WNY Sisters and Josiah Henson Descendants Cum Laude Graduates from Howard University

Pictured above Sisters Asiyah and Aziza Frank

Western New York sisters Asiyah and Aziza Frank, fourth-great-granddaughters of famed underground railroad freedom seeker Josiah Henson, are now Howard University Alumni and a celebration of Black excellence.

Asiyah, a 2017 Howard University Administration of Justice cum laude graduate, recently received her Masters degree from Marymount University in Forensic & Legal Psychology. Asiyah participated in a “Police: Finding Common Ground” Town Hall/Panel with the Honorable Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney General and studied abroad in Israel. In Asia Minor her research abroad focused around 5 themes; the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and the perspectives of all sides; organizations working for peace; interaction with children who have been affected by the conflict, including Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Druze, and Bedouin; Israeli counter-terrorism policies; and issues of human rights in Israel and the Occupied Territories.

Aziza, a 2019 graduate cum laude graduate from Howard University received her Bachelors degree in Chemistry. Aziza is a MARC Scholar [next generation of biomedical science leaders] who studied abroad in South Africa conducting research on the Ebola virus. She was the only undergrad and youngest person working with a team of researchers on Howard campus to develop a cure for the Ebola virus; a $1.9 million collaborative research project/grant from the National Institutes of Health that’s one of several continuing global outreach initiatives across the Howard University community.

Asiyah and Aziza are the granddaughters of Phyllis Griggs of Buffalo, New York and daughters of University of Buffalo graduate Ayana Griggs who received her Masters degree in Accounting from Neumann University and Saladin Allah, a Niagara Falls Human Rights Commissioner, Early Childhood Educator and Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Experience Center Specialist in Niagara Falls, New York.