Southern poverty law center was founded by Morris Dees and Joseph in 1971. It focused mainly on civil rights firm and was served by Julian Bond who acted as board president between 1971 and 1979 and later remained on the board of directors until he died 2015. Southern poverty law center is a non-profit organization that advocates for civil rights and public interest litigation.  It is commonly found in America. The southern poverty law center began the filling of civil suits for the monetary damages in 1979. It was also involved in challenging the institutional racial segregation and the discrimination based on sexual orientation and the unconstitutional conditions in the detention areas and prisons. Southern poverty law center provided the information about hate groups to Federal Bureau of investigations and law enforcement agencies in details. The listing and classification of southern poverty law center are considered as authoritative by both academic and media sources.  In some cases listing of the southern poverty law center has been criticized as been unwarranted and overbroad.  In 1981, the southern poverty law center started its klanwatch project that was based on monitoring KKK activities. The klanwacth project is now known as hate-watch and it includes seven types of the hate organizations. In 1986, the southern poverty law center legal staff apart from Dees resigned and the organization shifted from traditional civil rights to fighting the right-wing extremism.  The civil right memorial that was designed by Maya Lin was unveiled in 1989. The southern poverty law center headquarters were firebombed in 1983 but the organization later built new headquarters between 1999 and 2001. In 1998, Southern poverty law center won a verdict on behalf of the Macedonia Baptist Church against Ku Klux chapter and the five Klansmen. In 2000, southern poverty law center also won a judgment against Aryan Nations.

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