Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, is referred: NPR



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The Southern Poverty Law Center announced Thursday that it has dismissed civil rights lawyer and co-founder Morris Dees. He is seen here in 2016.

Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images


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Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

The Southern Poverty Law Center announced Thursday that it has dismissed civil rights lawyer and co-founder Morris Dees. He is seen here in 2016.

Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

The Southern Poverty Law Center claims to have sacked Morris Dees, one of its founders. The Civil Rights Association based in Montgomery, Alaska, is well known for its monitoring of hate groups and its Teaching Tolerance program.

Dees co-founded the SPLC in 1971. The organization had assets of $ 450 million in 2017, according to a tax return.

"As a civil rights organization, the SPLC is committed to ensuring that the conduct of our staff reflects the mission of the organization and the values ​​we hope to instill in the world," he said. President Richard Cohen in a statement. "If one of ours does not meet these standards, regardless of its role in the organization, we take it seriously and must take the measures that impose."

No specific reason for the termination has been given. Dees, 82, told The Associated Press that the case involved a personnel problem. He described the SPLC as a formidable organization and wished him good luck, reports the AP.

The biography of Dees has been removed from the SPLC website.

The SPLC also announced a number of measures to ensure that "all voices are heard and all staff members are respected", including the hiring of an external firm to assess the climate and practices of its staff. workplace.

The work of the SPLC has attracted threats and violence. His offices were burned down in 1983, for which three members of the Ku Klux Klan were arrested and pleaded guilty, according to the AP.

In recent decades, Dees has been applauded and criticized. the Montgomery Advertiser reports that his 1994 series on the SPLC revealed that the famous civil rights lawyer was "a character considered heroic by some and determined by others who criticized Dees as being more focused on fundraising than on the fight against injustice ".

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