Spatial Deconstruction, by Yolanda Ward

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Re: Spatial Deconstruction, by Yolanda Ward

Postby admin » Sun May 08, 2016 6:26 am

Robbers Kill D.C. Housing Unit Leader
by Thomas Morgan
November 3, 1980

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The address of a suspect, William E. Tate, charged in the fatal shooting of Washington housing activist Yolanda Ward, was incorrectly listed yesterday in late editions of The Post. The correct address, according to D.C. police, is 1113 Chicago St. SE.

Yolanda Ward, 22, a cochairwoman of the District's City Wide Housing Coalition, was shot and killed during a street robbery in far Southeast Washington early yesterday morning, D.C. police reported.

Police said Ward, of 1358 Levis St. NE, and three friends were walking in the 2800 block of Gainesville Street SE about 3 a.m. when they were approached by three men, at least one of them armed with a handgun. The three men robbed Ward and the others, and shot Ward. The amount taken could not be immediately learned.

Interviewed last night, several of the victim's friends said Ward and others active in the City Wide Housing Coalition had been harassed because of the group's efforts to stop housing displacement of the poor in the inner city. One friend said Ward's home had been burglarized and she had received telephone calls threatening her with bodily harm unless she halted her work.

Friends speculated that her death might have been linked to the harassment. Police declined to comment on the speculation.

"[Ward] complained to the police and the telephone company about the calls, but nothing ever happened," said Jimmy Garrett, the other cochairman of the housing coalition.

Early this morning, police announced that two men had been charged with homicide in the killing, but refused to say what evidence led to their arrests. They were identified as William Tate, 23, of 1112 Chicago St. SE and Sylvester Harrison, 37, of 2315 25th St. SE.

Garrett said that on Saturday afternoon Ward had met with students from Howard and other universities along the East Coast to form a student component of the National United Black Front, a newly organized national network of black community groups and activists.

Afterward, Ward took three male students visiting from New Jersey to a Halloween party in Southeast Washington, and the shooting occurred when the group left the party, Garrett said.


The assailants "didn't do any harm to the men," said Garrett, who was not present during the robbery, but who said he talked to the men who were with Ward. "[The robbers] didn't try to molest Yolanda in any way. They just pushed her over a car, put the gun to her head and just executed her."

Police said they are looking for several men in connection with the shooting.

Friends said Ward, a board member of the D.C. Rape Crisis Center, was a Howard University student who majored in communications. She had taken a year's leave of absence to do community work and was scheduled to return in January to complete work for a bachelor's degree.
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Re: Spatial Deconstruction, by Yolanda Ward

Postby admin » Sun May 08, 2016 6:41 am

"Brilliant" Howard Student Activist Slain by Gunmen in S.E.
by Miles White
The Baltimore Afro American
November 3, 1980

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


A Washington community activist who was outspoken in trying to stop the displacement of poor blacks and other minorities from the inner city was slain last week in an execution-style shooting that some are speculating was a politically motivated assassination.

Yolanda Ward, 22, of the 1358 Levis St., N.E. was shot once in the head on Nov. 2 as she and three male friends she was escorting walked from a party near the 2800 block of Gainesville St., S.E.

Police have arrested two of four men being sought in the killing, which they say resulted from an apparent robbery. Arrested last Monday and charged with first degree murder and murder in commission of a robbery were William E. Tate, 23. of the 1100 block of Chicago St., S.E., and Sylvester Harrison, 37, of 2315 25th St., S.E.

Tate was charged and released while Harrison, a former mental patient, was held on a $5,000 bond. Police would not say what led to the arrests or whether or not witnesses had positively identified the two as the ones who participated in the killing.

Ward and the three men, who were visiting from New Jersey where they attended school, were returning from a Halloween party when they were approached by four men, two of them armed with .357 Magnum pistols.

Witnesses said there was "no panic" or scuffle throughout the incident. The killers searched and robbed the men but did not make any attempt to rob Ward. Instead they spread her over the hood of a parked car, put one of the Magnums up to her head and pulled the trigger while the three students looked on in shock.

Nkenge Toure, director of Community Education for the D.C. Housing Coalition, on which Ward served as a co-chairwoman, said she believes Ward's death was related to the fight over the displacement issue.

Ward was actively opposing a "spacial centralization" plan supposedly outlined in government documents obtained by the group earlier this year.

Toure said that War had received calls telling her that the housing issue was "bigger" than she, and that she should forget it. It was not long afterwards, Toure said, that Ward began getting threats, including attempts to break into her apartment.

"Housing is a big issue in this city," Toure said. "There's a lot of money and power involved ... I don't care what anybody else says, that was not a simple robbery."

The coalition plans to push for its own independent investigation into the shooting and said it will issue a "detailed analysis" of it soon. A police spokesman said Tuesday that "all our information indicates it was a robbery." But persons who knew and worked closely with Ward aren't buying that.

James Garrett, Ward's co-worker on the coalition and a former instructor of Ward's at Howard University, where she was on a leave of absence, said Ward began receiving phone threats and harassment soon after she began working to stop the program in the city. "Whoever threatened her didn't know her personally, but they knew her work," Garrett said.

Toure said that the persons who were working along similar lines in other cities were also harassed, including one in Philadelphia who was shot at and another in Houston who was beaten up. "It's not an isolated situation," she said, "it's impossible (for the shooting) to be a coincidence."

Memorial services for Ward will be held Thursday at Howard University's Rankin Chapel and on the following Sunday at Calvary United Methodist Church.

"She was very serious, very principled," Garrett said. "She was just a brilliant, brilliant woman."
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