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Board members resign from Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

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Angela Davis

Three board members of the Birmingham, Alabama, Civil Rights Institute resigned to protest the organization withdrawing an invitation to Angela Davis to speak and canceling the Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Awards dinner February 16th where she was scheduled to be honored.

Mike Oatridge, the organization’s chair, Walter Body and Janice Kelsey resigned Wednesday amid calls that all of them should quit the board. “As members of the board, we regret the circumstances surrounding the selection process regarding the 2018 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award and the dissension this has caused,” the three wrote.

The organization withdrew the award after a Jewish group objected because Davis is a supporter of Palestine.

The board consists of 5 members, including Birmingham mayor Randall Woodfin.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute officials could not be reached for comment. An outgoing message on the institute’s telephone said the organization has been flooded with calls, but if the caller wants to comment, they can leave a message.

Institute officials later apologized to Davis about the way they handled withdrawing the award.

 

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