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Contact: Xina Eiland, 703-785-4358



               Shari Boyce, 301-518-3759






WASHINGTON, D.C,  – The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and its President Emerita, renown civil rights and social activist Dr. Dorothy Height, will honor Oprah Winfrey at the Eleventh Annual Uncommon Height Gala on June 4, 2009 at the Hilton Washington Hotel in Washington, D.C. The gala will honor Ms. Winfrey’s philanthropy and incredible success as one of the world’s most celebrated media moguls while paying tribute to NCNW Chair and President Emerita, Dr. Dorothy I. Height who will be celebrating her 97th birthday. Prominent figures from the worlds of business, philanthropy, politics and entertainment will also join in celebrating Dr. Height and gala honoree Ms. Winfrey.


As a legend honors a legend, the Uncommon Height Award acknowledges those embodying the spirit of educator and civil rights icon, Dr. Dorothy Height. Awardees are those who have followed the example of Dr. Height by contributing to African American history and opening doors for the next generation.  Former honorees include Sidney Poitier, Bill and Camille Cosby, Ann Fudge, Cathy Hughes, and Quincy Jones. 


A well-deserved recipient of the Uncommon Height Award, Ms. Winfrey will be honored for her ground breaking achievements in media and entertainment, as well as her philanthropic work.  The NCNW will also recognize Ms. Winfrey’s dedication to reaching and empowering young women all over the world as well as her most recent effort to educate young girls by establishing The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in South Africa.  In 2002, Ms. Winfrey generously donated $2.5 million in an effort to help NCNW reduce the mortgage on its historic headquarters at 633 Pennsylvania Avenue and become the first African American business to own a building in downtown Washington, D.C. 


“This year I am pleased to honor one of the world’s most influential people,” said Dr. Height. “Ms. Winfrey is not only a global media leader but also a powerful person who has uplifted millions of people through her top-rated show and philanthropic contributions to universities, campaigns and other humanitarian efforts. Her life of service is an example to us all.”


This star-studded event will be emceed by Access Hollywood’s weekend anchor and correspondent Shaun Robinson and will host well-known figures in media, education, entertainment, politics, and representatives of the many NCNW sections. Past guests include Secretary of State Hillary Rodham ClintonDanny Glover,Audra McDonaldMaya AngelouMaureen Bunyan and Susan L. Taylor.


The corporate chairs are Pat Harris, chief diversity officer for McDonald’s Corporation and Lisa Hamilton, vice president of public relations for UPS. The Uncommon Height Award Gala reception begins at 6 pm with a dinner reception to follow immediately at 7 pm. Proceeds from the gala will benefit NCNW programs and efforts as it continues to reach nearly 4 million women and works to meet the critical needs in the empowerment of women and their families. 




About the National Council of Negro Women


The National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW) is a council of national African American women's organizations and community-based sections. Founded in 1935, the NCNW mission is to lead, develop, and advocate for women of African descent as they support their families and communities. NCNW fulfills this purpose through research, advocacy, and national and community-based services and programs on issues of health, education, and economic empowerment in the United States and Africa. With its 39 national affiliates and more than 240 sections, NCNW is a 501(c)3 organization with an outreach to nearly four million women. For more information about NCNW, please visit

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