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C. T. Vivian was national director of affiliates for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) from 1963 to 1966. He attended Western Illinois University and was pastor of First Community Church in Nashville, Tennessee while a seminary student at American Baptist College. He co-founded the Nashville Christian Leadership Conference, was active in the Nashville student sit-ins and was brutally beaten in Parchman (Mississippi) Prison after participating in the Freedom Rides. Vivian coordinated local civil rights groups nationally for the SCLC, advised Dr. King and organized demonstrations in Birmingham, St. Augustine and Selma. When he left SCLC in 1966, Vivian directed the Urban Training Center for Christian Missions in Chicago and organized against racism in the building trades. Returning to Atlanta, Vivian founded the Black Action Strategies and Information Center and co-founded the Center for Democratic Renewal.