Today, April 20, 2011, is the one year anniversary of the death of social work pioneer Dr. Dorothy I. Height. This time last year, NASW was preparing to give Dr. Height the Lifetime Achievement Award and we were saddened to learn of her death, but pleased and humbled to have spent time with her in support of the social work profession and the clients we serve.
Dr. Height began her career as a caseworker in the New York City Welfare Department and proudly proclaimed her social work roots throughout her lifetime. She served as President of the National Council of Negro Women from for over 50 years, and was integral in the struggle for civil and women’s rights. She was often the only woman in the room when the “Big 6” civil rights leaders including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Whitney Young, and John Lewis would meet to discuss to discuss the most pressing societal issues of their time.
NASW was honored to name the Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Young, Jr. Social Work Reinvestment Act (HR 1106/S. 584) after these two leaders, who made an indelible mark on the profession of social work and the course of our nation.
Please take a moment today to remember Dr. Height and her numerous contributions to the social work profession. Also, please view the National Council of Negro Women’s tribute to Dr. Height.