WASHINGTON — Forty-one years after his father co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Martin Luther King III was sworn in as its new leader and announced a membership drive to revitalize the image of the financially ailing organization.
King, 40, replaced the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, whose 20-year reign was troubled by questions about the group's mission and difficulty in raising funds.
King, who was selected in November, said the group plans to tackle social problems--"unrest, poverty, racism, violence"--but first needs to build its foundation by fostering youth leadership and catching up to technology.
"The only way that one can be successful in the '90s and beyond is to be able to have your constituents knowing how to utilize computers, knowing how to use the Internet, knowing that it is critical that you get your message out," King said in an interview Saturday before his inauguration in Laurel, Md.