Based at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Southern Institute is a non-profit race relations center dedicated
to improving ethnic relations in the Deep South through tolerance education and communications training. Founded in 1993,
the Southern Institute's programs help young people understand the causes and consequences of prejudice by examining the
past. For the adult community, the Southern Institute offers a highly acclaimed cross-cultural
communication workshop that
enables participants to understand and work effectively with people from different cultures.
At the heart of the Southern Institute's work is the conviction that history compels us to speak out against racism in all
forms, or pay dearly for our indifference. In the area of tolerance and Holocaust education alone, the Southern Institute
has provided training to more than 3,600 teachers from 800 schools in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. These
teachers reach more than one million students annually.
TOLERANCE AND HOLOCAUST EDUCATION
History can illuminate the tragic consequences of prejudice and the moral
imperative to speak out against the suffering of others. The Southern
Institute uses case studies of the Holocaust and the Civil Rights movement
to help young people understand the moral and ethical decisions that they may
make someday. Training and speaking services are available only in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and North
Florida. Free resources include:
HOLOCAUST EDUCATION WORKSHOPS
for middle and high school teachers that address the psychology of altruism,
moral indifference, the history of racism and anti-Semitism, and how to apply
these insights to the world today. In addition, the Southern Institute offers
the Goldring Summer Workshop, a three-day Holocaust education seminar for
CIVIL RIGHTS EDUCATION WORKSHOPS
train teachers how to use oral histories of inspiring unsung heroes of the
Civil Rights Movement.
COMPREHENSIVE TEACHING MATERIALS
including teaching guides tailored to each workshop and oral histories of Holocaust
survivors and veterans of the Civil Rights Movement.
featuring speakers who were witnesses to the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement.
DOCUMENTARY SERIES ON HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS IN NEW ORLEANS
This is a ten-part televised series of interviews with survivors in New Orleans
who have spoken to thousands of teachers and students over the years. The
programs, which come with teaching guides, can be copied for free on this website.
Teachers who have met the survivors can use the videos to bring to life for future
generations these witnesses to history.
RACE RELATIONS COMMUNICATION TRAINING AND RESEARCH
People, even with the best intentions, often do not understand and communicate
effectively with those from different cultural backgrounds. The Southern
Institute has developed a highly acclaimed cross-cultural communication workshop
that helps leaders in business, community life, and faith and grassroot organizations
to resolve cultural conflicts and communicate and work more effectively in
multicultural settings. Services include:
CROSS-CULTURAL COMMUNICATION WORKSHOPS
Entitled TIES (Teams for InterEthnic Solutions), this one-day workshop teaches
advanced communication skills based on successful models used in international
training. The emphasis is on learning practical skills to improve communication
among whites, African Americans, Latinos, and Asians. Past participants include
law enforcement agencies, Chambers of Commerce, and community and faith organizations.
SCHOOL COLORS- CROSS-CULTURAL TRAINING FOR SCHOOLS
A customized workshop designed to increase the capacity of educators to teach
students from differing backgrounds.
CULTURAL COMPETENCY RESEARCH
The Southern Institute is leading an initiative to develop evaluation methods
that help organizations select effective diversity and cross-cultural programs.
The project will result in a free, web-based "Consumers Guide" for selecting
cross-cultural training services. The goal is to develop standards that require
trainers to prove that their training results in positive and measurable skills
for improving inter-ethnic relations.
HOW IS OUR TOLERANCE EDUCATION DIFFERENT?
Many organizations share the Southern Institute's goals, but none has been as
successful in reaching communities in racist strongholds in the South. The key
to the Institute's strategy is understanding how schools can be moved to address
the subjects of prejudice and tolerance. If we want to change the way young people
think, we have to change the way they are taught. We have to do more than
occasionally send a teacher a video or teaching guide, or offer them a one-time
workshop. It takes consistent, long-term personal attention. It means that we
have to inspire and motivate teachers. And there is no greater inspiration to
confront evil than the personal stories of Holocaust survivors and veterans of
the Civil Rights Movement.
The Institute provides year-round support for teachers and has arranged hundreds
of presentations by survivors and civil rights leaders. The target audiences are
communities that are bedeviled by racial bigotry; we do not want to preach to the
choir. The results speak for themselves. Since its inception, the Southern
Institute has provided tolerance and Holocaust education training to more than
3,600 teachers from 800 schools in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
These teachers reach more than one million students annually.
Simply put, the Southern Institute goes where other organizations have never gone,
and brings the past to life where it has long since been forgotten.
View our Staff and Executive Board.