The march continues: civil rights lawyer Morris Dees speaks at UNF

Danae Leake


America has made strides for justice in equality in the last hundred years. Women can vote, African Americans can vote and same-sex marriage is legal in more than 30 states.

UNF presented trial lawyer and author Morris Dees as a speaker for the Distinguished Voices Lecture series Feb. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Adam W. Herbert University Center. Dees brought up the identity shift in American society and how it’s putting issues of equality more at the forefront in his lecture entitled “With Justice for All in a Changing America.” Assistant Director of Special Events Kelly Gates said 450 people attended Dees’ lecture.

Dees has earned several awards for his work including the ABA Medal from the American Bar Association, the highest award of the organization according to its website. Dees founded the Southern Poverty Law Center and took on several civil rights cases including one that bankrupted a Klu Klux Klan group.

In an interview with Spinnaker, Dees said what used be the minority is now becoming the majority. This shift in demographics calls for different needs that the government should recognize in order to satisfy and serve for this new majority.

“The march for justice continues,” Dees said. “It didn’t end with the voting march in 1965 when Blacks got the right to vote. It has continued in many areas that we have not thought possible.”

For the many students who listened to his lecture, Dees said he hoped to encourage them to build a more receptive community in America by taking a stand to those who make stereotypical, racial or negative gender-related comments.

“The reason I’m talking to college students about [equality] is because you’re going to make up the next generation who will have to deal with these issues in these changing times in America.”

The march continues.

Morris Dee is a trial lawyer and an author who founded the Southern Poverty Law Center. Photo courtesy of Facebook
Morris Dee is a trial lawyer and an author who founded the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Photo courtesy of Facebook

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