From the Human Rights Campaign:

Human Rights Campaign Remembers the Life of Dorothy Height
“We are grateful for Dr. Height’s many decades of work for social justice,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights organization – today notes the passing of civil rights leader Dorothy Height, president emerita of the National Council of Negro Women. Height was 98.

For over six decades, Dr. Height fought for civil rights and social justice for all Americans. In the 1960s, she organized “Wednesdays in Mississippi,” which brought interracial groups of women to the rural South to bring both supplies and support, and to encourage frank – and rare – conversations about the civil rights movement. She was the only woman seated on the podium when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, and remained a prominent leader of the civil rights movement for the rest of her life.

“We are grateful for Dr. Height’s many decades of work for social justice,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “Today, our thoughts and prayers are with her family, her friends, and with countless of Americans who will mourn her passing. We are all beneficiaries of her life’s work.”

HRC is a member of the executive committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, of which Dr. Height was the Chairperson. HRC was proud to work closely with Dr. Height on issues critical to all Americans.

“Dr. Height taught us to reach out to others, and to get the conversations going,” said HRC Deputy Director for Diversity Donna Payne. “That’s how you win people’s hearts, which is what it takes to make justice happen.”

Dr. Height spoke at the 1997 HRC National Dinner in Washington, DC. Video of her remarks is available at

From the President:

Statement from President Obama on the Passing of Dr. Dorothy Height

Michelle and I were deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Dorothy Height – the godmother of the Civil Rights Movement and a hero to so many Americans. 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. Michelle and I offer our condolences to all those who knew and loved Dr. Height – and all those whose lives she touched.