A New Year is coming -- what kind of future do you want for the South?

It's an exciting moment. The face of the South is changing, with new, diverse communities growing across the region. A new generation of leaders is standing up and speaking out for justice, democracy and a more sustainable future.

But it's also a dangerous time. Some want to stop the march of progress -- and even turn back the clock on voting rights, economic fairness and basic protections for our land, air and water.

In 1970, the Institute for Southern Studies was founded by civil rights veterans who knew that a better South was possible. For 40 years, our fearless journalism and voice for change has been a resource for thousands of Southerners and South-watchers like you, who have a different vision of what the South can and should be.

You, our readers, are the reason the Institute has survived and thrived. And I hope you'll join me as we get ready for another year of working for a better South by making a tax-deductible donation of $25 or more to the Institute today.

Your support goes a long way at the Institute. In 2012 alone, we exposed super PACs and shadow money groups in North Carolina; debunked the official line that the Gulf Coast is doing fine two years after BP's oil disaster; revealed the interests bankrolling attacks on climate science and anti-environmental policies; and much more.

Your tax-deductible gift today will help us grow our investigative media, training and outreach programs to reach more people -- and have even more impact -- in the coming year.

THANK YOU for your support, and our best wishes in the New Year!

- Chris and the Facing South team