Lorenzo Komboa Ervin's wife and other supporters of Ervin have recently posted extensive email attacks on the Board of Directors of Nashville Peace and Justice Center and individual members, accusing us of removing him from his job as Coordinator of the Center for racist motives. We don't want to get into an internet battle of words, but want to respond factually, for the information of those who may read these attacks. The attacks by JoNina Abron-Ervin and others are full of errors of fact, misstatements and falsehoods, so numerous that we won't try to correct them all.

Briefly, we hired Lorenzo in June 2006. He became a second African-American on our full-time staff of three people. We hoped he would help us broaden our base of organizational outreach among communities of color in Nashville and combat problems of racism in the wider community. We are earnestly committed to these goals.

Lorenzo is soft spoken, restrained and convincing in personal presentation, but we soon learned that very often when his actions as Coordinator were questioned or opposed by white co-workers, for any reason, he lashed out at them in angry emails, accusing them of racism and harassment. If people of color opposed him, he accused them of pandering to whites on the Board.

On December 4, after five months of turmoil, resignations of offended Board Members, failed attempts to arrange conciliation and mediation, and imminent withdrawal of several member organizations, the Board voted 16 to 4, with one abstention, to end Lorenzo's employment immediately, with a generous severance of two month's additional pay. Those voting to end Lorenzo's employment included two African-American Board Members and one Hispanic. One African-American Member left the room without voting. Those voting against immediate termination included three whites and one African-American.

Lorenzo was not fired for racist motives, open or concealed. He was fired because a majority of the Board concluded that he was not competent for a leadership and administrative role in our coalition of organizations, and because of his destructively divisive way of relating to colleagues in the coalition. Many of us remain open to working with him as a person and as a Black organizer if he chooses to remain in Nashville.

Karl Meyer (individual Board Member) and Eric Schechter