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UNC student providing headshots to raise money for Southern Poverty Law Center

Lights, camera, social justice.

Last weekend, Annie Simpson constructed the idea for the event Headshots Against Hate. Then she put it on Facebook, where over 150 people are listed as interested and over 50 are listed as attending. 

Headshots Against Hate is an event on Saturday to combat hate groups in the Triangle while providing professional portraits for portfolios, LinkedIn or more. Each photo is taken for $5, and the profit made from the photos is donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center.  

According to their website, the Southern Poverty Law Center closely observes hate groups and extremists with the intent of uncovering their hateful actions to the media with in-depth analyses and reports. 

After researching on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s website, Simpson discovered their list of hate groups recognized in the Triangle, which includes groups dedicated to anti-immigration and white supremacy. 

To her surprise, she said there were far more groups in the Triangle than she suspected.

“There were a lot more in the Triangle area — in or around our little bubble — than I realized,” Simpson said.

Annie’s sister, Emily Simpson, said that although Annie has not always been explicitly involved with social justice, she has always been ready to bring about change in the ways available to her. 

“She’s always been a person who wants to bring about positive change, but at the same time doesn’t want to be in the spotlight,” Emily said.

Simpson said her sister is fully invested in the Southern Poverty Law Center and their goals for the Triangle.

“She created this event because she really believes in the mission of the SPLC — not because she wants the recognition for it or a gold star,” Simpson said.

Junior Julia Hu said she thinks the idea is incredibly inspiring. Hu has her own photography experience, and said Simpson using her skills for a greater good is encouraging. 

“This is kind of inspiring me to use my skill sets for raising an issue as well as providing a service,” Hu said. 


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