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SPLC Launches Race and Redistricting Expert Project

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Today, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) announced the launch of the Race and Redistricting Expert Project (RREP), an initiative designed to build a robust pipeline of experts in mapping, statistics, and research to address the critical shortage of those working on voting rights litigation for civil rights organizations and community partners. 

“Redistricting is no longer a beginning-of-the-decade project; it is an ongoing necessity for ensuring fair and equal representation,” said Fred McBride, senior advisor for voting rights at the SPLC. “This work is needed everywhere – from the Deep South to tribal lands. The Race and Redistricting Expert Project is our commitment to building a cadre of experts who will contribute significantly to protecting voting rights across diverse communities.”

The RREP will offer two expert trainings:

Geographic Information System (GIS) Mapping: Individuals trained in drawing and analyzing electoral district boundaries.

Statistical Analysis: Trainees taught to perform statistical analysis to determine racially polarized voting patterns and partisan symmetry.

Both expert fields involve voting rights law, encompassing quantitative and qualitative methods relevant to Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. 

RREP participants will learn the structural skills of drawing fair election districts, counteracting racially gerrymandered maps and serving as experts in voting rights cases before federal and state courts. They will provide testimony in depositions and trials, submit reports on their findings and contribute to voting rights research and publications. The two-year program encourages participation in community-based mapping with local groups, aligning with current voting rights cases, and preparing for the 2030 Census and reapportionment.

The SPLC plans to recruit 10-15 qualified professionals as part of RREP, who have earned a graduate or professional degree or have some background in redistricting. Participants will attend in-person meetings, hosted by the SPLC’s Democracy: Voting Rights group, for the first year and complete two practicum assignments. In the second year of the program, participants will work virtually with civil rights organizations and voting rights experts to apply their skills to real-world scenarios. Selected candidates will receive a stipend for in-person training, virtual assignment work and the apprenticeship. 

Applications are open now. For more information and to apply, visit the Race and Redistricting Expert Project website or email The application deadline is Friday, Apr. 12, 2024. 

About the Southern Poverty Law Center 
The Southern Poverty Law Center is a catalyst for racial justice in the South and beyond, working in partnership with communities to dismantle white supremacy, strengthen intersectional movements, and advance the human rights of all people. For more information, visit