Lois Lucas Williams grew up in Hallison, North Carolina. She came to Greensboro in 1960, where she attended Bennett College. While there, Williams helped establish the Greensboro chapter of CORE and was elected as the organization’s public relations director in 1962. She helped organize and participated in many of the sit-ins, pickets, and boycotts which took place in the early sixties. Her last involvement in the civil rights demonstrations was the 1963 March on Washington.
While a student at Bennett, Williams also worked at L. Richardson Hospital. After graduation in 1964 she moved to New York, where she trained as a medical technologist at the Public Service Health Hospital in Staten Island. She then worked as a research biochemist at Hoffman-Laroche in Nutley, New Jersey. She later sued the company for racial discrimination and won a promotion to market research analyst.