Leading Authorities On Race Relations Coming Here

Wednesday, March 1, 2000

Two nationally known figures on race relations - Morris Dees and Dr. Henry Foster - will be coming to Chattanooga as part of a months-long focus on improving race relations here.

The events are sponsored by the Chattanooga Human Rights and Human Relations Commission.

Mr. Dees, who is director of the Southern Poverty Law Center at Montgomery, Ala., will be speaking at the Community Theater at Memorial Auditorium.

That will be April 10 at 6 p.m.

Dr. Foster, a former candidate for U.S. Surgeon General, will be here May 11.

Scott Lindsey, lead staff person for the commission, said the theme of the Dees event will be "Stand Up Against Racial Hatred and Prejudice in the Community."

He said Mr. Dees is "probably the leading authority on hate crimes in America."

Mr. Lindsey said the Foster appearance will tie in with the launching of study groups in which citizens will meet to talk about race relations in Chattanooga.

A session to train facilitators to lead those study groups will be March 11.

Mr. Lindsey said among those planning to be facilitators are City Council members Yusuf Hakeem and Mai Bell Hurley.

He said the study groups will meet until early fall with citizens discussing characteristics of race relation problems as well as solutions."

"We want to get input on how citizens feel about current race relations and what can be done to improve them," he said.

Mr. Lindsey said a report will be issued in the fall on the findings from the study groups.

"Then we will offer some action plans," he said.

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