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Southern Poverty Law Center lays off employees

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Southern Poverty Law Center lays off employees

Jun 13, 2024 | 12:52 am ET
By Jemma Stephenson
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Southern Poverty Law Center lays off employees in an effort to align the work with its mission
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The headquarters of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama on February 8, 2023. (Brian Lyman/Alabama Reflector)

The Southern Poverty Law Center will be laying off employees in what the civil rights nonprofit called an attempt to streamline operations.

SPLC said in a statement Wednesday that they are taking actions to “streamline our activities and operations to strengthen our ability to advance a multiracial, inclusive democracy and ground our work in the perspectives and priorities of communities most affected by human rights violations.”

“We announced internally the consolidation of certain programs and activities as well as the elimination of others, resulting in staff reductions,” the press team wrote. “This was a difficult but necessary decision to focus and align our work with our programmatic priorities and goals. We deeply value the contributions of all our staff and their commitment to ensuring the promise of equal justice is a reality for all.”

The SPLC did not release the number of people who were going to be laid off due to the changes. The Reflector had asked the SPLC to confirm an earlier statement from the nonprofit’s union that at least 60 people would lose their jobs. According to its 2023 990 form, SPLC employed 469 people as of Oct. 31, 2023.

SPLC said in a statement that the changes would allow them to better serve marginalized communities around the country, and particularly in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida.

The SPLC Union said in a statement Wednesday said that the layoffs would harm the nonprofit’s mission.

“Are these the actions of an organization fighting for racial justice in the deep South?” the statement said. “How will today’s layoffs help us achieve our goals of fighting hate, decarcerating Black and Brown people, defending democracy, and eradicating poverty? The answer is: they won’t.”

Updated at 7:43 a.m. and at 2:04 p.m. with total number of SPLC employees in 2023.