University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Dorothy Height, Civil Rights Leader, 1912 – 2010

NAHIPSW 2009/2010 interns had the honor of meeting one of the most influential women in our history, during the 6th Annual Policy Practice Forum held in Washington, D.C. in October 2009.

Legendary civil rights leader Dorothy Height spent most of her life battling for the empowerment of women and blacks across the nation. Her voice was heard not only by those who rallied at marches but she also had the ear of many U.S. presidents ranging from Eisenhower to Obama. Her postgraduate studies were in the field of social work. Some of Ms. Height’s notable accomplishments were:

  • 1933 became the leader of the United Christian Youth movement of North America as a civil rights advocate to prevent lynching and desegregating the armed forces.
  • 1937 begun work with Harlem YCWA where she fought for women’s rights, equal employment, pay and education.
  • 1952 served as a visiting professor at the U. of Delhi, India in the Delhi School of Social Work.
  • 1957 elected as the National President of National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) as she advocated for women of African descent.

She was known to others as a hero and the “godmother” of the movement, serving 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 – Dr. Height continued her fight to make our nation a more open and inclusive place for people of every race, gender, background and faith.”