Phillips, Vel R., 1924-


Active in the women's movement and the civil rights movement, Vel Phillips (1924-) built a career full of "firsts" as both a woman and an African American in Wisconsin. Born Velvalea Rodgers on Milwaukee's South Side in 1924, Phillips won a national scholarship to attend Howard University. Phillips returned to Wisconsin for law school in the 1940s and became the first black woman to graduate from the school. Her engagement to Dale Phillips made the women's pages of the Milwaukee Journal, the first for an African American. (Vel Phillips, Topics in Wisconsin History, Wisconsin Historical Society, retrieved March 14, 2008.)

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