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SPLC Mourns the Passing of Civil Rights Activist Dorie Ladner


JACKSON, Miss. — The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) reflects on the legacy of civil rights activist Dorie Ladner, a pillar in the movement for social justice in Mississippi.  

“Dorie Ladner is an icon in the Civil Rights Movement, showing America and future generations what it means to fight for human rights, a passionate and brave voice,” said Waikinya Clanton, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Mississippi state office. “A servant leader who selflessly fought for the needs of the people in spite of the dangers to herself, Dorie and her sister, Joyce Ladner, are champions of truth and justice. We are grateful for their unwavering advocacy for equality and freedom for Black Mississippians.”  

“Dorie’s contributions to the Civil Rights Movement began as a teenager. Seeking equality and freedom for Black people in the Jim Crow era South, Dorie and her sister helped to organize the NAACP Youth Council Chapter in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  Both sisters attended Tougaloo College, where they became involved with the Freedom Riders and were active members of SNNC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Dorie was a founding member of the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) and was instrumental in organizing the 1964 Freedom Summer Project. And even in retirement, she continued her advocacy around voting rights, fair housing and employment. The SPLC’s Mississippi State Office extends our deepest sympathy to Dorie’s family, loved ones and fellow activists – and we will honor her legacy by continuing to fight for civil rights for all people in Mississippi.”