Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Girl Scout Trailblazer Leaves Behind Lasting Legacy

Alice R. Calloway, an activist for racial justice, and one of the founding members of the first African-American Girl Scout Troops south of the Mason-Dixon Line, died recently at her Westminster-Canterbury, Virginia residence - She was 90.

Mrs. Calloway once told a reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “I wanted to be a Girl Scout in the worst way.” Her dreams were realized in the summer of 1932 when, at the age of 14, in the midst of the Great Depression, she helped establish Troop No. 34. Richmond, Virginia, at the time, became the first city in the South to offer a Girl Scouting program to African-American girls.

Mrs. Calloway was a trailblazer in her own right as she helped desegregate Richmond during the civil-rights movement. Her efforts for integration began during the summer of 1932 as a 14-year-old, in the midst of the Great Depression.