Rep. Fudge on Passing of Dr. Dorothy Irene Height

Rep. Marica L. Fudge Issues Statement on the Passing of Civil Rights Matriarch Dr. Dorothy Irene Height


April 20, 2010

“Today Civil Rights icon and humanitarian Dr. Dorothy Height passed away. She was my friend, my mentor, and my predecessor as national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

“Dr. Height was passionate about justice and equality. Everything she did, every position she held, and every policy she advocated, served her life’s mission—to eliminate barriers to success for women and blacks while inspiring the next generation to greatness.

“Even though Presidents and other world leaders sought her counsel, she always took the time to advise and encourage young women.

“While we mourn her loss, we also celebrate the life of Dr. Height—a great humanitarian who leaves a legacy of strong and caring women.”

Today, Rep. Fudge will introduce a resolution celebrating Dr. Height’s life and recognizing her work.

Dr. Height served as President of the National Council of Negro Women for four decades, stepping down from the position in 1997. In her position with the Council, which connected nearly 4 million women worldwide, she tackled issues that affected families, including child care for working mothers, health and nutrition and providing adequate housing for families in need. She served as the national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. from 1947 until 1957.

Widely recognized as one of the founding members of the Civil Rights movement, Dr. Height was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994 by President Bill Clinton. In 2004, she received the Congressional Gold Medal.

Dr. Height fought for equal rights for both women and blacks, and was active in such causes as securing voting rights, equal employment opportunities and the desegregation of public schools. Marching alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., she advocated women’s rights during the Civil Rights struggle. Dr. Height was instrumental in the fight for equal pay for women and organized numerous programs to help women achieve equal rights and independence.