Dr. Marilyn Monteiro grew up in the South End of Boston. During her college years at UMass Boston and her graduate school years at Harvard, she — along with many other community activists and organizers — fought against gentrification in the South End under the leadership of Mel King. Marilyn did her doctoral dissertation on the important role of The Freedom House in Roxbury during the late1960s and early-to-mid 1970s Boston school desegregation struggle. After completing her Masters and Doctoral degrees at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1981, she moved to the Midwest, where she raised her son and worked as an assistant professor and administrator at the University of Northern Iowa and then at Northern Illinois University.

Marilyn returned to the Boston area in 1997 and, having come out as a lesbian in Iowa, decided to move to Jamaica Plain because she heard there was a large lesbian community living here. She worked as a Program Specialist and then as a state coordinator of the Massachusetts Institute for New Teachers program at the Massachusetts Department of Education’s Adult and Community Learning Services until she retired in 2007.

After a very serious auto accident in the spring of 2014, followed by a brief hospitalization and several months of rehabilitation, Marilyn was finally able to return home. Always a very active and high-energy person, she felt alone and isolated as she struggled to recover from her extensive injuries.

Marilyn learned about Ethos when she needed home services, and then was invited to join JP@Home by fellow member Penny Yunuba. True to her lively and active nature, Marilyn is now involved in JP@Home’s Social and Support Programs Committee, the Living Alone group, the Reading Aloud group, and Dining Out, and hopes more people of color join the program.