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Dorothy Height Remembered for Her Many Contributions to the Women’s Movement

The feminist movement mourns the loss of Dorothy Height, a dear friend and champion of civil rights and women’s rights, who died today at age 98. “I had the privilege of working with Dorothy Height for over 3 decades,” said Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “She was always a strong, clear, unique voice for women’s equality. She quickly responded to every challenge, encouraging us that history will be on our side if we stay the course for equality.” “From her days as a young woman advising Eleanor Roosevelt to her recent sponsorship of the Feminist Majority’s leadership conference, Dr. Height always made sure that women’s rights were recognized as civil rights,” added Kim Gandy, former President of NOW and Vice President and General Council of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “In her own words, she strived for ‘a world with not only law and order, but also equality and justice.'” Height was the President Emerita of the National Council of Negro Women, an organization she ran for more than 40 years, according to the New York Times. She also was a leader in the YWCA and a co-founder of the National Women’s Political Caucus. Height received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and many other awards for her accomplishments. President Obama released a statement today and said, “Ever since she was denied entrance to college because the incoming class had already met its quota of two African American women, Dr. Height devoted her life to those struggling for equality. She led the National Council of Negro Women for 40 years, and served as the only woman at the highest level of the Civil Rights Movement – witnessing every march and milestone along the way. And even in the final weeks of her life – a time when anyone else would have enjoyed their well-earned rest – Dr. Height continued her fight to make our nation a more open and inclusive place for people of every race, gender, background and faith.”

Sources:

Feminist Majority Foundation Press Release 4/20/10; New York Times 4/20/10; White House Statement 4/20/10

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