Community and civil rights activist Jean Alice Kennedy was born in 1935 in Sioux City, Iowa. In 1956 she married John L. (Jack) Schneiders, and continued her community activism while raising their six children, born between 1957 and 1968. The couple moved to Davenport in 1963 where Jack Schneiders worked for the Internal Revenue Service and both became active members of the Davenport Catholic Interracial Council (CIC). During the 1960s, Jack Schneiders focused much of his attention on efforts to pass and enforce fair housing legislation at the state and local level, working with Davenport civil rights leaders Charles Toney (president of the Davenport CIC) and Bill Cribbs (president of the Davenport NAACP). In 1969, Jack Schneiders was elected president of the Davenport CIC, a position he held until the Schneiders family moved to Urbandale, Iowa, in 1970.