Defend democracy in the South.


The Institute for Southern Studies is a public interest media, research, and education center, based in Durham, North Carolina.

Since our founding in 1970 by Julian Bond and other veterans of the civil rights movement, the Institute for Southern Studies has established a national reputation as an essential resource for grassroots activists, community leaders, scholars, policy makers and others working to bring lasting social and economic change to the region.

The Institute draws attention to the national importance of the South and offers an exciting vision of the region -- a place brimming with a capacity for progressive change that challenges its reputation as a monolithic, conservative stronghold.

From 1973-2010, the Institute published Southern Exposure, an award-winning journal of politics and culture known for its thorough investigations, unsentimental portraits of Southern life, and resources for change.  In 2007, the Institute launched Facing South, a widely-followed online magazine which is known as a go-to source for investigative reporting, in-depth analysis of Southern issues and trends, and voices for change. Southern Exposure and Facing South have been honored with many prestigious awards, including the National Magazine Award, two George Polk Awards, and honors from the National Press Club, Society of Professional Journalists, and White House Correspondents' Association.

Throughout our history, the Institute has maintained a strong commitment to developing research and publication projects that support grassroots organizing, especially efforts for corporate and government accountability. The Institute has also nurtured a variety of community and media projects for change, including the Brown Lung Association, Carolina Public Press, the Miami Workers Center, North Carolina Asian Americans Together, and Southerners for Economic Justice.

Nearly five decades later, the Institute retains our unique place in the movement to build a better South.

The Institute for Southern Studies is a 501c3 nonprofit public charity. All donations are 100% tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.