The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) was created on January 10-11, 1957, when sixty black ministers and civil rights leaders met in Atlanta, Georgia in an effort to replicate the successful strategy and tactics of the recently concluded Montgomery (Alabama) bus boycott. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was chosen as the first president of this new group dedicated to abolishing legalized segregation and ending the disfranchisement of black southerners in a non-violent manner. Later SCLC would address the issues of war and poverty.
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference struggled during its beginning, with only one full time staff member, but soon expanded with the student sit-in movement of 1960 and the Freedom Rides of 1961. During this time, the SCLC also received a foundation grant to take over the Highlander Folk School’s Citizenship Education Project and foundation money to finance voter registration work in the South.
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