Institute for Southern Studies

Institute for Southern Studies
Founded: 1970

Mission: To use media, research, and education to draw attention to the South as a region brimming with the potential for progressive change and to challenge its reputation as a monolithic conservative stronghold.

About the Organization: Founded by veterans of the civil rights movement, the Institute for Southern Studies directly supports efforts at the grassroots, public, academic, and local business levels to bring lasting social and economic change to the region. Since 1973, the institute's semi-annual journal, Southern Exposure, has gained national attention and praise for its hard-hitting investigations, unsentimental portraits of Southern life, and resources for change.

Current Programs: After the organization ceased print publication of Southern Exposure in 2011, it continued publishing new content on an almost daily basis at its online magazine, Facing South. The institute also publishes research on its website — recent reports have covered power brokers in North Carolina, PAC spending, and oil drilling in  Atlantic coastal waters — and hosts several research and education programs.

Website: Recent articles from Facing South are available for free on the organization’s website or in weekly digest form. Back issues of Southern Exposure, in both HTML and PDF format, are available through an online archive that is searchable by date and topic. In addition, the institute’s research reports are available through links on its home page, where readers can also make a donation.

Funding: The Institute for Southern Studies is supported by donations from individuals and several private and public foundations, including the Open Society Foundations, Oxfam America, and the Z. Reynolds Smith Foundation.

PO Box 531
Durham, North Carolina 27702


April 28, 2020