Howard University

Street on Howard University Campus Named for Trailblazing AKA Co-Founder

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News4’s Mark Segraves reports on the Howard University street dedicated to a pioneer in education, women’s rights and racial justice.

As Howard University prepared for homecoming weekend, officials dedicated a street on campus to a pioneer in education and advocate for women’s rights and racial justice. 

Lucy Diggs Slowe Way is now the name of a portion of 4th Street NW. 

Slowe made D.C. her home in the early 1900s. She studied and then worked at Howard, became the first female dean of women for any American university and was a co-founder of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first sorority for African American women. 

“At the School of Social Work we have always stood on her shoulders, and now we stand on her street,” Dean Sandra Edmonds Crewe said at a ceremony Friday. 

Slowe also was an accomplished athlete, winning the American Tennis Association’s first tournament in 1917. 

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Howard University President Wayne Frederick were notably absent from Friday’s ceremony. They each backed out at the last minute with no explanations. 

Phylicia Rashad, the dean of the College of Fine Arts was on hand, as was News4’s own Molette Green. 

A sign for Lucy Diggs Slowe Way can be seen at 4th Street NW and Howard Place. 

Zach Gibson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Vice President Kamala Harris, a 1986 Howard grad, smiles at a press conference at Howard in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 21, 2019.
Michael Noble Jr. for The Washington Post via Getty Images
Gloria Richardson, a leader of the Cambridge Movement to desegregate Maryland's Eastern Shore and pioneer in the male-dominated Black power movement. She entered Howard University when she was 16. Richardson died in July 2021 at the age of 99.
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Sharon Pratt, a D.C. native, was the first Black woman to be mayor of D.C., serving from 1991 to 1995. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Howard in 1965 and a law degree in 1968, her bio says.