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Clarice Dibble Walker

Professor and commissioner of social services, Clarice Dibble Walker was born on March 31, 1936 in Tuskegee, Alabama. She is the granddaughter of Robert Robinson Taylor, and the daughter of Helen Taylor Dibble, and Dr. Eugene Heriot Dibble, Jr. Walker is the youngest of five children. Her grandfather, Robert Robinson Taylor was born on June 8, 1868. He was the first African American to graduate with a degree in architecture from MIT in 1892. Taylor worked with Booker T. Washington as an architect at Tuskegee University from 1890 until 1930. He has designed several of Tuskegee’s most prominent buildings such as the science buildings, dormitories and the school's chapel. Helen Annetta Taylor was born on October 15, 1901 in Tuskegee, Alabama. She attended Fisk University and graduated with her B.A. in music. Walker’s father Dr. Eugene Heriot Dibble Jr., attended Atlanta University and Howard medical school. He was the head of John Andrew Hospital and served in World War II as Colonel.

Walker attended Chambliss Childrens School in Tuskegee, Alabama and Northfield High School in Massachusetts. She received her B.S. degree from Sarah Lawrence College in Westchester County, New York in 1957. Walker later obtained her M.A. degree from Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. In 1992, she served as Commissioner of Social Services for the Government of the District of Columbia. Walker has worked at Howard University as professor and department chair in the Graduate School of Social Work, Program Development in the Child Development Center, Department of Pediatrics, and the College of Medicine. She has served as visiting lecturer at Bryn Mawr School of Social Work and Social Research. In addition, she has worked as a psychiatric social worker at the University of Montreal General Hospital in Montreal Canada.

Walker has served as Chair of the Distribution Committee of the Survivors Fund, the Research Committee of Prevent Child Abuse America and the Board of Safe Shores. She has also served as Trustee for the Seed Public Charter School, Sarah Lawrence College and Howard University.
Walker is married to George H. Walker, and they have four children together.

Accession Number

A2012.065

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/1/2012

Last Name

Walker

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Dibble

Schools

Chambliss Children's House at Tuskegee Institute

St. Joseph Catholic School

Sarah Lawrence College

Columbia University

Northfield Mount Hermon School

Tuskegee Institute High School

First Name

Clarice

Birth City, State, Country

Tuskegee

HM ID

WAL18

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

Let's Move It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

3/31/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

Social work researcher Clarice Dibble Walker (1936 - ) was known for her research on socio-cultural factors involving children and families in urban environments.

Employment

District of Columbia

Bryn Mawr School of Social Work and Social Research

Howard University

Montreal General Hospital

United Planning Organization

University of Chicago

Capital Head Start, Inc.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Clarice Dibble Walker's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Clarice Dibble Walker lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about her maternal grandfather, Robert Robinson Taylor

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Clarice Dibble Walker recalls the notable families at Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about her mother's education and profession

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about her maternal grandparents' grocery store

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about her father's education and profession

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her paternal aunts and uncles, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her paternal aunts and uncles, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Clarice Dibble Walker remembers the sense of community in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Clarice Dibble Walker recalls the segregation of Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her parents' travels with Robert Russa Moton, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her parents' travels with Robert Russa Moton, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about the John A. Andrew Clinical Society, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about the John A. Andrew Clinical Society, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about her parents' careers

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Clarice Dibble Walker remembers Tuskegee, Alabama's notable families

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her experiences at Chambliss Children's House School in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Clarice Dibble Walker recalls her early interest in music

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Clarice Dibble Walker recalls Tuskegee Institute's entertainment series

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Clarice Dibble Walker remembers her teacher at St. Joseph Catholic School in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Clarice Dibble Walker recalls her teachers at the Tuskegee Institute High School in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her experiences at the Northfield School for Girls in Gill, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Clarice Dibble Walker recalls her chores at the Northfield School for Girls

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about the Tuskegee Airmen

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Clarice Dibble Walker remembers singing in the choir at Northfield School for Girls

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her experiences at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Clarice Dibble Walker recalls her experiences with segregation in the South

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about her major at Sarah Lawrence College

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Clarice Dibble Walker remembers her time at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about her field placements at Columbia University in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Clarice Dibble Walker remembers working with the City of New York Department of Welfare

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Clarice Dibble Walker recalls her first marriage and move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Clarice Dibble Walker remembers meeting her second husband, George H. Walker III

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Clarice Dibble Walker recalls protesting against Benjamin C. Willis in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about moving to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her work with Capital Head Start, Inc. in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her role as director of Capital Head Start, Inc. in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Clarice Dibble Walker remembers the Washington, D.C. riots of 1968

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about her professorship at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Clarice Dibble Walker remembers her students at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Clarice Dibble Walker reflects upon her experiences at Howard University and Tuskegee Institute

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about the National Black Child Development Institute

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Clarice Dibble Walker recalls her work with the SEED School of Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Clarice Dibble Walker reflects upon her career at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Clarice Dibble Walker recalls becoming the commissioner of the Commission on Social Services

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about September 11, 2001

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Clarice Dibble Walker reflects upon her father's legacy at the John A. Andrew Memorial Hospital in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about her children

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Clarice Dibble Walker reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Clarice Dibble Walker reflects upon her life

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$7

DAStory

2$1

DATitle
Clarice Dibble Walker talks about her field placements at Columbia University in New York City
Clarice Dibble Walker recalls becoming the commissioner of the Commission on Social Services
Transcript
So, you graduated in--from Sarah Lawrence [Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York] in, what's it--$$Nineteen fifty-seven [1957].$$Fifty-seven [1957], okay.$$Um-hm.$$And so you went--did you go immediately to graduate school afterwards?$$Yes.$$Okay. All right.$$I went to Columbia [Columbia University].$$Okay. So, this is where you go to Columbia in New York City [New York, New York] and so what was your major?$$I went into psychiatric social work.$$Okay.$$And I did a field placement first year in public welfare in New York City, which was very different. I learned to go all over the Bronx [New York] and everywhere. And my field placement was the first year in the department of welfare [City of New York Department of Welfare; City of New York Department of Social Services], so that meant I was in the home visiting and working with people who were on welfare. And then my second year, I was at the Columbia University Presbyterian Hospital [Columbia Presbyterian Hospital; New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York] in the Department of Psychiatry.$$Now, were these--I mean, was it hard to adjust to New York City and, and the, the--you know, the, the real deep urban problems of New York City all at once? 'Cause you, you grew up in Tuskegee [Alabama] in a family like atmosphere, you go to New England to bucolic colleges (laughter), and then you go--you--all, all of the sudden you're in--$$In New York City.$$Yeah.$$Yeah, it was, although I had--you know, I knew a little bit about New York City because we'd go from Bronxville [New York] into New York on the train and we'd go back and forth a lot 'cause it was a short trip. But it, it was very much--it was different for me when I went to Columbia and had my field placement in public housing. And by public housing, I was really trying to work with people who didn't have jobs and, of course, being in New York making home visits is very different in the sense that you may be going to twelve, fifteen story walkup buildings. So, it was difficult but I enjoyed it. And--I shouldn't say I enjoyed it, but I, I learned a lot about the people. I became friends with some of them. And when I say friends, I don't mean I was--I was friends in the sense of they viewed me as being a person that wanted to help. Sometimes they didn't want my help because it meant they'd have to go back to work and that sometimes was problematic. But, I learned a lot. It was a totally new experience as you point out, you know, being in this big city after I'd been in small towns and so forth. But, I, I enjoyed my work very much and I learned a lot.$$Okay. So, did you have--were there any particular instructors or people you met along the way in the, the department of welfare that guided you?$$Yes and I'm--well, I had that first year in, in public welfare and then the second year--right now, I can't think of the names of my two people who were supervising me, but in the second year, I was in the Department of Psychiatry at--they've changed the name of the hospital, but it's the big Columbia University hospital. And I learned a lot and I enjoyed being in an interdisciplinary area because we worked a lot with different disciplines in the hospital.$$Okay.$$And, of course, I was familiar with hospitals since I'd (laughter) grown up in one practically [John A. Andrew Memorial Hospital, Tuskegee, Alabama], but this was a much, much bigger place.$Well, go, go ahead and tell us about that, the, the 9/11 [September 11, 2001] victims of (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Well, I was just gonna say that volunteer life has been a very big part of my life, and I have worked on numerous boards here in the city and I will tell you that another experience that we haven't talked about is the fact that, before I get to 9/11, is that I went on loan from Howard University [Washington, D.C.] to be the commissioner of social services in the District of Columbia [Washington, D.C.].$$Okay. And what, what year is this? Do you remember?$$I'll think about it. I'll tell you in a minute. I was at Howard and there was a lawsuit brought against the District of Columbia called LaShawn v. the District of Columbia [sic.], and it was filed by the ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union], and the lawsuit, the plaintiffs asked me to serve as an expert witness in their case in the courts of the district, which I did, and I testified against the District of Columbia, and the lawsuit was won. Subsequently, the mayor of the district called me and said since I had been so vehement about the problems of the system, would I accept a job of commissioner of social services?$$Now, who was the mayor at that--$$Sharon Pratt Kelly [HistoryMaker Sharon Pratt].$$Okay.$$And I did that. And I went to, to this--to the child welfare division even though I had responsibilities for other services in the commission [Commission on Social Services], and it was really worse than I imagined it would be. But, we worked on it, worked on it, and worked on it, and it's still in progress, a work in progress. But, I did do that for three years. And while I was there, I was contacted by Freddie Mac [Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation], the corporation Leland Brendsel [Leland C. Brendsel], who said that they were interested in working with us and what could they do. And we established a partnership with Freddie Mac. The agency was in total disarray. They not only contributed funding for us, but actually put staff in the commission in order to help us just find out where children were, who they were, who their parents were, and so we established a terrific partnership with Freddie Mac, the Freddie Mac Foundation. And when I left the commission, they asked me to join the board of the Freddie Mac Foundation, and I have served on that board ever since.$$Okay. So, so how long--how long have you been on the board of Freddie, Freddie Mac Foundation? Do, do you know or do you have a--$$Since I left the commission--$$Okay.$$--which must've been ten years now.$$Okay.$$Yeah.$$So that's about two- 2002, I guess or so, about the time you retired from Howard, I guess, just about, yeah. Okay (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yeah.$$What--$$So--$$Oh--$$--that has continued.