George and Amal Clooney have donated $1 million to the Southern Poverty Law Center in order to help combat hate groups in the United States.
The Southern Poverty Law Center announced on its website this week that they will be receiving this funding from the Clooney Foundation for Justice, which was founded by George and Amal Clooney in 2016. In a statement, the Clooneys said that they decided to donate the money following the violence in Charlottesville.
“We are proud to support the Southern Poverty Law Center in its efforts to prevent violent extremism in the United States,” George and Amal Clooney said. “What happened in Charlottesville, and what is happening in communities across our country, demands our collective engagement to stand up to hate.”
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, George Clooney said, “There are no two sides to bigotry and hate.” This is a reference to President Donald Trump’s comments that there was violence “on many sides” during the recent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Southern Poverty Law Center President Richard Cohen said in a statement that he was shocked by the white supremacist gathering in Charlottesville, adding that it was a “reflection of just how much Trump’s incendiary campaign and presidency has energized the radical right.”
Founded in 1971, the Southern Poverty Law Center is known in part for its classifications of hate groups. On its website, it counts 917 hate groups that are currently operating in the United States, including 130 Ku Klux Klan groups. The Southern Poverty Law Center is also known for pursuing legal cases against white supremacist organizations.
On August 11th, a “Unite the Right” rally sparked by the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee drew white supremacists and neo-Nazis. When protesters and counterprotesters clashed, the event turned violent. Then, on August 12th, a man drove his car into a crowd at the rally, killing one person and injuring 19.
Some of the Clooney Foundation for Justice’s other initiatives have included partnering with UNICEF to advance educational opportunities to Syrian refugees and providing financial support so that Syrian refugees can resettle into the United States.
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