Katie Couric's Notebook: Dorothy Height

Dorothy Height, the civil rights leader who passed away this morning, was not much for patience.

She liked to say: "If the time is not ripe, we have to ripen the time."

And that's exactly what she did. She started demonstrating as a teenager and ultimately marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the only women in his inner circle.

In 1964, she co-founded Wednesdays in Mississippi, a legendary program that brought black and white women from the North to meet their counterparts in the South. Chatting over tea, they forged bold alliances on issues like health care and education.

After 40 years as president of the National Council of Negro Women, Height remained active well into her 90s. When President Obama was elected, she said she always "believed it would happen."

Dorothy Height had the perfect last name for a visionary. With her feet firmly planted and her eyes on the prize, she never stopped reaching for justice and equality.

That's a page from my notebook.

I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.