USPS, YWCA to host stamp dedication ceremony honoring late Civil Rights Activist Dr. Dorothy Height

Submitted by Debbie J. Fetterly

WEST PALM BEACH, FL —- The 40th inductee in the U.S. Postal Service’s Black Heritage Stamp Series is Dr. Dorothy Height (1912–2010), the tireless activist who dedicated her life to fighting for racial and gender equality.

In South Florida, the U.S. Postal Service is celebrating Black History Month with a stamp dedication ceremony on February 8. West Palm Beach Officer In Charge Robert Weiser will dedicate a stamp enlargement to local Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) officials at 9 a.m. in the Lassiter Student Center at Palm Beach Atlantic University, 901 S Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach.

The Dorothy Height stamp (left) features artist Thomas Blackshear II’s, portrait of Height. The painting is based on a photograph by Lateef Man-gum in 2009. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp.

In 1963, the Height-led National Council of Negro Women joined the Council for United Civil Rights Leadership. Height was an architect of the August 1963 March on Washington, where she shared the stage with Martin Luther King Jr. It was Height who pushed to include a voice of youth like John Lewis of the Student Nonviolent Co-ordinating Committee and insisted on no time limits for King’s speech.

Gender equality also was important to Height, who fought for the rights of women, particularly women of color. President John F. Kennedy named her to his Commission on the Status of Women, which was chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt. Height attended the 1963 White House ceremony where Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act. In 1971, she helped form the National Women’s Political Caucus.

In 1977, Height officially retired from the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), for which she worked for 40 years. In addition to numerous honorary degrees, Height received the nation’s two highest civilian honors. In 1994, President Bill Clinton awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. A decade later, President George W. Bush presented her with the Congressional Gold Medal. In 2009, she was a guest of Barack Obama when he was sworn in as the nation’s 44th president.

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