Ruth Bateson

Ruth Batson


Ruth Bateson is best known for her successful fight to help desegregate the Boston School System.  

Inspired by her mother’s interest in civil rights, Ruth Bateson became the Chairman of the Public Education Sub-Committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1953. In the early 1960s, she challenged the Boston School Committee regarding segregation in their schools. In addition to the Boston Public Schools being largely segregated, she found a correlation between schools with high black enrollments and inadequate school facilities.   

After serving as chairwoman of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) from 1963 to 1966, Ruth helped launched the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) voluntary desegregation program. As a member of the leadership team, she helped grow METCO from transporting 225 black urban children in 1966 to a program that continues today.