Posted on March 27, 2019

Richard Cohen Resigns from the Southern Poverty Law Center

Brandon Moseley, Alabama Political Reporter, March 23, 2019

Morris Dees and Heidi Beirich

Morris Dees and Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center. (Credit Image: © Buchan / Rex Shutterstock via ZUMA Press)

The President of the Montgomery based Southern Poverty Law Center, Richard Cohen, announced that he is resigning amidst a growing scandal and allegations surrounding the nonprofit group.


The LA Times obtained an email to staff from Cohen in which he announced: “Whatever problems exist at the SPLC happened on my watch, so I take responsibility for them.”


Also on Friday, the SPLC’s legal director, Rhonda Brownstein, resigned.

The SPLC has made a career out of fighting against racism and purported hate groups; but the group historically hired primarily white people.

Allegations of sexual harassment, racism and sexism have been leveled at the group’s leadership.


“In light of recent events, I’ve asked the board to immediately launch a search for an interim president in order to give the organization the best chance to heal.”

Earlier this week, the board of directors appointed Tina Tchen, the former chief of staff for former First Lady Michelle Obama, to lead an inquiry into the troubling allegations about its workplace conditions.


Original reporting by APR editor Bill Britt, it was discovered that the SPLC had hidden millions of dollars in the Cayman Islands. To date, the SPLC has not explained why a nonprofit organization would need to hide money outside of the country.


[Editor’s Note: A report from the Capital Research Center on SPLC’s use of Caribbean tax havens is available here.]