The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) on Sunday announced a three-year, $8.5 million campaign to promote equality in three Southern states: Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi.

In an email to supporters, HRC called the campaign, titled Project One America, a “bold, new chapter in the civil rights movement of our generation.”

“It's time to broaden our focus to the people least served by the LGBT movement,” the group wrote.

“These three states share the distinction of having no local or state laws that protect individuals from discrimination in the workplace, housing or public accommodations – and each state's constitution expressly prohibits marriage equality. Contrast that sad fact with this reality: these states also have some of the highest rates of LGBT couples raising children in the country and in fact, Mississippi has the highest in the nation.”

The AP reported that HRC plans to open offices in each state in an effort to change hearts and minds to make it more comfortable for people to come out publicly, which in turn, organizers hope, will increase acceptance of gay rights.

“You overcome all of the objections by having conversations and getting to know your neighbors,” HRC President Chad Griffin, an Arkansas native, told the AP.

Freedom to Marry, the nation's largest group devoted to promoting marriage equality, earlier this year launched a campaign targeting Southern states.