The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation

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Height's peers mourn loss of 'national treasure'

Deborah Barfield Berry
Clarion Ledger Washington Bureau
Apr 22, 2010

In one of her last public appearances, Dorothy Height took center stage with other civil rights activists and community leaders and urged people of color to turn in their census forms.

“You have to count yourself in or else you count yourself out,’’ said Height, who sported one of her signature hats at a news conference on Capitol Hill last month.

The moment marked yet another in Height’s long career in the nation’s civil rights movement. For more than six decades, Height, who died Tuesday at 98 in Washington, D.C., worked to protect and secure the rights of minorities and women.

“She worked until basically her last breath...She showed what it meant to be committed to the movement,’’ said Melanie Campbell, president of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, of which Height was a founding board member. “Lord knows I would have wanted her to be here another 100 years. Not only for what she did, but what she continued to do.’’

Congressional lawmakers and civil rights activists Tuesday praised Height’s work, calling her a “national treasure.’’

“Today, we live in an America that Dorothy Height helped to shape, a nation defined by equality, shaped by civil rights and driven by the pursuit of justice for all,’’ said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Click here to read the full story at the Clarion Ledger

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