Join the voice for a changing South.

Human Rights

A Senate fight is brewing over the Freedom to Vote Act — and the filibuster

September 29, 2021 - Senate Democrats recently introduced the Freedom to Vote Act, a compromise alternative to the For the People Act, far-reaching pro-democracy legislation blocked by a Republican filibuster. If the GOP again uses the filibuster to obstruct the bill, Democrats say they'll take on reforming the Senate policy, which requires 60 votes to end debate on a measure. But that will require moving conservative Democrats like West Virginia's Joe Manchin, a filibuster defender who's also among the new bill's sponsors.

INSTITUTE INDEX: Remembering West Virginia's Battle of Blair Mountain at 100

August 27, 2021 - This Labor Day weekend, people will gather in West Virginia to mark the centennial of the Battle of Blair Mountain, the largest labor uprising in U.S. history. We look at what led to the bloody battle — when 10,000 Black, white, and immigrant coal miners joined together to fight for union rights against coal companies allied with corrupt law enforcement — and how it's being commemorated.

Demonstrators will gather in Washington to demand federal voting protections

August 18, 2021 - On the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, protestors will once again descend on the nation's capital as well as cities across the South to demand congressional action on civil rights. They're pressing for passage of the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which have been stalled in the Senate because of Republican obstruction and some Democrats' unwillingness to end the filibuster.

Stalled U.S. debt relief is the latest broken promise to Black farmers

August 12, 2021 - Lawsuits brought by white farmers claiming "reverse racism" halted billions of dollars in targeted aid for Black farmers and other farmers of color provided through the American Rescue Plan. The blow has deepened distrust between the Black farming community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a relationship troubled by a history of racial discrimination and botched settlements.