National NCNW News





Bernadine Stallings

Whitney Guilford

Tonita Perry, APR

NCNW Uncommon Height Awards Gala BACK FOR 18th YEAR

(WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 18, 2023) – Today, the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) announced the Uncommon Height Awards Gala will return on Dec. 8 for the 18th year. The biennial event will be held at the Gaylord National Harbor Resort in Oxon Hill, Md. This event is the organization’s signature fundraising event, with proceeds raised being used to fund programs of critical concern known as “Four for the Future” – health, education, economics, and social justice.

“The gala allows us to remember and celebrate the good work of Dr. Dorothy Irene Height over the years, while recognizing the good works of many today, especially our Crystal Stair Award recipient,” said Rev. Shavon Arline-Bradley, president and chief executive officer of NCNW.  “We are excited to share with our supporters and partners the ongoing tireless work of our board, sections, and staff to advance our mission of leading, advocating, and empowering women of African descent, their families, and communities. It will be a fun and reflective time you do not want to miss.”

This will be the first Uncommon Height Awards Gala under the leadership of newly elected NCNW Chair, Dr. A. Lois Keith, and Rev. Arline-Bradley.  They named Alexis Herman, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor and president of the Dorothy I. Height Education Foundation, and Harry E. Johnson, Sr., Esq., president and CEO of The Memorial Foundation and chair of the NCNW Associates, co-chairs of this year’s event. Toyota Motor Company of North America will once again be the presenting sponsors.

“It is always an honor to serve as one of the chairs of this event.  Dr. Height was my mentor and shared so many life lessons that have stayed with me,” said Sec. Herman. “One of those lessons was to acknowledge and lift others who have made a difference in our world. The Crystal Stair Award does just that. It honors an individual who had truly climbed to “Higher Heights.” We look forward to a wonderful evening.”

The gala is named in honor of NCNW President Emerita, Dr. Dorothy Irene Height, who led the organization for over 50 years and achieved notoriety due to her immense contributions to economic justice, civil rights, and education. To further honor her, the Crystal Stair Award is awarded to an individual who demonstrates a lifetime devoted to the protection of freedom and pursuit of excellence in career and personal dedication to humanity as did Dr. Height.  The 2021 recipients were Kenneth and Kathryn Chenault.

Mr. Johnson said, “Dr.  Dorothy Irene Height was a stalwart supporter of all people and lived her life to ensure that everyone’s civil rights were protected, especially women of color.  I consider it a high honor and privilege to serve as co-chair of this great event; we must continue to see the mission of NCNW fulfilled.  My co-chair and I invite you all to celebrate, commemorate but most of all keep the work and legacy of NCNW uplifted.”

NCNW is an “organization of organizations,” comprised of 330 campus and community-based sections and 32 national women’s organizations that enlightens, inspires, and connects more than 2,000,000 women and men. Its mission is to lead, advocate for, and empower women of African descent, their families, and communities. It was founded in 1935 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, an influential educator and activist.

For more information and to attend, visit

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