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