SALDEF Remembers Life and Contributions of Dorothy Height
Yesterday the civil rights community, and the country lost a pioneering voice for civil, women's, and human rights. Dr. Dorothy Height, passed away at the age of 98 from natural causes. She will be remembered for her legacy of empowerment and over seven decades of community service.
Throughout her distinguished career, she served as President Emeritus of the National Council of Negro Women and Chair of The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, where she worked closely with a broad coalition of groups for several decades.
Dr. Height was a leader in the civil rights movement beginning in the 1930s, when she participated in local protests in Harlem, NY. Among the issues she initially worked on included efforts to prevent lynching of African Americans in the South, desegregating the armed forces, reforms to the criminal justice system, and establishing free access to public places. Throughout her career, she worked alongside such lumiaries as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Eleanor Roosevelt. For her dedication to fighting inequality she garnered many accolades, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nation's highest civilian honor, by former President Bill Clinton, and the Congressional Gold Medal, in 2004 by then President George W. Bush.
"Dr. Height is a truly historic figure in the civil rights community and her loss is one that will be felt in hearts across the county," stated SALDEF Managing Director Kavneet Singh. "Her legacy though will live on through the countless people she has mentored and inspired to follow in her path to make sure that we truly do have an American where all people belong and are equal."
In 2004, as part of an effort to honor and acknowledge her tremendous service and pioneering spirit, SALDEF inaugurated the Dorothy Height Coalition Building Award which recognizes leadership and collaborative efforts to achieve equality for all by an individual or organization.
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