Charlotte County Democrats Betty Gissendanner and Judy Schnabel recently attended a Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) event in Tampa. The topic of the event was Hate and Extemism in the Mainstream 2018. Local attendees joined hundreds of other supporters at the University of South Florida to hear Richard Cohen, president of the SPLC. Cohen has litigated many civil rights cases in his tenure with the SPLC.
One of the goals of the non-profit organization is to monitor the activities of domestic hate groups and other extremists including the Ku Klux Klan, the neo-Nazi movement, and the neo-Confederate movement among others. The SPLC currently tracks 1,600 extremist groups, including 66 hate groups in Florida. Florida ranks second in the number of hate groups with 66 after California with 75.
The SPLC stands up for those who are not powerful enough to stand up for themselves in the legal system, including minorities, members of the LGBT community, and the disabled. Within the judicial system, they have protected migrant workers, immigrants, prisoners, juveniles in the court system, and more.
In addition to working in the judicial system, the SPLC also promotes tolerance education and programs supporting equality, inclusiveness, and fairness in the classroom. They provide resources free of charge to support these values.
For more information about the Southern Poverty Law Center visit their Web site.