The Reverend Dr. Ruby Reese Moone
The Reverend Dr. Ruby Reese Moone is a Rockville, Maryland, resident who has dedicated her life to civil rights. Born in segregation-era Georgia in 1938, Rev. Moone was the sixth of ten children born to Alexander Reese, Sr., and Annie Bundridge Reese. She did not attend school often as a child because she and her siblings would help their parents, who were sharecroppers, chop and pick cotton. Despite her attendance record (or perhaps because of it), Rev. Moone was a diligent student and excellent reader, skipping several grades as a child and excelling in high school.
One of Rev. Moone’s earliest experiences with racism was having to walk seven miles each way to and from her segregated school while White students rode the bus. Rev. Moone’s experiences of poverty and systemic racism motivated her to attend college to help her family, church, and community. She majored in sociology and pre-professional social work. Upon graduation in 1959, Rev. Moone worked in Georgia as a high school counselor.
Rev. Moone’s political advocacy began at the height of the civil rights movement in the American south. In partnership with her late husband, she started working with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She participated in the demonstrations across the south, including the Selma to Montgomery marches that inspired the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Rev. Moone and her late husband organized efforts to register people to attend the March on Washington, which sparked her interest in moving to the Washington, D.C. area. The couple first moved to Charles County, then to Prince George’s County, and eventually settled in Montgomery County. Rev. Moone was hired as a guidance counselor at Poolesville High School, where she worked for forty years. Rev. Moone and her late husband helped to establish the Montgomery County Maryland chapter of the NAACP and the Maryland State Unit of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Rev. Moone’s work has been immensely impactful for Maryland students and youth. While at Poolesville High, Rev. Moone authored a proposal for Montgomery County Public Schools to open a career center to assist students preparing to enter the workforce. Rev. Moone was the first female chair of the Montgomery County Dr. Martin Luther King Commemorative Committee and the Maryland State President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
The Ruby Reese Moone Foundation, established after Rev. Moone’s retirement, helps low-income college students pay for textbooks.
Dr. Moone has received many honors and awards including the Woman of Distinction, induction into The Montgomery County Maryland Human Rights Hall of Fame, and recognition as one of five National Women of the Dream. She was a special invitee to the White House under President Bill Clinton and was an official guest at the White House when President George H. Bush signed the No Fear Act.
Rev. Moone was married to the late Rev. James Clark Moone, Ph.D., for forty years. Rev. Moone has two daughters and six grandsons.
"We are commissioned to elevate all the people.” (Derived from The Holy Bible, The Great Commission, Matthew 28:19-20)
Biography courtesy of the Maryland Commission for Women, 2020.