Leading civil rights activist to speak Oct. 16
Leading civil rights activist to speak Oct. 16October 14, 2003Patrick Farrellpmfarrel@syr.edu
Civil rights activist and attorney Morris Dees will deliver his lecture, “A Passion for Justice,” to the Syracuse University community Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel. The event, which is free and open to the public, is part of the 2003-04 University Lectures.
Dees has devoted his career to defending the rights of the oppressed and using the legal system to fight racism and injustice in American society. Dees has successfully battled the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Nation in court, winning multi-million dollar judgments against both. He is chief trial counsel for The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit group he co-founded in 1971 to litigate suits involving civil rights violations, domestic terrorists and racially motivated crimes.
Over the course of his career, Dees has done much to promote diversity, with involvement in the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Ala.; lawsuits that hobbled the KKK and Aryan Nation; prosecutions that imprisoned perpetrators of hate crimes; and education that increased awareness of radical militias. As chair of the executive committee for the Center, he has devoted his time to developing ideas for “Teaching Tolerance,” the Center’s well-regarded education project.
Dees has authored “Gathering Storm: America’s Militia Threat,” “A Lawyer’s Journey” and “Hate on Trial: The Case Against America’s Most Dangerous Neo-Nazi.” A graduate of the University of Alabama Law School, Dees has received numerous accolades in conjunction with his work at the Center, including being named a “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice and receiving the National Education Association’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Award.
The University Lectures is a cross-disciplinary lecture series that brings to the University individuals of exceptional accomplishment in the areas of architecture and design; the humanities and the sciences; and public policy, management and communications. The series is supported by the generosity of the University’s Trustees, alumni and friends. For more information, visit http://provost.syr.edu/lectures/future.asp.