking him in the nuts while Bailey was working him over. And he tried to run, and the dog chased him. And [the attacker] disappeared out of sight,” Jeriline Brady-McGinnis, McGuire’s friend, told The Boston Globe.

McGuire, 91, suffered non-life-threatening injuries. She was transported to a hospital, where she remains. Her attacker is also believed to have suffered an injury during the ordeal.

In 1981, the education activist made history when she became the first Black woman to join the Boston School Committee. She also served as the former director of the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, the nation’s leading voluntary school desegregation program.

Her family released a statement on Friday (Oct. 14), expressing gratitude for the outpouring of support. In part, they thanked all of “the doctors and dedicated health workers who are assisting in her recovery … people in the greater Boston area, across Massachusetts, and around the world.”

It also included a message from McGuire. “We as a community can never forget that we need to stand together and continue working to empower our children through learning. We are at our best as a people; when it’s about ‘we’ not ‘me.’ I love you all and I will see you soon,” she wrote. 

The family is in the process of establishing a nonprofit fund to educate children in the greater New England area. A formal announcement is forthcoming. Those moved to support Jean’s legacy are advised to send donations to the nonprofit in the coming weeks.

See how people online have responded to the news of McGuire’s brutal attack.

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