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Southern Poverty Law Center fires founder Morris Dees



Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center, a nationally-recognized nonprofit organization overseeing hate organizations, said Thursday it had fired cofounder Morris Dees, who once won a lawsuit against a leading group of Ku Klux Klan.

A statement by Richard Cohen, the president of the Lawyers 'Center, said that Dees' employment had been terminated but had not given any specific reason.

"As a civil rights organization, the SPLC is committed to ensuring the conduct of our business The staff reflects the mission of the organization and the values ​​we want to convey to the world if one of our employees does not meet these standards, regardless of their role in the organization the organization, we take it seriously and need to take appropriate action. "it said.

Called by phone, Dees said it was a staffing problem. He said the Southern Poverty Law Center was a wonderful organization, and he wished him luck.

Dees, 82, founded in 1971 together with a partner the Montgomery-based legal center as a guard dog for minorities and underprivileged. A decade later, he won a $ 7 million judgment against United Klans of America on behalf of Beulah Mae Donald, whose son was murdered by KKK members in Mobile.

The office of the SPLC was set on fire in 1983, and three clansmen were later arrested and found guilty. According to tax records, the company had assets of approximately $ 450 million in 2017. It works in a high-security building near the church where Rev. Martin Luther Jr. First served as a pastor.

The Lawyers' Center is best known for tracking down groups that it regards as hate organizations, and is a frequent target of conservative and far-right critics.

In a statement about Dees ouster, the SPLC said he was deeply committed to having a job that reflected the values ​​- truth, justice, justice, and inclusion – and we believe the steps we have taken today reinforce them Engagement.

The SPLC said an outside group will review their workplace practices.


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