Officials of The United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice are scheduled at its annual meeting here today to elect a new executive director who will succeed the Rev. Dr. Charles E. Cobb.
Cobb, who has been head of the agency since its inception, is retiring. He will be the guest of honor at a banquet tonight at the Howard Inn.
The commission, with an annual budget of $1.1 million, operates from two field offices.
The office in Washington coordinates racial justice strategies for many national and regional organizations, and the other in North Carolina focuses on criminal justice issues, the empowerment of black women and community organization.
Organized in 1963 in response to the assassination of civil rights activist Medgar Evers, the Birmingham church bombing and other milestones of the civil rights movement, as a committee of the New York-based, 1.7 million-member United Church of Christ, the agency became a permanent commission in 1969.
In the late 1960s, the commission waged a successful campaign to save 16-year-old Marie Hill from the North Carolina gas chamber.
Then it organized the National Conference of Black Churchmen, and went to the aid of Joanne Little.
Another cause was that of the Wilmington 10, headed by the Rev. Benjamin F. Chavis.
Chavis is now the commission's deputy director and has been mentioned as a leading candidate to succeed Cobb.