Coalition rallies to get former SCLC president reinstated

The group plans to hold a march, prayer vigil and news conference Monday in front of SCLC headquarters on Auburn Avenue to seek his reinstatement. Trina Baynes, a member of the coalition, said the group includes current and former SCLC members, chapter presidents, supporters and affiliates.

Farris, the nephew of co-founder the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., served less than a year at the helm of the Atlanta-based civil rights organization. He became president after the death of the Rev. Howard W. Creecy Jr. last year.

In April, SCLC chairman the Rev. Bernard LaFayette Jr., announced that Farris was "no longer president" but was vague about whether Farris was fired or quit. Since then, Farris has not responded to several requests from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for comment. Veteran civil rights leader, the Rev. C.T. Vivian, was named as the interim president.

In a May 25 letter to the SCLC board, the coalition outlined their concerns about management of the organization and requested a meeting to discuss the reinstatement of Farris. It also pointed out what the coalition said are violations of the organization's constitution.

"We think he [Farris] was steering the organization in the right direction for [the organization's] mission," said Baynes, president of the Henry County chapter.

LaFayette said Farris supporters have a "right to have a rally and voice their opinions" but declined to comment further. He also said the search for a new president is continuing.

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