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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Friday, February 04, 2011

    Responding to Intolerance: Resources from the Southern Poverty Law Center

    The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is one of the strongest organizations out there fighting hate groups in America. They have twice bankrupted the KKK in lawsuits. Here's what they have to say about themselves:

    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.

    We are based in Montgomery, Ala., the birthplace of the modern civil rights movement, and have offices in Atlanta, New Orleans, Miami, Fla., and Jackson, Miss.

    In addition to filing lawsuits against hate groups who incite and commit violence, the SPLC helps local communities organize for tolerance. This is from the SPLC's page providing resources for local communities to fight hate groups and teach tolerance:

    When we think of the civil rights movement, our first thoughts are typically of people like Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But the reality is that the movement depended on thousands of people across America – ordinary people who joined together to produce extraordinary change.

    As Robert F. Kennedy said in his famous Cape Town University speech in 1966, “[E]ach of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of these acts will be written the history of this generation.”

    Today, the march for social justice will continue only if individuals from every walk of life take it upon themselves to fight for their deepest values.

    Each of us can do our part in our own community. Through acts small and large, we can can have a profound impact on the world around us.

    On this page, we list resources that you can use in your community to fight hate and injustice. The best ideas, of course, are likely to come from you.

    Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide
    All over the country people are fighting hate, standing up to promote tolerance and inclusion. More often than not, when hate flares up, good people rise up against it — often in greater numbers and with stronger voices. This guide sets out 10 principles for fighting hate, along with a collection of inspiring stories of people who worked to push hate out of their communities. Our experience shows that one person, acting from conscience and love, is able to neutralize bigotry. Imagine, then, what an entire community, working together, might do.

    Speak Up: Responding to Everyday Bigotry
    When exposed to bigotry, people are often unsure how to respond. We talked to Americans all over the country who told us what they did or didn't say when confronted with bigotry, or in many cases, what they wished they did or didn't say. This guide offers practical advice about speaking up among your family, friends and colleagues.

    Check out their resources and learn how you can be part of the solution to intolerance and hatred in America.


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