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Southern Poverty Law Center, Inc.

AKA Southern Poverty Law Center

Montgomery, AL

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Southern Poverty Law Center, Inc.

Also Known As:
Southern Poverty Law Center
Physical Address:
Montgomery, AL 36104 
EIN:
63-0598743
Web URL:
www.splcenter.org
Blog URL:
www.splcenter.org/blog/
Leadership:
Mr. Richard Cohen
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Legitimacy Information

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Fiscal Year Starting: Nov 1, 2010
Fiscal Year Ending: Oct 31, 2011
Revenue
Total Revenue $38,712,628
Expenses
Total Expenses $34,565,412

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Basic Organization Information

Southern Poverty Law Center, Inc.

Also Known As:
Southern Poverty Law Center
Physical Address:
Montgomery, AL 36104 
EIN:
63-0598743
Web URL:
www.splcenter.org 
Blog URL:
www.splcenter.org/blog/ 
NTEE Category:
R Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy 
R30 Intergroup/Race Relations 
R Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy 
R22 Minority Rights 
R Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy 
R60 Civil Liberties Advocacy 
Ruling Year:
1971 

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Mission Statement

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, and the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.

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Financial Data

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Revenue and Expenses

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Balance Sheet

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Forms 990 Provided by the Nonprofit

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Financial Statements

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Leadership (GuideStar ExchangeThe GuideStar Exchange allows nonprofits to regularly update key information directly to GuideStar. It provides richer and broader information about their programs, impact, finances, people and more. September, 2012)

Mr. Richard Cohen

Term:

Since Nov 2003

Profile:

A Virginia native, Richard received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University in 1976 and his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1979. Prior to joining the SPLC staff in 1986, he was a shareholder in a Washington, D.C. law firm. He has been involved in a wide variety of civil rights litigation ranging from traditional employment discrimination and voting rights cases to lawsuits against neo-Nazi organizations. Richard has appeared in numerous state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States. In 1997, Richard was named by American Lawyer magazine as one of 45 “young lawyers outside the private sector whose vision and commitment are changing lives.” In 1999, he was a finalist for the Lawyer of the Year Award from the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice for his role in representing an African American church against Klan arsonists. As SPLC president, Richard also directs the SPLC project that monitors hate group activity across the country as well as the educational initiatives. He served as the executive producer of “Mighty Times: The Children’s March,” an SPLC-produced documentary film that won an Academy Award in 2005.



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Program: Education

Budget:
$12,195,710
Category:
Education
Population Served:
Females, all ages or age unspecified
Males, all ages or age unspecified

Program Description:

Teaching Tolerance The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program provides award-winning tolerance education resources – at no charge – to foster respect and understanding among teachers and their students. Our self-titled magazine – distributed free to every school in the U.S. – gives teachers practical ideas for promoting an appreciation of diversity and the values of democracy. The program’s online presence, www.tolerance.org, features, more than 500 anti-bias lesson plans and classroom activities.  Teachers are able to search for activities by grade level, subject, and keyword. Our staff of professional educators provides a new, featured lesson each week as daily blog posts.

Program Long-Term Success:

Teaching Tolerance   Teaching Tolerance celebrated it 20th year in 2011 and remains a critical resource for hundreds of thousands of educators.  As school budgets are slashed and high-stakes testing narrows the curriculum, teachers are forced to eliminate multicultural content.  Teaching Tolerance fills this need by consistently providing free, supplemental materials and activities that educators can integrate into core classroom lessons and their own professional development units.     Intelligence Project   Now in its third decade, the Intelligence Project is tracking a record number of hate and extremist groups.  Our network of law enforcement allies has grown extensively, and the project has assisted in shutting down dangerous hate groups like the White Aryan Resistance, the United Klans of America, the White Patriot Party militia, and the Aryan Nations. These victories have made the SPLC the reviled enemies of the radical right.  The SPLC headquarters in Montgomery has been the target of numerous plots by extremist groups, including a firebombing that destroyed our offices in 1983.  Several dozen people have been sent to prison for plotting against our founder, Morris Dees, our staff members, and the SPLC building.

Program Short-Term Success:

Teaching Tolerance  Teaching Tolerance launched the 2011-2012 school year with the re-release of our Academy Award-winning documentary A Time for Justice, which traces the history of the civil rights movement from 1954 to 1965, as told by those who fought the battles.  This digitally remastered version of our timeless resource remains in demand almost 20 years after its debut, and we expect to fill at least 50,000 orders for this film kit in the coming months.     Intelligence Project   The Intelligence Project trains thousands of officers from across the country each year about the activities of extremists in the U.S., the nature of hate crimes, and the role of law enforcement personnel in identifying and investigating such activities.  It delivers this programming through tailored workshops - which were recently expanded to meet an increased in demand in light of violent extremist activity - and training videos distributed free of charge to every law enforcement agency that requests it.  Recently, when two patrolmen were killed by members of the anti-government "sovereign citizen" movement, the Intelligence Project created a 12-minute video to help officers recognize the signs of this deadly group.  Response was so overwhelming that the project has committed to more videos that will help law enforcement protect themselves on the frontlines.

Program Success Monitored by:

Teaching Tolerance   Teaching Tolerance Director Maureen Costello is an education professional with a mix of academic, publishing, and business experience.  She has directed several national education initiatives before arriving at the SPLC.  Maureen oversaw development of the 2010 Census in Schools program for Scholastic Inc. in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau.  For eight years, she directed Newsweek’s education program, which was dedicated to engaging high school and college students in public issues.  She served as academic dean at Notre Dame Academy High School in Staten Island, N.Y., where she also taught history.  As a teacher, she worked with both the Advanced Placement Program and the New York State Regents on assessment-related projects.  She is a graduate of the New School University and the New York University Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.   Intelligence Project   Intelligence Project Director Mark Potok leads one of the most highly regarded non-governmental operations monitoring hate groups and extremism in the world today.  In addition to editing the SPLC's quarterly investigative journal, USA Today, the Times Herald, and The Miami Herald.  While at Today he covered the 1993 siege in Waco, the rise of militias, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, and the trial of Timothy McVeigh.  He has appeared on numerous news programs and is regularly quoted by journalists and scholars in both the United States and abroad.  He is a graduate of the University of Chicago.

Program Success Examples:

Teaching Tolerance has attracted considerable external recognition, including 35 honors from the Association of Education Publishers (AEP) - including the Golden Lamp, its highest honor - two Oscars®, and awards from the National Education Association among others.  The AEP named Teaching Tolerance Periodical of the Year in Distinguished Achievement in three of the last four years.

Program: Legal

Budget:
$10,008,910
Category:
Education
Population Served:
Females, all ages or age unspecified
Males, all ages or age unspecified

Program Description:

The Southern Poverty Law Center recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family of a black man who was viciously beaten and then fatally run over. The civil lawsuit accuses seven white teenagers of deliberately setting out in the early morning hours of June 26 to “go f--k with some n----rs.” James C. Anderson was in a motel parking lot in Jackson, Mississippi, when he was attacked. One of the witnesses reporting hearing one of the assailants shout, “White power!” and then, as shown on grainy footage from a nearby surveillance camera, one of the teens drove an Ford F-250 pickup truck over a street curb, striking and killing Anderson. The alleged driver of the truck, Deryl Dedmon Jr., reportedly told the other teens that he “ran that n----r over.” None of the teens named in the lawsuit attempted to stop the attack, call police or seek medical help for Anderson, the suit claims.   Children who are pushed out of school are more likely to become entangled in the juvenile justice system and – once there – are far more likely to become incarcerated as adults. It’s called the “school-to-prison pipeline,” and children caught up in this devastating cycle are disproportionately youth of color and living in poverty. The problem is a formidable one, but the SPLC has won successful legal battles for at-risk children in four states — Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana. SPLC’s reform work keeps children in school and out of the juvenile justice system by (a) reforming public school discipline policies; (b) ensuring that at-risk children receive individualized support to increase their chances of graduating; and (c) reducing the number of children who are imprisoned in the Deep South, which consistently ranks among the worst for children living in poverty, high school drop-out rates, and rates of incarceration.    Since 2004, the SPLC has been at the forefront of a critical struggle for human rights in America: the fight for the fair treatment of immigrant workers who help put food on our tables and perform many of our country’s least desirable jobs for the least pay. These laborers are routinely denied fundamental protections that other workers take for granted, including minimum wage, overtime pay, and workers’ compensation. The SPLC has won groundbreaking victories on their behalf, recovering millions in stolen wages, and has strategically leveraged its courtroom victories to reform abusive practices systemic to entire industries, most notably in the forestry industry. Additionally, immigrants to the U.S. have been forced to retreat deeper into the shad­ows – especially during the past year – by repressive anti-immigrant legislation at the state level. The SPLC is challenging the harshest of these laws with a suit against the state of Alabama, which enacted the most draconian laws modeled after Arizona’s SB1070. The SPLC’s Immigrant Justice Project is essentially alone in the field of Deep South-focused organizations with the capacity and expertise to confront these issues. Absent our aggressive advocacy, we believe that many of these problems simply would not be addressed, let alone resolved.       The SPLC is dedicated to defending the rights of the LGBT community.  Our current work has a national reach but is primarily focused on the Deep South, where relatively few organizations advocate for this community.  We are working to ensure safe schools for all students - including LGBT students - through education campaigns and legal action.  Our efforts to protect LGBT students include litigation against a school policy that creates an atmosphere hostile to LGBT students or otherwise isolated these students for harassment.  Anti-gay policies and actions that infringe on the free expression and privacy rights of LGBT students are another focus of this work.  Outside the classroom, the SPLC focuses on the treatment of LGBT youth in juvenile and foster care facilities.  Other efforts focus on the rights of LGBT adults, including issues involving parenting rights and the treatment of LGBT seniors in nursing homes and other facilities.

Program Long-Term Success:

Forty years may have passed since the founding of the Southern Poverty Law Center, but today's work continues to transform society.  As the country has grown increasingly diverse, the SPLC's work has only become more vital.  And its history is evidence of an unwavering resolve to promote and protect our nation's most cherished ideals by standing up for those who have no other champions.

Program Short-Term Success:

Our most recent legal actions include:  enforcing the jury's verdict and take the Imperial Klans of America leader's compound for the brutal beating of a Latino teenager in Kentucky; securing access to children held at an abusive juvenile facility in Mississippi; halting Alabama's tough immigration law - the judge cited questions of the legislation's constitutionality; and restoring the right of an Alabama student to wear a T-shirt expressing acceptance of LGBT people.  These victories have national impact as the SPLC continues to set precedence in the protection of society's most vulnerable.

Program Success Monitored by:

Legal Director Mary Bauer guides the SPLC's legal advocacy and its public policy and legislative reform efforts.  She has directed groundbreaking lawsuits aimed at enforcing the rights of immigrants, foreign guestworkers, and migrant farmworkers.  She has testified before Congress on issues involving the exploitation of migrant workers and is the author or co-author of three SPLC reports that gained national attention -Under Siege: Life for Low-Income Latinos in the South (2009), and Injustice on Our Plates: Immigrant Women in the U.S. Food Industry (2010).  Mary served as the first director of the SPLC's Immigrant Justice Project until being named legal director in 2009.  She also has served as legal director of the Virginia Justice Center for Farm and Immigrant Workers and the Virginia ACLU.  She graduated from the College of William and Mary and earned her law degree from the University of Virginia in 1990.  Mary is also a former Skadden Fellow.

Program Success Examples:

A few of the SPLC’s landmark cases include: Keenan v. Aryan Nations(http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/case-docket/keenan-v-aryan-nations) , Penny Doe v. Richardson(http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/case-docket/penny-doe-v-richardson) , Macedonia v. Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan(http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/case-docket/macedonia-v-christian-knights-of-the-ku-klux-klan) , Mansfield v. Pierce(http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/case-docket/mansfield-v-pierce) , Mansfield v. Church of the Creator(http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/case-docket/mansfield-v-church-of-the-creator) , McKinney v. Southern White Knights(http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/case-docket/mckinney-v-southern-white-knights) , Donald v. United Klans of America(http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/case-docket/donald-v-united-klans-of-america) , and Vietnamese Fishermen's Association v. Knights of the Ku Klux Klan(http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/case-docket/vietnamese-fishermens-association-v-knights-of-the-ku-klux-klan) .


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Impact Summary from the Nonprofit

For more than 40 years, the Southern Poverty Law Center has won justice for the most vulnerable in our society – from integrating the Alabama State Troopers to securing multimillion-dollar judgments on behalf victims of hate group violence. Each year, our Teaching Tolerance program reaches millions of students with award-winning tolerance education resources sent free to every school in the nation.

Expert Assessment

Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) brings issues of hate crimes to national attention through their research and public education work. Their research has informed policy, such as the James Byrd-Matthew Sheppard Act. Their research also helped to inform the public and program facilitators. SLC also has made significant progress in demonstrating the link between white nationalist activity ands anti-LGBTQ activity, helping to galvanize groups around the same issues. Read More »

Expert Reviews and Comments

2012 Philanthropedia Top Nonprofit

This organization is a 2012 Philanthropedia top nonprofit, recommended by experts as having high impact.

These expert reviews were generated through Philanthropedia's research methodology to identify high-impact nonprofits. Learn more


Evidence of Impact

Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) brings issues of hate crimes to national attention through their research and public education work. Their research has informed policy, such as the James Byrd-Matthew Sheppard Act. Their research also helped to inform the public and program facilitators. SLC also has made significant progress in demonstrating the link between white nationalist activity ands anti-LGBTQ activity, helping to galvanize groups around the same issues.

Linking Social Issues
SPLC has made it a priority to link white nationalist activity to anti-LGBTQ activity. Their investment in framing the issues as intersectional have made a significant impact in the way people approach organizing around these issues. Researcher and Faculty
Litigation
They do strong work in the area of impact litigation focused on LGBT rights; they have achieved results and are bold about taking on cases that others turn down. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Information Sharing
The Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) newsletter titled "Intelligence Report" informs me about anti-LGBT and racist hate groups throughout the United States and what efforts are being made to prevent them from harming people. This is a unique service that the SPLC provides, and it helps me to know both what challenges LGBT people continue to face, who our allies are, and how we can work together to ensure our safety. Nonprofit Senior Staff
SPLC has brought awareness to the issue of hate/bias crimes into the national debate. Their research and watch-dog programs helped propel national policy into action through such laws as the James Byrd-Matthew Sheppard Act. Nonprofit Senior Staff

Organizational Strengths

Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is great at translating their work into tangible actions at the local level. They collaborate with local community organizations and law enforcement to improve community safety. SPLC staff members excel at working across issues and communicating the way that various issues overlap. The organization also produces informative, well-written publications.

Cross-Issue Work
They are great at framing the arguments to make it easier to connect seemingly "different" issues together. Researcher and Faculty
They do strong cross-issue work. They are based in the South and deeply understand the region. They also have a talented group of staff members. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Great Communication
The Southern Poverty Law Center's publications are well-written and easy to read. The SPLC also makes clear the connections between different forms of hate. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Strong Local Connection
Specifically, they have done strong work in their mapping of hate groups, and working with local communities on awareness has allowed grassroots organizations to improve community safety and collaborations with local law enforcement. Nonprofit Senior Staff

Areas for Improvement

Southern Poverty Law Center could improve on their communication and messaging. For example making information on their website more accessible. They also need to grow their resources in order to better serve areas with less assessability.

Improve Communication
They need greater clarity on their website on how community members can seek assistance from SPLC. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Grow Resources
They just need more resources to bring their messages and trainings into more rural communities. Nonprofit Senior Staff

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