Press Release

April 21, 2010

Washington, DC –
U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, lauded the Senate for passing by unanimous consent a resolution honoring the life and legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Dorothy I. Height, who passed away Tuesday.


“Dorothy Height was instrumental in the civil rights movement with her insistent voice for racial justice and gender equality in America.
  Known among many as the ‘glue’ that held the civil rights leaders together; she fought tirelessly for more than six decades for a better, more just country. She made a positive difference in my life and the lives of all Americans.
  A powerful activist and advocate, Dorothy Height will forever stand among our nation’s great heroes, leaving behind a legacy of justice, equality and hope,” said Senator Cardin.


The resolution honoring Dr. Height,
S.Res.492, was co-sponsored by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), George Voinovich (R-OH), Arlen Specter (D-PA), Roland Burris (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mark Warner (D-VA), Bob Casey (D-PA), Carl Levin (D-MI), and Jim Webb (D-VA). The full text of the resolution is below and in the attached PDF.





Honoring the life and achievements of Dr. Dorothy I. Height.


Whereas Dorothy Height was born in Richmond, Virginia, on March 24, 1912;


Whereas Dorothy Height died on April 20, 2010, at the age of 98 in Washington, DC, and is survived by her sister Anthanette Height Aldridge;


Whereas Dorothy Height was valedictorian of her high school and won a national oratorical contest;


Whereas Dorothy Height attended New York University and graduated in three years, receiving a master’s degree in educational psychology;


Whereas Dorothy Height began her career as a caseworker for the Department of Social Services of New York City;


Whereas Dorothy Height joined the Harlem Young Women’s Christian Association (referred to in this preamble as the “YWCA”) and remained a full time employee until 1975;


Whereas Dorothy Height organized and became the director of the YWCA Center for Racial Justice in 1965;


Whereas, in 1957, Dorothy Height became the fourth president of the National Council of Negro Women, a social services organization with more than 4,000,000 members nationwide, that is comprised of a number of civic, church, educational, labor, community, and professional groups,
  and served as president for 40 years;


Whereas Dorothy Height became arguably the most influential woman of the civil rights movement;


Whereas Dorothy Height spent her life fighting for racial justice and gender equality;


Whereas Dorothy Height was known for her insistent voice that commanded attention on civil rights issues;


Whereas Dorothy Height liked to say “If the times aren’t ripe, you have to ripen the times”;


Whereas Dorothy Height was honored in 1994 with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States, by President William Jefferson Clinton;


Whereas Dorothy Height’s awards included honorary doctorates from more than 20 universities and colleges;


Whereas Dorothy Height was honored in March 2004 with the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest decoration Congress can bestow;


Whereas the passing of Dorothy Height is a great loss to the Nation: Now, therefore be it

Resolved, That the Senate –



recognizes the outstanding contributions of Dr. Dorothy I. Height to the civil rights and women’s rights movement;


pays tribute to Dr. Dorothy I. Height, her passion, dedication to service, and unwavering commitment to equality; and


requests the Secretary of the Senate to transmit an enrolled copy of this resolution to Washington, DC headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc.