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Congressional Record2017/06/21Senate | House | Extensions

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E861]
From the Congressional Record Online through GPO




                      IN HONOR OF LUCY DIGGS SLOWE

                                 ______
                                 

                         HON. BARBARA COMSTOCK

                              of virginia

                    in the house of representatives

                        Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Mrs. COMSTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize an extraordinary leader of women, Lucy Diggs Stowe, who has recently been honored by the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., an international sorority that she helped establish at Howard University in 1908. The ceremony took place in Berryville, the place of her birth, located in the 10th Congressional District of Virginia.

In the early part of the 20th Century, Lucy Diggs Slowe was an inspirational advocate for greater opportunity for African-American women, whose resourcefulness and resilience is reflective of the dynamic Josephine Street community where she spent her early childhood. The difficult loss of both of her parents in her youth and the obstacle of a segregated education in Virginia and Maryland did not stop Lucy Slowe from blossoming as a student and achieving greatness as an educator. Graduating second in her class from Baltimore Colored School in 1904, she was admitted to Howard University in Washington, D.C. and after graduating from Howard as class valedictorian in 1908, Lucy Diggs Slowe embarked on a stellar career as an educator, overcoming obstacles and breaking down barriers as she went. In chronological order, she taught high school English in Baltimore, studied at Columbia University during the summers and obtained a master's degree in 1915, was invited to create and lead the first junior high school for African-American students in the District of Columbia, was selected by Howard University as its first Dean of Women in 1922, and served in administrative positions at Howard for the next 15 years.

To ensure a prominent role for African-American women at traditionally black colleges, Lucy Diggs Slowe helped organize and served as the first president of the National Association of College Women, an organization dedicated to raising the standards in colleges for African-American women, developing women faculty, and securing scholarships. Slowe's passion for excellence extended beyond education to the sport of tennis, as well. In 1917, she became the first African- American woman to win a national title in any sport, when she claimed the first women's title at the American Tennis Association's national tournament in Baltimore.

While an undergraduate student at Howard, Lucy Diggs Slowe was one of nine founders of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the nation's first Greek-letter organization for African-American women and served as its first president. More than a century later, the international sorority has grown to more than 290,000 members in 997 chapters in 42 states, the District of Columbia and several U.S. territories and foreign countries. With the purpose of raising the status of African-Americans, particularly girls and women, the sorority's corps of volunteers has championed life-long learning and instituted social action initiatives and social service programs that have transformed communities for the better.

Mr. Speaker, I ask that you and our colleagues join me in honoring the extraordinary life and contributions of Lucy Diggs Slowe, a favorite daughter of Berryville, Virginia and recognizing and thanking Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., for 109 years, of proudly and successfully working to raise the status of African-American girls and women ____________________



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