The Southern Poverty Law Center on Tuesday named Tafeni English-Relf as the first director of its Alabama State Office (ALSO). This office will focus on local concerns, specifically in rural communities.
“Growing up in rural Alabama, I realized how the needs of our communities are often rendered invisible to the rest of the state. I am excited to work alongside my colleagues in SPLC’s new Alabama State Office as we invest in grassroots efforts and work in partnership with the people of Alabama and community organizations. We look forward to building capacity where the long-term work of the people will create lasting change for everyone,” explains English-Relf.
“Across the South, we continue to see attacks on voting rights, criminalization of poor people, lack of access to housing and health care, environmental injustices, and the erasure of Black history from textbooks, among other things. Together with communities, ALSO will address these challenges head-on so that all Alabamians can proudly call our state home.”
“It is our great fortune to have Tafeni’s extraordinary leadership at the helm of the SPLC’s first Alabama state office. From advocate to organizer to community service provider, she has led in many roles throughout her career. What ties them all together is Tafeni’s passion for working in partnership with communities to support and develop her home state of Alabama,” praises Margaret Huang, president and CEO of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “Tafeni has a profoundly personal connection to the Deep South, and she knows firsthand the spirit of generosity, resilience, and movement-building that inspires the region. We’re thrilled to welcome her into this role.”
English-Relf will continue serving as director of The Civil Rights Memorial Center in Montgomery, a project of the SPLC.
ALSO is the second office to open under SPLC’s new state office model in the organization’s 50-year history. The first state office launched in May 2022 in Jackson, Mississippi.