08/03/2011

Southern Poverty Law Center Honored with Andrew Goodman Freedom Prize

The Southern Poverty Law Center was presented with the 2011 Andrew Goodman Freedom Prize today by the Walker County (Ala.) Honorary Committee.

Each year, the committee presents the award to an individual or organization that has made a valuable contribution to civil and human rights. The award was presented to SPLC founder Morris Dees at the Civil Rights Memorial Center by the committee’s chairman, the Rev. David Lewis.

“We are deeply honored that the Walker County Honorary Committee has chosen to recognize the Southern Poverty Law Center with an award named for this young civil rights worker,” Dees said. “We tell his story every day here at the Civil Rights Memorial Center.”

Morris Dees accepts Walker County award
Morris Dees accepts the 2011 Andrew Goodman Freedom Prize from the Rev. David Lewis, Walker County Honorary Committee chairman. The Walker County Honorary Committee was established in January 1963 to honor those who have made a valuable contribution to the good of humanity and the betterment of the community.

Goodman is one of 40 civil rights martyrs whose names are inscribed on the Civil Rights Memorial, which was designed by renowned architect Maya Lin and built by the SPLC at its Montgomery office. Goodman traveled to Mississippi in 1964 to volunteer for the Mississippi Summer Project, a campaign to register black voters throughout the state. On his first day in Philadelphia, Miss., he and two other project workers – James Chaney and Michael Schwerner – were beaten and shot to death. After a 44-day search, their bodies were found buried in an earthen dam.

The Walker County Honorary Committee was established in January 1963 to honor those who have made a valuable contribution to the good of humanity and the betterment of the community.