- Marci Hilt
September's Woman of Ward 6 is Coralie Farlee, a long-time Southwest DC resident whose professional career and voluntary contributions impact the lives of many people in Ward 6 and DC. The Ward 6 Democrats are recognizing and honoring Ward 6 women who have made significant contributions to better our community as a lead-up to the 2020 anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
Farlee co-founded Friends of Southwest DC, a charitable organization that supports Southwest youth through scholarships as well as helping to fund projects that benefit the area’s youth and seniors. Since 1998, the organization, originally known as River Park Friends, has made grants totaling more than $260,000, supporting more than 30 local organizations. Recent grants supported college scholarships for four Southwest DC high school students as well as educational trips for Southwest youth.
In 2017, Farlee’s group awarded close to $5,000 to the Amidon-Bowen Elementary School PTA, 401 I St., SW, to buy iPads for early childhood education classrooms. “These iPads are a great learning tool because they encourage independent exploration at differentiated levels in a fun learning environment,” said Principal TaMikka Sykes.
Farlee came to live in DC in 1975 to work as the executive director of a task force to evaluate University Affiliated Programs throughout the United States. The programs trained educators to work with people with developmental disabilities.
Born during the Depression and raised during World War II, she is one of three daughters from a New Jersey farming and small business family. Deciding that a college education would offer a more rewarding future, she left home at 17 and put herself through college and graduate school. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from Rutgers in 1971, focusing on health profession education, organizational change and medical information systems, a field in its infancy at the time.
In 1978, she began working with the Environmental Protection Agency, where she created a new occupational category of toxicology to differentiate it from pharmacology. She also established a template for the evaluation of the implementation of the Toxic Substances Control Act, which was enacted in 1976. She also administered grants and contracts for introducing medical information systems in hospitals and clinics.
Since 2008, Farlee has served as chair of the Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) Committee for ANC6D. The ABC reviews new applicants for liquor licenses in DC, develops cooperative agreements and encourages adherence to DC alcohol laws. The committee makes recommendations to ANC6D commissioners, who then advise the DC ABC Board.
In addition, she is a member and coordinator for the DC Area of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; has served as an interviewer for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Oral History Program; and coordinated the DC MPD-OAG Drug Vice Properties Project, which helped reduce the number of DC properties impacted by drug abuse and distribution.