This is what you find on their web site
"The Center began as a small civil rights law firm in 1971. Now it
is internationally known for its tolerance education program, its
legal victories against white supremacist groups, its [tracking of
hate groups and its sponsorship of the Civil Rights Memorial.
Located in Montgomery, Alabama -- the birthplace of the Civil
Rights Movement -- the Center was founded by Morris Dees and Joe Levin, two local lawyers who shared a commitment to racial equality. Its first president was civil rights activist Julian Bond, who continues his involvement in the Center's work today as President Emeritus. "
What they don't tell you is how much they've pissed off these white suprimacists. Morris Dees has been marked for death by a few of them, and now carries a gun on his person at all times. The Southern Poverty Law Center, along with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, is one of the foremost watchdogs of hate groups in the United States.