Defend democracy in the South.

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INSTITUTE INDEX: Uvalde massacre gunmaker is a major federal contractor and political donor

June 7, 2022 - Daniel Defense is the Georgia-based company that manufactured the AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle used in the massacre that left 19 schoolchildren and two teachers dead in Uvalde, Texas. The private company is a major federal contractor, inking its latest deal to provide arms for the U.S. Marshals Service 10 days after the Uvalde shooting. It's also been a generous contributor to Republican candidates and a pro-gun political action committee.   

The politicians who stood with the NRA after the Uvalde massacre

June 3, 2022 - The recent National Rifle Association convention in Houston took place just days after a gunman with an AR-15-style rifle killed 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in the Texas city of Uvalde. Some politicians scheduled to address the gathering canceled even before the shooting, some canceled afterwards — and some showed up anyway.

TESTIMONY: In the crosshairs of public education's enemies

May 24, 2022 - A U.S. House subcommittee recently held a hearing into ongoing efforts to limit discussion in public school classrooms on American history, race, and LGBTQ+ issues — and to punish teachers who broach those topics. Among those who testified was James Whitfield, a high school principal from North Texas who lost his job after sending students an email in response to killings of Black people by police and white vigilantes that acknowledged systemic racism and called education "a necessary conduit to get liberty and justice for all."

INSTITUTE INDEX: Ending subminimum wages for workers with disabilities

May 13, 2022 - A number of states, including several in the South, are bucking the federal policy that allows companies to pay workers with certain disabilities less than the basic minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The Biden administration recently took an initial step to address that pay disparity for tens of thousands of disabled workers nationwide, while a bill to end the practice is stalled in Congress.