Friday, April 12, 2024

Latinovations Honors the Legacy of Dr. Dorothy Height

Early Tuesday morning, Dorothy I. Height, who fought for most of her life on behalf of women and blacks, died at the age of 98.

Height was president of the National Council of Negro Women for more than 40 years, advising presidents from Dwight Eisenhower to Bill Clinton on both civil and gender rights. She helped advance legislation on school desegregation, voting rights and equality in the workplace.

She was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1912 and first joined the civil rights movement as a teenager, marching in New York’s Times Square against lynching. In the 1950s and 60s she helped bring the movement to the national forefront. She was the only woman on the speaker’s platform when King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

In 1994, President Bill Clinton awarded Height with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Ten years later, she was honored with the Congressional Gold Medal.

Janet Murguía, President and CEO of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) said in a statement, “Dorothy Height was a role model to me and other women leaders in the civil rights community.  She broke down barriers for so many of us to follow—with her signature grit and consummate grace—and for that, we will always be deeply grateful.”

She also went on to say, “Our nation has lost an unparalleled leader, the civil rights community has lost one of its most powerful activists, and minority communities have lost one of their most resounding voices.”