MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Human rights leaders Susan Corke and Jalaya Liles Dunn join the Southern Poverty Law Center today to lead two internationally renowned projects aimed at combating hate and extremism in communities across the nation.
Corke will serve as the director of SPLC’s Intelligence Project, the premier source for monitoring hate groups and other domestic extremists in the U.S. Dunn will lead the organization’s Teaching Tolerance project, a resource for educators seeking resources that help address social justice topics in the classroom.
“The SPLC has been at the forefront of hate and extremism work for decades, exposing the threat on one end as well as helping to reduce the negative impact on young people who are vulnerable to misinformation and recruitment by hate groups. Our mission has never been more urgent than now,'' SPLC president and CEO Margaret Huang said. “We are thrilled to welcome Susan and Jalaya as they help us lead this important work.”
A former state department official with 20 years of experience in human rights activism, policy and monitoring and reporting hate crimes within the U.S. government and international organizations, Corke is charged with responding to the increasing threat posed by extremist individuals and organizations.
The Intelligence Project exposes the activities of hate and anti-government “patriot” groups through the SPLC’s annual Year in Hate and Extremism report, investigative reports and blogs, and expert analysis provided to the media, lawmakers and public. It also shares key intelligence with elected officials and law enforcement agencies.
“I am thrilled to be joining the SPLC at a critical moment in the nation’s fight against hate and extremism,” Corke said. “It is incredibly challenging work, mentally and emotionally, but there is no more important fight right now than helping America move beyond its systemic racism. And I’m glad to join a team of people who are passionate about this cause, even though it’s quite dark.”
Dunn brings more than 20 years of experience in social and racial justice pedagogy, anti-bias training, advocacy, and movement building to her role as director of Teaching Tolerance, a project established by the SPLC in 1991 to provide educators with anti-bias resources. Prior to joining the SPLC, she served as the national director of the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools program and director of youth leadership and development. She also developed curriculum and provided professional development and training to educators in Arkansas schools as a consultant for the University of Arkansas Academy for Educational Equity.
“There’s a need – a hunger and excitement – right now to make the world a better place,” Dunn said. “Training educators to teach through the lens of justice and democracy has been the highlight of what I do. But there’s still so much work that needs to be done, and I’m ready to attach myself to work that is authentic and honest. I don’t see any place doing that other than at the SPLC.”