The beginnings of the SCLC can be traced back to the 1955-1956 Montgomery Bus Boycott. The boycott was carried out by the newly established Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA). Martin Luther King, Jr., served as president and Ralph David Abernathy served as program director. The MIA became the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in August 1957 and made basic decisions to adopt non-violent mass action as the cornerstone of its strategy, to affiliate with local community organizations across the South, and to make the SCLC movement open to all, regardless of race, religion or background. SCLC is a now a nationwide organization made up of chapters and affiliates with programs that seek to affect the lives of all Americans: north, south, east and west.
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