Who We Are

The Southern Poverty Law Center is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society.  Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the Center works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.

Founded by civil rights lawyers Morris Dees and Joseph Levin Jr. in 1971, the SPLC is internationally known for tracking and exposing the activities of hate groups. Our innovative Teaching Tolerance program produces and distributes – free of charge – documentary films, books, lesson plans and other materials that promote tolerance and respect in our nation’s schools.

We are based in Montgomery, Ala., the birthplace of the modern civil rights movement, and have offices in Atlanta, New Orleans, Miami, Fla., and Jackson, Miss.

A Rich History

Richard Cohen at US Supreme CourtThe SPLC was founded to ensure that the promises of the civil rights movement became a reality for all. Since our founding in 1971, we’ve won numerous landmark legal victories on behalf of the exploited, the powerless and the forgotten.

Our lawsuits have toppled institutional racism in the South, bankrupted some of the nation’s most violent white supremacist groups and won justice for exploited workers, abused prison inmates, disabled children and other victims of discrimination.

>> Read more about SPLC's history
>> Explore Landmark Cases

Strong Leadership

Since our founding, the SPLC has been led by a strong team of board members, civil rights lawyers and program staffers who are committed to ensuring justice and equality for all.

>> Read more about SPLC's staff

Sound Finances

Our work is made possible by the generosity and commitment of our thousands of supporters across the country. We are proud of our financial stewardship and dedicated to ensuring openness and accountability.

>> Read more about our financial status