The Children's Defense Fund Dedicates the Bethune-Height House At the Haley Farm

Symposium on Women Torchbearers in the Civil Rights Movement Honoring

Dr. Height to Accompany Dedication

Jul 13, 2001, 01:00 ET from Children's Defense Fund

    CLINTON, Tenn., July 13 /PRNewswire/ -- On Sunday, July 15, at the former
 Alex Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) will
 dedicate the Bethune-Height house in honor of Dr. Dorothy I. Height and in
 memory of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune.  The ceremony will be part of CDF's
 Torchbearers Symposium on the Role of Women in the Civil Rights Movement in
 honor of Dr. Height.
     The Honorable Andrew Young, Chairman and Founder of Good Works
 International, and Marian Wright Edelman, President and Founder of the
 Children's Defense Fund, will give tribute to Dr. Height.  Other speakers will
 include Dr. Dorothy Cotton, former educational director of the Southern
 Christian Leadership Conference; Professor Roger Wilkins, author of
 Jefferson's Pillow: Fable and Dilemma of Black Patriotism; Ms. Connie Curry,
 author of Silver Rights: Photographs from the Mississippi Delta, the story of
 Mae Bertha Carter and her family's struggles as they integrated the schools in
 Sunflower County, Mississippi; Ms. Victoria Gray Adams, a national
 spokesperson for the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party during the Civil
 Rights Movement; Dr. Mahnaz Afkhami, president of the Women's Learning
 Partnership and a leader in the international women's movement; and Dr.
 Francine Moccio, director of the Institute for Women and Work at Cornell
 University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
     Dr. Height began her career as a caseworker for the welfare department in
 New York and joined the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), the
 organization Mary McLeod Bethune founded, in 1937. She later became president
 of the NCNW and led it for over forty years.  In the early 1960s Dr. Height
 helped organize "Wednesdays in Mississippi," a weekly meeting in Mississippi
 of prominent women -- both Black and White, from North and South -- to promote
 racial harmony. Her courage during those dangerous and trying times inspired
 many women to become active in the Civil Rights Movement.
     "Dr. Dorothy Height has always shown the creativity, energy, perseverance,
 and commitment to the long haul necessary for true leadership," said Marian
 Wright Edelman, president and founder of the Children's Defense Fund.  "She is
 an inspiration and role model for other leaders today."
     The Role of Women in the Civil Rights Movement symposium will focus on the
 invaluable contribution women made in the push for human and civil rights.  It
 will underscore the premise that each generation of women bears the "torch" of
 change for children and families.  Black and White women who participated in
 the Civil Rights Movement will engage in candid dialogue about their efforts.
 Panelists will discuss gender and class issues in the movement and Black
 organizations of that era.  They will also describe their strategies for
 outreach to organizations of African American women and recount how Black and
 White women organized across color lines.  The symposium begins on Sunday,
 July 15th and concludes Monday, July 16th.
     The symposium will be followed by the seventh annual Samuel DeWitt Proctor
 Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry and Great Preachers Series.  Each summer
 the Institute brings together clergy, faith community leaders, and child
 advocates for a week of spiritual renewal, character and leadership
 development, interracial communications, and community building.
     For more information about Torchbearers or the Proctor Institute for Child
 Advocacy Ministry, contact Gigi Hinton at 202-662-3609 or Libby Alesbury at
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SOURCE Children's Defense Fund