WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), released the following statements today upon news of the passing of Dorothy I. Height.
“Dorothy Height was instrumental in the civil rights movement with her insistent voice for racial justice and gender equality in America,” Cardin said. 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 liked to say, ‘If the times aren’t ripe, you have to ripen the times.’ Her words and her actions made a positive difference in my life and the lives of all Americans.”
“A powerful activist and advocate, Height was president of the National Council of Negro Women for more than 40 years. In 1994, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, and in 2004 she received the Congressional Gold Medal – the highest honor Congress can bestow. Dorothy Height will forever stand among our nation’s great heroes, leaving behind a legacy of justice, equality and hope,” Cardin said.
Co-Chairman Hastings added:
“With the passing of Dr. Dorothy Height we have lost a legend who dedicated her life to building up justice and tearing down inequality. My condolences go out to Dr. Height’s family and friends. At a time when civil rights leaders were mostly all men, Dr. Height was there as the matriarch of the movement, building the strategy that created a more just and free world for us all.
“From the Presidential Medal of Freedom she received in 1994 from President Bill Clinton to the Congressional Gold Medal President George W. Bush presented her on her 92nd birthday in 2004, the importance of Dr. Height’s civil rights work was lost on no one. As National President of the National Council of Negro Women and Director of the Center for Racial Justice of the national YWCA, millions were touched by Dr. Height’s vision of justice and passion for improving the human condition. May her legacy of championing social causes and affecting needed change, continue to inspire young women and men to stand up for what is right.”