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Dr. Dorothy I. Height Day



WHEREAS, Dr. Dorothy I. Height was born in Richmond, Virginia on March 24, 1912, where she lived, was educated, and worked during some of the most turbulent years of race and gender relations in United States history; and

WHEREAS, in 1933, Dr. Height earned a Master of Educational Psychology, and by the time of her death, had accumulated 36 honorary doctorate degrees; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Height held a number of leadership positions –in organizations including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the United Christian Youth Movement, the Young Women’s Christian Association, and served as the president of the National Council of Negro Women for 40 years; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Height is credited as the first leader in the civil rights movement to recognize inequality for women and African Americans; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Height received a number of prestigious awards in her lifetime including the Citizens Medal Award from President Ronald Reagan, the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Bill Clinton, and the Congressional Gold Medal by President George Bush. She was also referred to as the “godmother of the civil rights movement and a hero to so many Americans” by President Barack Obama; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Height served as an advisor to the United States Secretary of State and the United Nations, where she promoted desegregation, economic development, health education, and voter registration as a means to advance the civil rights of black women at home and abroad; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Height was a fierce advocate in combating drug addiction, gang activity, and disease to break cycles of dependency and despair that prevent many from achieving their full promise; and

WHEREAS, through her numerous writings and publications, Dr. Height never relented in her quest to achieve social equality, opportunity, freedom, and justice for all; and

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 24, 2021, as DOROTHY I. HEIGHT DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.