The History And Current Mission Of The Southern Poverty Law Center

Oct 10, 2017

The Southern Poverty Law Center currently lists 917 hate groups, including 35 in Ohio, 23 in Kentucky and 26 in Indiana.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Civil rights lawyers Morris Dees and Joseph Levin, Jr. founded the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in 1971. Since then the civil rights organization has battled white supremacist groups though the courts, winning multimillion-dollar jury verdicts on behalf of their victims.

Today the SPLC continues its work through the legal system, focusing on children’s rights, economic and immigrant justice, LGBT rights and criminal justice reform. The SPLC also monitors and tracks  a wide variety of hate and extremist organizations throughout the United States. While the SPLC has identified many extremist hate groups, it has been criticized for some of the organizations and individualist has included on its hate group list.

Southern Poverty Law Center Co-founder Joseph Levin, Jr. was recently in Cincinnati to meet with area leaders. He and Jackie Congedo, director of the Jewish Community Relations Council with the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, came into our studios to talk with WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson