Shay Farley is the regional policy director for the Southern Poverty Law Center and its lobbying arm, the SPLC Action Fund. She manages the policy staff across five Southern states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi.
Farley previously served as legal director of the advocacy organization Alabama Appleseed.
She began her career in general legal practice before pursuing social justice advocacy. She has extensive expertise in the development, governance and management of policy initiatives. Farley has worked on legislative advocacy campaigns in Alabama related to mass incarceration, juvenile justice, economic justice, children’s rights, the treatment of LGBTQ people and immigrant rights. She coordinates with elected and appointed officials, agencies, judges, nonprofit organizations and affected individuals and communities.
Farley has presented at legal, academic and public policy conferences in Alabama and across the nation. She has been quoted by local, state and national print and television media. Her expertise has been sought at the state and federal level, where she assisted the Obama administration’s efforts to assess and address consumer financial issues such as predatory lending.
Farley’s work has been recognized by the Montgomery Advertiser newspaper in Alabama, which honored her with the King Spirit Award in 2011. The award recognizes young adults who represent the vision, dedication and selfless spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She was recognized in 2016 by AL.com, a statewide news website in Alabama, which named her among the “Women Who Shape the State.”
Farley received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Faulkner University. She earned her law degree from Thomas Goode Jones School of Law.