The theme of engaged citizenship runs through her work. Howard has taught courses on urban history and American studies, including a Sophomore Scholars in Residence course, “Urban Americas”. Howard's recent book, More Than Shelter: Activism and Community in San Francisco Public Housing explores the history of tenant activism, community building, and racial and ethnic alliances in San Francisco public housing. She is currently working on a book about leadership and politics in Richmond, Virginia with Thad Williamson. In 2013, she chaired the housing task force of Mayor Dwight Jones’ Maggie L. Walker Initiative for Expanding Opportunity and Fighting Poverty. She serves on the board of the Better Housing Coalition and is a member of the City of Richmond Planning Commission.