Howard University honors Lucy Diggs Slowe legacy with street designation ceremony

WASHINGTONHoward University is proud to join the Lucy Diggs Slowe Society for the name change of 2400 block of 4e NW Street at Lucy Diggs on Slowe Way Friday October 22 at 1:00 p.m..

Lucy Diggs Slowe has had an impact on education, feminist studies, organizational development, race politics, philosophy and sports. Renaming a street in her honor builds on the growing interest in women’s movements. In an age when more black women than ever are running for and winning political office, and black women are seen as one of the most trusted voting blocs, it is essential that we understand the tradition from which women black women are emerging as agents of change. This public celebration of Slowe’s life challenges the notion of invisibility of black women.

“This is an incredible time in history where we have the opportunity to cement the legacy of Lucy Diggs Slowe in the landscape of the Nation’s Capital and Howard Campus,” said Wayne AI Frederick, MD, president of Howard University. “She was a tremendous leader who had a huge impact on the Howard University community and transformed the way we understand the role women play in our society.”

Slowe helped transform teaching and learning wherever she worked. As an educator, she taught in Baltimore, Maryland, before returning to Washington, DC, where she established and ran the district’s first college while advocating for equity in higher education. Eventually, she joined the faculty of Howard University as the first female dean in 1922.

As Dean, Slowe honed her ability to lead, learn, and envision better quality education for black women within a male-centered and controlled institution. She studied procedures developed by deans of other universities and created procedural standards specific to Howard’s administration. She was the visionary behind the $ 770,000 investment in women’s dormitories built in the 1930s, attracting national attention and tourists.

Slowe graduated as a Major from Howard University in 1908. In addition, she was the founder and first president of three national organizations, including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Slowe was an active member of at least eleven community organizations that still exist today. While in Washington, she held leadership positions with the National Youth Administration (NYA), the National Council of Negro Women, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the World Young Women’s Christian Association, from the Community Chest (later known as United Way), the National Association of University Women and the International Women’s League for Peace and Freedom.

In sports, Slowe was the first black woman to win a national title in a major sport and became a 17-time American Tennis Association champion. She has also served as president and member of the Howard University Women’s Tennis Club.

In addition to renaming this part of Fourth Street, there will also be banners in four locations:

  • West corner of Howard Place and 4th Street in honor of Slowe’s position as Howard’s first female dean;
  • The Howard Middle School at Fourth and Howard Place, NW, (former Miner Hall) for being a founder and first president of the first Black Sorority – Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc .;
  • West corner of Fourth and College Street for being an educational leader and lawyer in the District of Columbia, where she organized the first black high school; and
  • At the east corner of Fourth Street and College Street in honor of Slowe’s achievements as an athlete.

Howard University Designation Ceremony Lucy Diggs Slowe Street

Reception: Provost Anthony K. Wutoh 1:05 p.m.

Howard University

Notes: Dean Phylicia Rashad 1:10 p.m.

Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts

Notes: Dean Sandra Crewe 1:15 p.m.

Howard University School of Social Work

Notes: President Roxanne Aaron 1:20 p.m.

American Tennis Association

Hall of Fame Announcement: President Bruce Williams 1:25 p.m.

Bison Express

Closing remarks: Mayor Muriel Bowser 1:30 p.m.

Washington DC

Lucy Diggs Slowe Way street sign unveiling


About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private research university that includes 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 degree programs leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to excellence in truth and service and has produced one Schwarzman Fellow, three Marshall Fellows, four Rhodes Fellows, 12 Truman Fellows, 25 Pickering Fellows and over 165 Fulbright Fellows. Howard also produces more African American doctorates on campus. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit

Media contact: Aaliyah Butler; [email protected]

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