“I want to be remembered as someone who used herself and anything she could touch to work for justice and freedom. I want to be remembered as one who tried.”
Today, we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Dorothy Height, a trailblazer within the civil rights movement and the YWCA.
Born in Richmond, Virginia in 1912, Height was an activist, scholar, and social worker. Her commitment to civil rights and service started in high school with anti-lynching campaigns, followed by degrees in education and psychology from New York University. After serving as a social worker ini Harlem, she began her 40 year career with YWCA in 1937.
Her work at the YWCA dramatically changed the organization. Here are some ways she made an impact:
- She pushed the YWCA to become actively involved in the Civil Rights movement, encouraging them to serve as a sponsor of the 1963 March on Washington.
- She helped the YWCA end the practice of separate conferences and traveled the country helping local chapters implement the organization’s interracial charter.
- As the National Director of the Center for Racial Justice, she tirelessly worked within YWCA to desegregate all levels of the organization.
She lived our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. Her work and legacy continue to guide our organization. Today, we call on you to honor her legacy through action, advocacy, and a commitment to justice. Learn more about her amazing life here or here!