Oral History with Francesca Benson
By law, Francesca Benson (then Stonaker) had to stop teaching when she adopted her children. In 1969, she joined the central New Jersey Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and was soon drawn into a committee tasked with setting up full-time day nursery. Alongside fellow activists, Francesca found and lost premises, recruited teachers, and enrolled the first crop of University NOW Day Nursery (UNOW) students. In this interview, Francesca remembers the hard yet rewarding work of founding a school and reflects on the arc of women’s rights in the past five decades.