McDuffie Introduces Legislation to Build Statues of Women and People of Color from the District of Columbia

McDuffie Introduces Legislation to Build Statues of Women and People of Color from the District of Columbia

Among the Local Heroes to be Honored are a Groundbreaking Surgeon, a Military Hero, Trailblazing Educators, and a Renowned Musician

Washington, DC – Today, Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie, Chair Pro Tempore and Chair of the Committee on Business and Economic Development, introduced the Diverse Native Washingtonians Commemorative Works Amendment Act of 2019 [B23-0233]. This legislation builds upon Councilmember McDuffie’s successful effort during 2017 and 2018 to secure funding for a statue of Charles Hamilton Houston, a native Washingtonian, legal genius, and civil rights lawyer. The latest legislation names four Washingtonians to be honored and provides for additional people to be honored, including those who may have migrated to the District from abroad.

With introduction of this legislation, Councilmember McDuffie said:

“While the District is rightly known for its memorials and statues, the makeup of the people we honor does not accurately reflect the beautiful diversity that is Washington, DC. When women and people of color, particularly young people, walk around the District of Columbia, it is critical that they be able to see images of themselves in the people we honor.”

Prominent Washingtonians named in the legislation to be honored include:

  • Charles Drew – An accomplished surgeon who invented the method of storing blood that is still used to this day.
  • Rose Greely – The first woman in Washington to be licensed as an architect.
  • Mary P. Burrill –Teacher of English and dramatics at Dunbar High and an influential playwright. She was also partner of Lucy Diggs Slowe.
  • Shaed sisters: Alice, Helen, Dorothy, Eunice, and Ernestine Shaed – Prominent family of educators essential to creating the public education system in the District.