DECATUR, Ga. (AP) _ The daughter of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. visited the convention of a badly divided group co-founded by her father, but she left Saturday, Aug. 14 without any sign that the Southern Christian Leadership Conference has mended its leadership rift.
Bernice King's appearance at a Decatur church marked the second time this week that she has attended separate conventions run by rival groups claiming to lead the famed civil rights organization. The group has asked a state judge to decide who is the rightful leadership team. A ruling has not yet come.
The Rev. Markel Hutchins, named the SCLC's interim president and CEO earlier this year, had invited King to the session and said they embraced after she arrived.
“We are very interested in reconciliation, pulling our family together,'' Hutchins said in a brief interview.
Still, there was no immediate resolution to the famed civil rights group's leadership crisis. Hutchins said people from both factions have been communicating recently, but he declined to name those involved in the talks or describe their nature.
King is the youngest daughter of the civil rights leader and was elected the SCLC's eighth president and its first woman leader in October. She has declined to take office until the leadership dispute among its board is somehow resolved.
On Tuesday, King made a similar appearance at a rival SCLC convention in Atlanta, said her assistant, De'Leice Drane.
Earlier this month, King led a prayer vigil at her father's old church in Atlanta and urged both sides in the dispute to come together and end months of bitter infighting.
The dueling SCLC factions split apart last fall over allegations of financial mismanagement by the embattled chairman and treasurer, who have refused to step aside pending federal and local investigations. The result has been divided allegiances among two factions of board members who are conducting the SCLC's affairs independent of one another.
Pictured above is the Rev. Bernice King.