She began her works as a civil rights activist at the age of twenty-five when she joined the National Council of Negro Women. Throughout her life she fought for equal rights for both African Americans and women.
During the 1930s she was an activist against lynching and supported reforms to the criminal justice system.
In 1957, Height became the president of the National Council of Negro Women. Through the council, she became one of the leading figures of the Civil Rights Movement.