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Stamford, CT’s First Black Woman Doctor Is Getting A Street Renamed In Her Honor

Stamford, CT’s First Black Woman Doctor Is Getting A Street Renamed In Her Honor

She helped revitalize her neighborhood!

Stamford, Connecticut’s first Black woman doctor is getting a street renamed in her honor, the Stamford Advocate reports. 

Joyce Yerwood made history in the 1940s as the first Black woman medical doctor in Fairfield County. There, she offered “quality medical care for low-income women, children, and families,” while also using her platform to fortify her community. In 1943, she founded the Stamford Negro Community Center, which was renamed The Yerwood Center in her honor in 1975. She passed away in 1987, leaving a rich legacy behind that other residents hope to memorialize in perpetuity.

Some years ago, members of the city’s Board of Representatives introduced the idea of renaming Richmond Hill Avenue in Yerwood’s honor, implementing an honorary naming that wouldn’t have any impact on its legal name but would require two-thirds of property owners on the street to sign a petition in support, per the city’s Code of Ordinances. The resolution was introduced by Reps. Terry Adams, Melinda Baxter, Bonnie Kim Campbell, and Annie Summerville. Last week, a committee of city representatives voted unanimously in favor of the resolution.

“Dr. Joyce Yerwood was active in the effort to revitalize the West Side and regularly worked to improve the neighborhood,” the resolution states. 

Per city regulations, an honorary street renaming can happen and a commemorative sign will be placed in recognition of the person if they have “contributed significant accomplishments to the City of Stamford or a community within the city, [the location of the sign being] reasonably related to the individual and the accomplishments being recognized.” Yerwood meets all of these qualifications and was a long-time resident of Stamford, the requirement being a decade or more. 

The resolution will now go to the Board where it awaits final approval, their next monthly meeting being held on June 6. Yerwood’s granddaughter, Joyce Carwin, said their family is “extremely excited and happy that this is finally happening.” 

The naming ceremony of “Dr. Joyce Yerwood Road” will be held during a Juneteenth event set in Jackie Robinson Park. 

Thank you for all you’ve done, Dr. Yerwood!

Photo Courtesy of the Stamford Advocate