The Southern Poverty Law Center began three decades ago as a civil rights law firm in Montgomery, Alabama. Today, the center tracks the activities of hate groups and promotes tolerance through educational programs, including its website, Tolerance.org, which we've chosen as our Website of the Week.
Helping its visitors get active and involved is the mission of Tolerance.org.
"We really hope to be the online destination for folks who want to dismantle bigotry and create communities that value diversity," said Ashley Day, production manager for the website. "And we try to do that by providing materials for folks to use on the ground, in their communities, in their churches, synagogues, mosques. Also in their K-12 schools [and] on their college campuses as well."
Webby award for activism.
"One of the primary means we use to get the message out is through daily news reports that are published on our home page, and that's one of the most popular features of the site," Ms. Day explained. "We also make sure that all of the community response guides that the SPLC produces are available in online format, and they're also all downloadable in Spanish or English."
Those community response guides include topics like "10 Ways to Fight Hate" and "101 Tools for Tolerance." And the site includes special material geared to teachers, parents, teenagers and younger children. The Southern Poverty Law Center's educational program also includes public service announcements on TV, some of which are available online.
One shows children of different races playing together. "Tolerance is celebrating the diversity that makes us great," says one of the kids.
In the three years since the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Arab and Muslim Americans have been on the receiving end of an increasing number of assaults, from arson to harassment," said Ashley Day. "We've seen recently an uptick in those sorts of incidents again, and actually today on the home page there's an article on the tension in the Arab-Muslim community in America right now as the holy month of Ramadan is beginning."
For information on ways to fight back against hate and racism, visit Tolerance.org.