Steele to Lead SCLC

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The new president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference announced Friday the group will raise money and work against injustice around the world.

Charles Steele, Jr., the former Alabama state senator who left politics to help the SCLC, was appointed president of the organization that Martin Luther King, Jr. helped found in 1957.

Steele, a native of Tuscaloosa, pledged to pull the civil rights group out of financial problems by raising money through private and corporate donors.

The SCLC owes $43,000 in state and federal taxes. The group's pool of dues-paying members has shrunk. Membership has dwindled from tens of thousands of members to about 3,000.

In addition, Steele said the SCLC will have offices in Italy, create conflict resolution centers around the world and has been asked by the Israeli government to help in Middle East peace talks.

Steele replaces the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, who resigned on Wednesday.

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