The Southern Poverty Law Center fired its co-founder and chief litigator Morris Dees on Wednesday, the civil-rights organization announced.
In a Thursday statement, law center President Richard Cohen stressed the importance of “ensuring that the conduct of our staff reflects the mission of the organization and the values we hope to instill in the world.”
“When one of our own fails to meet those standards, no matter his or her role in the organization, we take it seriously and must take appropriate action,” Cohen wrote.
The statement did not offer specifics on the circumstances behind Dees’ termination. When pressed for more details on the decision, a spokesman for the center said he “can’t comment on the details of individual personnel” and did not anticipate other statements on the matter.
The statement continued: “Today we announced a number of immediate, concrete next steps we’re taking, including bringing in an outside organization to conduct a comprehensive assessment of our internal climate and workplace practices, to ensure that our talented staff is working in the environment that they deserve — one in which all voices are heard and all staff members are respected.”
Dees founded the organization in 1971.
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