The Southern Poverty Law Center will not partner with the Women’s March this year, The Daily Beast has confirmed.
Jen Fuson, a spokeswoman for the SPLC, said “other projects were a priority,” but added they would continue to be involved in marches at the local level in areas where they have offices.
The third annual march, to be held on January 19, comes amid criticism of the March leadership’s past affiliation with and failure to fully denounce Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, as well as other allegations of anti-semitism from its former organizers. The SPLC has designated the Nation of Islam as a hate group. Asked whether the Farrakhan connection played a part in the decision not to partner with them, Fuson reiterated that the group had other priorities.
EMILY’s List, a political action committee that aims to elect Democratic women who support abortion rights, is also absent from the Women’s March list of 2019 partners. A spokeswoman for EMILY’s List did not immediately return a request for comment. The National Council of Jewish Women told The New York Jewish Week Wednesday they would not be a partner in this year’s march.
A spokeswoman for the Women’s March did not immediately return a call for comment.
The SPLC’s quiet move away from the Women’s March is in stark contrast to its press release two years ago,
“As an official partner of the march, the Southern Poverty Law Center stands in solidarity with its organizers’ vision — that ‘women’s rights are human rights’ — and with the march’s mission to bring together communities ‘insulted, demonized and threatened by the rhetoric of the past election cycle,’ the SPLC said in January of 2017, calling itself “dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Through our core issues, we work to protect the rights of the working poor, LGBT, and undocumented immigrant women whom the Women’s March on Washington seeks to unite.”
In November, celebrities Alyssa Milano and Debra Messing said they would no longer support the national march after the failure to denounce Farrakhan. March leaders in cities around the country have also disaffiliated in recent months, citing the Farrakhan issue as well as the failure of the national chapter to provide promised financial and logistical support.