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Services set for civil rights icon Height
Memorial and funeral services for human-rights advocate Dorothy I. Height will be held Tuesday and Wednesday in Washington. Burial is set for Thursday.
Miss Height, who served for more than 40 years as president of the National Council of Negro Women, died April 20 at Howard University Hospital. She was 98.
Services are being overseen by former Labor Secretary Alexis Herman, a Height protege, who called Miss Height "a role model for women and men of all faiths, races and perspectives."
Recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004, Miss Height worked for decades with the YWCA, championed families and quality education, and was the only woman who stood among the "Big Six" men of the civil rights era. She also was a former president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., which has chapters around the globe, including in Germany and South Korea.
Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; philanthropist Camille Cosby, a sorority sister of Miss Height's; and poet-activist Maya Angelou are among the dignitaries and notable members of the clergy expected to participate in the funeral services.
On Tuesday, Miss Height will lie in repose from 6 to 10 p.m. at NCNW headquarters at 633 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
Two services are scheduled for Wednesday. At 2 p.m., the Deltas will hold a special program at Howard University. At 7 p.m., the historic Shiloh Baptist Church will host "Community Celebration of Life" in Miss Height's honor. The program is open to the public.
Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday at the Washington National Cathedral, which has hosted presidential inaugural prayer services and state funerals, including the one for President Ronald Reagan in 2004.
Mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves and the cathedral choir will offer musical selections.
Cathedral Dean Samuel T. Lloyd III will deliver the homily.
"It's a distinct honor and privilege for Washington National Cathedral to host Dorothy Height's funeral. Her life of service and dedication to the cause of justice and equality for all shows what a difference one person can make in this world," the dean said Monday.
Miss Height served on the cathedral's Martin Luther King Day 2010 honorary committee and participated in a number of cathedral events, including the Leadership Council on global poverty.
The service will be streamed live at www.nationalcathedral.org, and seats for the public are limited.
Burial will follow in Fort Lincoln Cemetery at Bladensburg Road and Eastern Avenue in Brentwood.
About the Author
Award-winning opinion writer Deborah Simmons is a senior correspondent who reports on City Hall and writes about education, culture, sports and family-related topics. Mrs. Simmons has worked at several newspapers, and since joining The Washington Times in 1985, has served as editorial-page editor and features editor and on the metro desk. She has taught copy editing at the University of ...
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