America welcomed one of the most influential advocates of women's and civil rights on March 24, 1912. An outstanding student, she attended New York University, earning her bachelor's and master's degrees in four years. She took postgraduate studies in social work before her commitment to rise above the limitations of race and sex drove her into a career of activism. In 1937, Height was asked to promote the work of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), an organization dedicated to the full and equal employment and education opportunities for women. During her 40 years of leading the NCNW, Height developed programs aimed at fighting prominent problems and strengthening communities. Height continued her fight for civil rights by participating in a protest against lynching, advocating for a fair legal system, the termination of racial restrictions in public transportation, and the end of segregation in the military. By the 1960's, Height was at the forefront of the civil rights movement and shared the stage with Mr. Luther King, Jr. when he gave his "I have a dream" speech. She also organized "Wednesdays in Mississippi," a program that drew black and white women from the North and South to foster a mutual understanding. Height never drew attention to herself and much of her accomplishments didn't see the limelight they deserved in a movement dominated by men. But recently, Pesident Clinton presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nations highest civilian honor. Finally, on her 92nd birthday, president George W. Bush awarded Heights the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award given by the United States Congress. She has been inducted to the Women's Hall of Fame, and is certainly hailed as a pioneering woman who has given hope and right to people too numerous to count.
"If you worry about who is going to get credit, you don't get much work done."