Following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Shelby v. Holder (2013), which stripped federal protections against barriers to voting access, the burden of identifying and addressing voting rights issues shifted to state and local groups.
After the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 2013 decision in Shelby v. Holder — which gutted the Voting Rights Act’s preclearance protections against attacks on voting rights in most Southern states — the burden of addressing voting discrimination fell to us. Now, communities facing discriminatory voting laws have to file lawsuits themselves, sometimes after the discriminatory laws have already taken effect.
In 2013, to combat the consequences of the Shelby decision and foster community-led voting rights campaigns, the North Carolina-based Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) launched SOLVE.
In the 2010s, SCSJ partnered with communities of color and low-wealth communities throughout the South to defend and advance their political, social, environmental, and economic rights. By using the combined skills of movement lawyers, researchers, organizers and storytellers, SCSJ has helped people develop strategies to overcome obstacles and achieve their vision for their communities.
At its height, SOLVE brought together over 50 organizations, including members from colleges and universities, and over 100 affiliates involved in voting rights efforts mainly throughout the South.
Relaunched in 2021 following a national wave of attacks to erode our freedom to vote and protest, SOLVE is a growing network of organizations spanning ten Southern states — all led by members who live and work in the South.
SOLVE organizations between 2013-2018
ORIGINAL PARTNERS (2013-2018)
SC Progressive Network
The People’s Agenda
Virginia Civic Engagement Table
Southern Coalition of Social Justice
Crescent City Media Group
Women’s Watch Africa
Democracy North Carolina
New Virginia Majority
Southern Partners Fund
Asian and Pacific Islander American
Campus Vote Project
Arizona Advocacy Network
Fair Elections Legal Network