A self-proclaimed radical working for peace and social justice, Dorothy Hughes’ concerns about the isolation and disarray of American families led to a variety of events, programs and numerous efforts to reshape relevant public policy.
Her efforts began while working on her master’s degree and raising eight children. She also taught disadvantaged youth and was active in the peace movement opposing involvement in Vietnam. Her move to Marin in 1969 began a career with the Mental Health Association that has included developing a comprehensive community care system for mental health clients such as Marin Lodge, Buckalew and Avanti houses; preventative services such as Suicide Prevention and the Canal Children’s Center; and community action programs such as stop-bys for latch-key children. These programs are part of a network that assists people with mental health problems and addresses the concerns that led to the formation of the “Campaign for a Healthier Community.”
Dorothy Hughes was always there to organize, chair or serve on important Marin-based groups devoted to human rights, mental health, children and older people at the local, state and federal levels. Her fond hope was that there would one day be a progressive national policy on children and families.