UI’s Bellwood Lecture Centers on Justice for All in a Changing America

Tuesday, October 1 2013

MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho’s College of Law will host the 17th Annual Bellwood Memorial Lecture Series on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013 at 3:30 p.m. in the University of Idaho Student Union Ballroom. This lecture is entitled, “With Justice for All in a Changing America.”

In addition, there will be a reception and presentation the previous day, Monday, Oct. 7, at 5:30 p.m., at the Boise Centre for the Boise legal community. Both events are open to the public.

This year’s speaker is Morris Dees, a national leader in civil rights law and cofounder and chief trial counsel for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a non-profit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry.

The SPLC works to fulfill the promise that the civil rights movement become a reality for all, including exploited workers, disabled children and other victims of discrimination.

Dees has been a pivotal force against social injustice in northern Idaho. In the early 2000s, after a mother and son were shot at by guards of the Aryan Nation’s compound, Dees represented the pair in a civil case against the guards. Dees won the case with a judgment that bankrupted the Aryan Nation, forcing them to close the compound and leave north Idaho.

“Dees has contributed much to the fight against social injustice,” said Michael A. Satz, the College of Law’s interim dean. “His work is extremely important when it comes to social change. As this year’s Bellwood Memorial Lecture speaker, Dees represents the powerful impact that attorneys can have on advancing society, justice and culture.”

On Tuesday, Oct. 8, the College of Law will also present a panel discussion, “Lawyering on the Edge: Fighting Social Injustice and Inequality,” from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the Courtroom.

Panelists include Morris Dees; Tony Stewart, founder of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations; Norm Gissel, attorney for the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations; and Bill Morlin, former journalist and reporter at The Spokesman-Review. The panel will explore the powerful role lawyers can play to fight social injustice and inequality through the lens of community-wide efforts against the Aryan Nation in north Idaho. Panelists will discuss the relationship between work on the civil trial and the role of the task force and the media.

For more information on the Bellwood Memorial Lecture Series or Morris Dees, visit www.uidaho.edu/bellwood.

Media Contact: Cynthia Hollenbeck, College of Law, (208) 885-7115, cynthiah@uidaho.edu; Andrea Thomas, University Communications-North, (208) 292-1401, andreat@uidaho.edu

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit www.uidaho.edu.