Dorothy Boulding Ferebee (1897-1980) was a physician and civic activist who founded Southeast Settlement House in Southeast DC and led several local and national organizations.

Born in Norfolk, Virginia, and raised in Massachusetts, Dorothy Celeste Boulding earned her M.D. at Tufts University School of Medicine and moved to Washington to intern at Freedmen's Hospital. In 1927 she became an obstetrics clinician associated with Howard University Medical School, and in 1930 she married Dr. Claude Thurston Ferebee, a professor at Howard University College of Dentistry.

Ferebee made her mark on Washington in several ways. In 1929 she founded Southeast Settlement House, at Third St. and Virginia Ave., SE, to provide recreation and daycare for the children of working women and was the only facility of its type in Southeast DC. She also served as vice president of the Washington Urban League and of the Medico-Chirurgical Society of the District of Columbia.

At the national level Ferebee succeeded founder Mary McLeod Bethune as president of the National Council of Negro Women (1949-1953). She served as tenth president of the sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha (1939-1942). As medical director of AKA's Mississippi Health Project between 1935 and 1942, she coordinated the provision of basic medical services to the families of tenant farmers and sharecroppers in the Jim Crow South.

Ferebee and her family lived at 1809 Second Street, NW.

In 1990 Washington Highland Elementary School, at 3999 Eighth Street, SE, was renamed to honor Ferebee and also Marion Conover Hope.


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