Remembering Ronald W. "Ron" Walters, Ph.D. (July 20, 1938 – September 10, 2010) - American Author, Speaker and Renowned Scholar of African-American Politics

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It has been nine years since Dr. Ronald W. Walters joined the ancestors. Since that time, we have been working to ensure that his contributions to Howard University and to the global black community are preserved in history.


One of the first steps taken by Mrs. Patricia Turner Walters, his widow, was to create an endowed scholarship in his name at Howard University. Friends contributed funds in his memory, and Mrs. Walters contributed additional funds for the $10,000 needed to create an endowed scholarship. Since an endowed scholarship can only issue funds from the interest earned, Mrs. Walters created another scholarship fund so she could immediately start awarding scholarships.


In 2013, the first Ronald Walters Scholarship was awarded to Brittney Ewing a native of Mableton, GA during the Ronald Walters Legacy Conference, sponsored by the newly established Ronald W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center. Since that time,  five scholarships have been awarded to political science undergraduates at Howard University.


Will you help us continue to build on the legacy of Dr. Walters by providing financial support for the next generation of scholar-activists?  Please use this link to make your tax-deductible on-line contribution to the Ronald Walters Scholarship Fund: - Click on Designation, Other (Ronald Walters Scholarship Fund).


You may also contribute to the work of the Walters Center by making an online contribution. Be certain to specify the Ronald Walters Scholarship Fund or Walters Center. Please send us a notification of your contribution to so that we may acknowledge receipt. 


It is with collaboration, volunteer assistance and financial support from friends like you that we have been able to sustain and grow the Walters Center.  I am excited to be back at the Center after taking a sabbatical year at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.  I thank Dr. Michael K. Fauntroy for serving as acting director, Mrs. Patricia Walters for continued service as chair of our advisory board and to President Wayne A.I. Frederick and Provost Anthony Wutoh for their support of the Center.


We are kicking off this academic year with a School Choice Forum on Wednesday, September 11, 6:30 p.m. at Metropolitan AME Church. (You should have received a flyer last week.) This forum, a collaborative project with other Howard University Departments and programs, is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. We are planning other programs and events for this academic year that you will want to attend.  Look for information in future mailings from the Walters Center.


With Warm Regards,


Elsie L. Scott, Ph.D.

Director, Ronald W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center

Howard University



Announcement - Michael K. Fauntroy, Ph.D.


Dear Friends of the Walters Center,


I write to introduce myself to you as the Acting Director of the Ronald Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center. I am filling in for Dr. Elsie L. Scott through the end of this academic year. I will continue Dr. Scott’s work during my time here as acting director and look forward to her return next year.


I am a son of Howard having earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political science. I took courses from Dr. Walters and had the honor of his service on my dissertation committee. An even bigger honor for me was contributing a chapter to his 2010 co-edited book Democratic Destiny and the District of Columbia: Federal Politics and Public Policy. Three years later, I joined the Howard political science faculty after 11 years as a public policy professor at George Mason University. I am very proud to be affiliated with the Center.


Going forward, we are planning a number of events this year that we hope you can attend. There are two events in particular that I want you to know about. First, the Walters Center and the Department of Political Science are hosting Professor Sharon Austin on Wednesday, October 10 at 10:00 a.m. She will discuss her new book, The Caribbeanization of Black Politics: Race, Group Consciousness, and Political Participation in America. The event will be held in the Founders Library Browsing Room.


The second event, also co-sponsored with the Department of Political Science, is a post-election roundtable discussion. "Sisters in the Struggle: Black Women and the November 2018 Elections," will be held on Tuesday, November 13 at 3:00 p.m. in the Founders Library Browsing Room. CNN reporter Nia-Malika Henderson will moderate a discussion with three Howard University political science faculty members: Dr. Niambi Carter, Dr. Keneshia Grant, and Dr. Keesha Middlemass. 


We hope you can join us for one or both events and look forward to your continued support of the Walters Center.


Excellence in Truth and Service,


Michael K. Fauntroy, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Political Science

Acting Director, Ronald
W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center

Howard University


In Memoriam

Ronald V. Dellums, Former Visiting Fellow, Ronald W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center


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Ronald V. Dellums served as the first Visiting Fellow at the Ronald W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center during the 2013-2014 school year. The Visiting Fellowship is designed to bring former public officials to the Center to share experiences with the Howard University community. Mr. Dellums was the ideal candidate because he served as the U.S. Representative for the 13th Congressional District of California for 27 years and as Mayor of the city of Oakland, California for one term. During his service in Congress, he was known for his outspoken activism around many issues, including antiwar and peace and the anti-apartheid movement. He served as Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, using that platform to highlight the needs and policy agendas of the African American community and of his Bay Area constituents.

During the year he spent at the Walters Center, he actively engaged with students who were curious about the political movements that he had lived through and his role in bringing about political change. Students, undergraduate, graduate and professional students sought him out to speak with him about their research, their political ambitions and about being a black man in the United States. He had sessions with the male students in Drew and Carver Halls. Professors from the Law School various departments in the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Social Work requested his participation as a guest lecturer in their classes.

After his Black History Month speech at the Blackburn Center, students waited in line for up to an hour to get an autographed book and meet this giant of a legend. He generously donated copies of his book, Lying Down with the Lions, to the University for distribution to students. Each student in the classes where he lectured received a copy of the book, and students who attended lectures also received the book.

He was old enough to be a grandfather or even great grandfather to many students, but he was able to relate to them. The characterized him as a “cool dude.”

He did not write the reflection paper on his years of public service as we requested, but we did get tapes of some of his speeches and interviews.  They will become a part of the archives of the Walters Center.

One of the things that he stressed to the students who were interested in public service was not losing a connection to your family. He said he regretted spending so much time doing the “people’s work” and not spending enough time with his family. We remember his children and express our sincere condolences to them and to his wife, Cynthia. He loved his family and hoped that they knew that he did.

Dr. Elsie L. Scott, Director

Ronald W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center

Howard University


Scholar in Residence

During the spring and summer of 2016, the Ronald W. Walters Center hosted its first scholar-in-residence, Dr. Pearl K. Ford Dowe, Professor at the University of Arkansas, Department of Political Science.  Dr. Dowe, who received her Ph.D. from Howard University, conducted research for her book on Black women in politics, with a special emphasis on Black women serving in the U.S. Congress. She conducted guest lectures and participated in activities sponsored by the Walters Center and the Department of Political Science.  Dr. Dowe was interviewed by the University of the District of Columbia television station (UDC-TV) to discuss Sister Strength, The Social, Economic and Political Black Women.  Listen to the interview.


Ronald Walters Scholarship

Zha’Mari Hurley, a 3.77 GPA graduate from Jersey City, NJ, was selected by the Ronald W. Walters Center and the Department of Political Science to receive the 2016 Ronald Walters Scholarship. The scholarship was established to recognize outstanding full-time juniors or seniors enrolled in the Department of Political Science at Howard University. Ms. Hurley’s future career goal is to create educational programs and policies that will overall enhance the urban youth’s ability to compete for careers and opportunities on an international level.

The Walters Scholarship has been supported primarily from donations by Mrs. Patricia Turner Walters, widow of Dr. Walters. You may contribute to the scholarship by contributing online at:


Dr. Elsie Scott and Mrs. Patricia Walters with Zha”Mari Hurley, 2016 Walters Scholarship Recipient

Dr. Elsie Scott and Mrs. Patricia Walters with Zha”Mari Hurley, 2016 Walters Scholarship Recipient


Walters Center Student Assistants Receive Degrees

Nicolette C. Cabbell, Howard University 2016 graduate, a New York native, Sports Medicine major with a minor in Chemistry, served as a student assistant at the Walters Center during her sophomore and senior years.  Ms. Cabbell stated that working at the Walters Center helped her grow and become more aware of critical issues affecting the African American community.  Being a part of the Center gave her exposure to current African American leaders, both men and women in a mixture of fields including education, public policy, research and many more. 

Paula Thomason, M.S.W., 2016 Graduate, School of Social Work, served as a graduate assistant at the Walters Center.  Ms. Thomason, a California native, stated that the Center gave her the opportunity to participate in research designed to improve police practices.  With focus groups as its primary source of data, this project’s qualitative data collection method also strengthened her experience with dialogue-oriented research.  She stated that her curriculum emphasized why researching social problems not only allows social work practitioners to expand their knowledge within a practice area, but it also benefits clients and society from a policy and legislative level.

Young African Leaders Institute (YALI) Mandela Fellowship Program

Howard University was selected as one of the host sites for the YALI Mandela Fellow Program for the third straight year. The Walters Center has served as a partner in the program since its inception. During the summer of 2016, Dr. Elsie Scott, Director of the Walters Center, served as Academic Director.  Twenty-five young professionals from sub-Saharan Africa spent six weeks participating in a Public Management Institute at Howard.  The Walters Center helped organized lectures, educational experiences outside the classroom and cultural experiences for the fellows.


President Wayne A.I. Frederick and Provost Anthony Wutoh with the 2016 Mandela Fellows and Howard University staff