Civil rights lawyers Morris Dees and Joseph Levin Jr. founded the SPLC in 1971 to ensure that the promise of the civil rights movement became a reality for all. Since then, we’ve won numerous landmark legal victories on behalf of the exploited, the powerless and the forgotten.
Our lawsuits have toppled institutional racism and stamped out remnants of Jim Crow segregation; destroyed some of the nation’s most violent white supremacist groups; and protected the civil rights of children, women, the disabled, immigrants and migrant workers, the LGBT community, prisoners, and many others who faced discrimination, abuse or exploitation.
Our Intelligence Project is internationally known for tracking and exposing the activities of hate groups and other domestic extremists.
Our Teaching Tolerance program produces and distributes – free of charge – anti-bias documentary films, books, lesson plans and other materials that reduce prejudice and promote educational equity in our nation’s schools.
We also built and maintain the Civil Rights Memorial and its interpretive center, the Civil Rights Memorial Center, in Montgomery, Alabama, the birthplace of the modern civil rights movement.