Employees at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama have spoken out against what they say is a culture of ‘racism and sexism’ at the famous civil rights nonprofit group.
The Southern Poverty Law Center was founded in the early 70s to monitor the activities of domestic hate groups.
The SPLC says the organization is currently tracking more than 1,600 extremist groups. The Ku Klux Klan and the neo-Nazi movement are two movements mentioned on the center’s website.
Employees have spoken out about alleged racism and sexism within the Southern Poverty Law Center
The Southern Poverty Law Center was founded in the early 70s to monitor the activities of groups including the Ku Klux Klan. Members of the Fraternal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan participate in the 11th Annual Nathan Bedford Forrest Birthday march July 11, 2009
The claims center around allegations that the SPLC suffers systemic problems with racism and sexism and from a ‘pervasive racist culture and an environment in which a woman is not seen or heard,’ according to CNN who spoke with three current employees on guarantee of anonymity.
One of those employees alleged that ‘qualified African-American employees were regularly passed over for promotions.’ The woman added, ‘My boss only hires white people.’
The SPLC have gone on to change its leadership. Co-founder, five-times married Morris Dees, was fired earlier this month for unspecified misconduct.
Morris Dees, Co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, (pictured above) was fired in March for unspecified misconduct
SPLC President Richard Cohen (pictured above) stepped down from the post resigning a little more than a week after he fired Dees
Former Michelle Obama’s Chief-of-Staff Tina Tchen has been appointed to lead a company-wide review.
On March 22, SPLC President Richard Cohen stepped down, resigning a little more than a week after he fired Dees.
‘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 said in a statement following Dees departure.
‘We’ve heard from our staff that we need to do a better job of making sure that our workplace embodies the values we espouse — truth, justice, equity, and inclusion,’ Cohen said in a statement announcing his own resignation, adding his departure would help the SPLC move forward.
Former Michelle Obama’s Chief-of-Staff Tina Tchen, (pictured above) has been appointed to lead a company-wide review
One employee described the current upheaval as a revolution against the organization’s leadership, ‘initiated by employees tired of a pervasive culture unchallenged by those in charge.’
Both Dees and Cohen’s departures follow the resignation of Meredith Horton, an associate legal director in the organization who’s African-American.
Horton’s resignation letter cites concerns about workplace culture.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has a track record in securing monetary damages against hate groups.
Members of the National Socialist Movement, one of the largest neo-Nazi groups in the US, hold a swastika burning after a rally on April 21, 2018 in Draketown, Georgia
In 1981 civil rights lawyer Dees successfully sued the Ku Klux Klan winning $7 million for the mother of Michael Donald, a black lynching victim in Alabama.
Following the judgment, The United Klans of America was forced to sell its national headquarters to help pay it off.
Bryan Fair, chairman of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s board said in a statement that they are taking staff’s concerns very seriously.
‘We acknowledge and take very seriously the significant concerns that our talented and deeply committed staff have raised, and we are committed to listening further, taking ownership wherever we have failed to live up to our own standards and values, and to making any changes necessary at the conclusion of this process to ensure that the Center is exemplifying and upholding them,’ Fair said.
No-one at the Southern Poverty Law Center was immediately available for comment regarding the workplace allegations when contacted by DailyMail.com.