Covering Hate and Extremism, From the Fringes to the Mainstream: An Overview from the Southern Poverty Law Center

Course Overview

Covering Hate and Extremism, From the Fringes to the Mainstream: An Overview from the Southern Poverty Law Center
This webinar is sponsored by The Southern Poverty Law Center and is offered for free.
Originally Broadcast On:
February 14, 2018
Time Estimate:
One hour for the main presentation and questions. Sometimes presenters stay longer to answer additional questions from participants.

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This Webinar was originally broadcast on:
February 14, 2018 Enroll Now
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This webinar will canvass the current hate group and antigovernment landscape, and discuss how the SPLC identifies these organizations. It will also examine the state of the hate movement today, as well as key factors driving the growth of hate and extremism and help journalists to understand the motivations of the hate groups and key trends driving their growth for more in-depth beat reporting and a better understanding about the most volatile hate movement the nation has seen in decades.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has been monitoring hate and extremist groups and movements for more than 30 years. Since 2000, the number of hate groups has risen rapidly, largely in response to rising diversity in the United States. More recently, the rise of hate groups has been emboldened by rhetoric from administration officials and unwillingness on the part of key government leaders to disavow extremist ideas.

Organizations that promote bigoted ideas and agendas have gained traction and their prominence has grown, along with their online audience and pervasive internet propaganda. Although these groups are becoming more decentralized, their web presence is expanding. White supremacism, anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies, and other hateful ideas have moved into the mainstream in a way that has not been seen in the United States since the era of segregation.

This webinar will use SPLC's years of research and experience to explain the reasons behind the growth of hate and extremism as well as the challenges that white supremacists and other hate groups face. The webinar will explore how white supremacist ideas have found support with officials in the current administration and have influenced policy decisions, particularly as they relate to immigration and the LGBTQ community. It will also examine the inherent violence espoused by these movements — and perpetrated by their members, whether as incidents of domestic terrorism or as hate crimes. Additionally, the webinar will address the nuances of hate crimes and hate incidents and will share resources for covering hate and extremism.

This webinar is possible thanks to generous funding from the Southern Poverty Law Center and represents the research done by that organization.

What Will I Learn:
  • Explore trends in hate and extremism; learn how hate and extremism movements have fared over the last year and what their future looks like.
  • Understand the mainstreaming of hate and extremism.
  • Learn how white supremacism fuels hate crimes and domestic terrorism.
  • Distinguish between hate crimes and hate incidents and learn about the growth — and underreporting — of both.
  • Hear how the policies of major tech companies and social media networks address online hate speech and how changes in those policies could impact white supremacists and the movement they have created.
  • Explore the rise of white supremacism in the United States as both a domestic issue and an international phenomenon.
  • Identify key hate movements worth watching.
  • Resources for covering hate and extremism.
Who Should Take this Course:

Journalists who cover extremist movements and issues surrounding hate crimes, as well as those who are interested in immigration policy and civil rights related to the LGBTQ and immigrant populations, would benefit from this webinar.

Course Instructor:

Heidi Beirich

Heidi Beirich, Ph.D., is director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, which publishes the authoritative, award-winning annual count of the nation’s hate and hard-line, anti-government groups as well as the Hatewatch blog. Heidi is an expert on various forms of extremism, including the white supremacist, nativist and neo-Confederate movements and racism in academia. After earning a doctorate in political science from Purdue University, she joined the SPLC in 1999.


Southern Poverty Law Center

The Southern Poverty Law Center is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality. About the organization

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