Health Power Tribute to Dr. Dorothy I. Height


height_nyu - Dorothy Height

Long-term National Leader for Civil Rights and Women’s Progress


Truly in a class by herself, Health Power and its President remember their friend and national leader, Dr. Dorothy I. Height, with great fondness and the highest of regard.  We consider her long and unyielding persistence and achievements related to civil rights and women’s improvement, combined, an example for all.

Her great contributions to advance the National Council for Negro Women (NCNW) over more than 40 years is reflected by the organization’s very title, when the civil rights struggles for “Negroes” was a great challenge.

Dr. Height’s active involvement in and support for minority health is much less well known than it should be. Health Power’s president, Norma J. Goodwin, M.D., had the pleasure of working with her on numerous health related projects as diverse as:


  • An NCNW project involving the conduct of a series of focus groups to assess the attitudes and recommendations of African American women regarding reproductive health, and to prepare a foundation report which, at the time, was quite visionary
  • Serving for two years on the prominent National Advisory Board of Health Watch Information and Promotion Service, an organization founded by Dr. Goodwin and funded during its start-up years by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

In her capacity as a National Advisory Board member, Dr, Height found time in her very busy schedule to travel to New York City to participate in quarterly Board meetings. She also gave direct advice to Dr. Goodwin between Board meetings, thus assisting her in the development and growth of a major minority health improvement effort. She was thus quietly, yet significantly, very supportive of Dr. Goodwin as she headed and grew the organization to national prominence, achievements, and contributions   over a 16-year period, from 1984-2000.


So diverse and often unsung were Dr. Height’s health interests that she and NCNW published a cookbook for healthy eating, from which we have included samples in our Food and Fitness Channel.


From the NCNW – Dr. Dorothy Height cookbook, we are pleased to share the recipe for Bethune Sweet Potato Pie, by another legendary African American Woman, Mary McLeod Bethune. We’re sure Dr. Height would smile and much appreciate your making, and having a slice of that  pie as a tribute to her, or for whatever other reason you might have.


Be sure to check out the many other delicious recipes in our Food and Fitness Channel, especially the  different cultural specialty recipes.


Bethune Sweet Potato Pie

Source: Mary McLeod Bethune

Servings: Makes Three 9 inch pies

3 unbaked 9-inch Single Crusts

9 medium sweet potatoes or yams (about 4 pounds)
1/4 cup light margarine, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs, well beaten
2 egg whites
2 cups skim milk

1 tablespoon vanilla




  1. For filling, boil sweet potatoes until tender. Peel and mash.
  2. Heat oven to 350°
  3.     Combine margarine, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt and nutmeg in large bowl. Beat at medium speed in electric mixer until creamy. Beat in sweet potatoes, until well mixed. Beat in eggs and egg whites. Beat in milk and vanilla slowly. Spoon into 3 unbaked pie shells, using about 4 cups filling per shell.
  4. Bake at 350° for 50 to 60 minutes or until set. Cool to room temperature before serving. Refrigerate leftover pie.

Per Serving:
 295 Calories each with Fat 12 g, (104 Calories or 35% of total calories Saturated Fat 1 g, (less than 5% of total calories) Carbohydrates 43 g, Protein 5 g, Cholesterol 20 mg, Sodium 285 mg.