Leader of Atlanta-based civil rights group resigns


The president of the civil rights group that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. helped found has resigned.

Charles Steele Jr. said Sunday he would continue working as a consultant for the Atlanta-based Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

The 62-year-old says the "time is right to bring on new leadership."

The Tuscaloosa, Ala., native became SCLC president in 2004, inheriting a group that was near bankruptcy. He led it to solid financial footing, opened conflict resolution centers overseas and helped build a new headquarters.

Steele says SCLC vice president Byron Clay of Kenner, La., will be interim president until a successor is found.

The SCLC was co-founded in 1957 by King and other civil rights leaders to advance racial equality.

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