Barbara Ruth Lichtenstein was a 1943 graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School, and in 2003, she received a bachelor's degree from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. She moved to Martha's Vineyard from Washington in 2008.
Barbara Bick married Leon Bick after WWII. They lived for a time in Northern California. They had three children together, and were divorced in 1966.
Communist Party activism
Barbara Bick, was identified as a member of the Communist Party USA, in sworn testimony before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1951. She was a local leader of Women's Strike for Peace (WSP), which was almost completely controlled by Communist Party members and supporters. Another of her causes the Peoples Coalition for Peace and Justice (PCPJ), was citedby the House Committee on Internal Security as being dominated by the Communist Party.
Women Strike for Peace
Bick was a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in the 1970s, and served on the board of Institute for Women's Policy Research for over a decade. In 1972 Bick and several other fellows left IPS to found a "more activist" think tank, the Public Policy Resource Center. Bick was also co-director of the National Conference of State and Local Public Policies, an organization of progressive elected officials from around the United States.
Mental health advocacy
In 1985, Bick was Founding President of Friends of St. Elizabeth's, the only Federal psychiatric hospital. She was appointed to the D.C. State Mental Health Planning Council by three different mayors.
Bick spent much of the 1990s working on behalf of the women of Afghanistan in association with NEGAR and other organizations. In 2001, she was visiting Afghanistan to report on the status of women in the territories held by the Northern Alliance when their leader, Ahmed Shah Massoud was murdered two days before 9/11. Bick chronicled this experience in her book "Walking The Precipice."