Wilson Attends YWCA National Conference in Washington

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Wilson Attends YWCA National Conference in Washington

July 28, 2009

Rae Wilson, assistant professor of social work at Northwestern Oklahoma State University and member of the board of directors of the YWCA-Enid, recently attended the annual YWCA National Conference in Washington, D.C.

During her trip to Washington, Wilson had the opportunity to meet social work pioneer, civil rights activist and women's rights advocate Dr. Dorothy Height.

“She is one of the social work pioneers our students learn and write about,” Wilson said.

Rae Wilson in DC
Rae Wilson is photographed with Dr. Dorothy Height at the YWCA National Conference during the Sesquicentennial Gala: Celebrating 150 Years of Fearless Leadership in Washington, D.C. Wilson attended this conference on behalf of the YMCA-Enid.

Height’s journey began at the age of 12, when she began fighting prejudice and demanded to speak to the manager after being denied entrance to a swimming pool because of the color of her skin. This was in 1924 and the problem still exists today.
Height was at the forefront of major civil rights events of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. In 1963 she was the only woman to help plan the March on Washington with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Currently, the Social Work Reinvestment Act, before the U.S. House and Senate, bears her name, as well as the name of Whitney M. Young.

“It was a great honor for me to have the opportunity to meet Dr. Dorothy,” Wilson said. “I had the chance to speak with her and tell her about the incredible strides we have made in social work education in northwest Oklahoma. She was supportive and gracious.”

The YWCA is the oldest and largest multicultural women's organization in the world. YWCA has been in the forefront of most major movements in the United States as a pioneer in race relations, labor union representation and the empowerment of women.