The Southern Poverty Law Center is a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society.
Founded by civil rights lawyers Morris Dees and Joseph Levin Jr. in 1971, the SPLC is internationally known for tracking and exposing the activities of hate groups. Our innovative Teaching Tolerance program produces and distributes – free of charge – documentary films, books, lesson plans and other materials that promote tolerance and respect in our nation’s schools.
The SPLC is dedicated to defending the rights of the LGBT community. Ensuring safe schools is a particular concern. The bullying of LGBT students is a severe, nationwide problem.
The SPLC has worked to ensure safe schools for all students – including LGBT students – through educational campaigns and legal action. Their Teaching Tolerance program released the anti-bullying documentary Bullied in 2010. The free documentary and teaching kit, designed for both classroom use and professional development for educators, tells the story of one student’s landmark effort to stand up to his anti-gay tormentors.
While the Southern Poverty Law Centre is based in the United States and the issues LGBTI students face there can be different to here, especially regarding the influence of conservative religion there is also much in common with here in New Zealand. Their new guide Best Practices: Creating an LGBT-inclusive School Climate is interesting and useful.
To find out more about who SPLC are, what they do and for information and resources visit the SPLC web site.