Profile: Dorothy Height

This month on UMC.org Profiles, Dorothy Height, civil rights advocate, shares her faith story.

Dorothy Height has spent nearly half a century fighting for equality and human rights for all people.  She’s worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young, and has been an adviser to six U.S. presidents.  In 1989, she was awarded the Presidential Citizenship Medal by President Ronald Reagan.  In 1994, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.  And in 2004, she was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President George W. Bush.  

For over 30 years Height worked with the YWCA, where she took on many leadership roles, fueled by her commitment to rise above the limitations of race and gender.  One of these roles was as Director of the Center for Racial Justice, a position she held from 1965 until 1977.  Height also served as national president of Delta Sigma Theta sorority, and later assumed the presidency of the National Council of Negro Women.  As president of NCNW, she led a crusade for justice for black women and worked to strengthen the black family.  She retired in 1998, and is currently the Chair and President Emerita.  Now at 93 years old, Height’s life continues to exemplify her passionate commitment for a just society and her vision for a better world.

 

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