The Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a civil rights group cofounded 26 years ago by Martin Luther King Jr., announced yesterday that it will hold its annual convention in Washington next week, three days before the 20th anniversary of the historic March on Washington.

King was president of the group when it helped organize the march, which took place Aug. 28, 1963.

SCLC President Joseph Lowery said, "We are holding our convention in conjunction with the march and the three issues of the march: jobs, peace and freedom."

Lowery said that unlike the march--which he described as a "broad-based coalition" that appeals to a consensus of opinions--the convention will cover issues of particular interest to blacks, including U.S. arms shipments to Israel. "We'll talk about anything we want to at the convention, from apartheid in South Africa to defense spending and Central America," he said.

Convention activities are scheduled Wednesday through Friday at various locations, including New Bethel Baptist Church, 1300 10th St. NW, and the Howard University Blackburn Center.

Lowery said SCLC plans to conduct a forum featuring several announced presidential candidates. He said there also will be several workshops featuring representatives of such groups and institutions as the African National Congress, TransAfrica, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Democratic National Committee.