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National Urban League





NEW YORK -- Reflecting on the passing today of Dr. Dorothy Height, National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said the League today has lost a friend, an inspiration, a mentor and a moral touchstone.

"We are following a path that was forged by Dr. Height," Morial said. "Her legacy is a debt we can never repay. We merely hope to honor her memory and try as we can to live up to her example."

Dr. Height's association with the National Urban League was long and distinguished. She collaborated with every president from Lester Granger to Morial, playing a major role in every initiative. 

"She stood side-by-side with League President Whitney M. Young as they worked with Dr. Martin Luther to map a strategy for the landmark civil rights challenges of the 1960s," Morial said.

She received the League's "Equal Opportunity Day Award" in 1982 and its "Legend Award" in 2003. Her last public appearance was the Greater Washington Urban League's gala on March 17. 

In the foreward to the National Urban League's The State of Black America 2008: In the Black Woman's Voice, Dr. Height reflected on recent years that had seen the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and a highly-publicized racist slur against female college athletes. The voices of black women, she wrote, must be heeded in these times more than ever.

"Who better than us can understand the very real boundaries that all women face in navigating a cultural dynamic that still assigns roles and oftentimes limitations based upon gender<" she wrote. "Yet, it is also true, that there are special, dual challenges intricately linked to blackness and womanhood that we black women face and navigate alone. 

"With no apologies, the time is now, to finally focus on us," she wrote.

"Dr. Height's strength and courage continue to inspire the Urban League movement," Morial said.

______________________

 CONTACT: Teresa Candori
(212) 558-5433/(646) 319-0891

National Urban League, 120 Wall Street 8th Floor, New York, NY 10005-3904 United States



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