The National Center for Civil and Human Rights announced the departure of CEO, Derreck Kayongo

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights today announced the departure of CEO, Derreck Kayongo. Mr. Kayongo is departing to pursue other endeavors. The Center’s Board Chair, former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin said, “Together, we have built the Center for Civil and Human Rights into a world-class institution. Operationally, we have recently paid off all of the financing for constructing our current permanent collections and for the building itself. On behalf of the entire board, we wish Derreck great success in his future plans. We are well-positioned and excited for the next phase of our growth.”

Also today, The Center announced the hiring of a new Chief Operating Officer, Donald Byrd and Director of Finance, Lavette Dow-Jones.

Mr. Byrd, also a CPA, embodies more than 35 years of experience in executive, finance, accounting, management, business growth and business development experience for domestic and international enterprises. Mr. Byrd comes to The Center from his previous role as COO at Vista Realty Partners. Board Member of the Center for Civil and Human Rights, and President of Central Atlanta Progress, A.J. Robinson, “I have had the privilege of knowing Don both professionally and personally for over three decades. From our many successful years working together in the Portman Organization, I’ve seen first-hand Don’s strategic and long-range approach to growing top-notch operations. We are very fortunate to add his expertise to the professional staff at The Center.”

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights also proudly announced another new hire, Ms. Lavette Dow-Jones, as Director of Finance. Mrs. Dow-Jones joins the new operations team, reporting to Mr. Byrd, from her most recent position as Director of Finance and Administration at The Robert E. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership.

During a short transition following Mr. Kayongo’s departure, Center Board Member and Founder of The LGBT Institute, Brian Tolleson, currently CEO of digital content agency, BARK BARK and partner at Lexicon Strategies, will serve as Interim CEO. Mr. Tolleson is already well versed in The Center’s strategic plan and will assist The Center by continuing to advance The Center’s goals and initiatives.

About the Center for Civil and Human Rights
The Center for Civil and Human Rights in Downtown Atlanta is an engaging cultural attraction that connects The American Civil Rights Movement to today’s Global Human Rights Movements. The Center features a continuously rotating exhibit from The Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection, which includes many of Dr. King’s documents and personal items. Visitors will be immersed in experiential exhibits through powerful and authentic stories, historic documents, compelling artifacts, and interactive activities. The Center is a source for ongoing dialogue — hosting educational forums and attracting world-renowned speakers and artists who work on a variety of human rights topics. For more information, visit Join the conversation on civil and human rights on Twitter @Ctr4CHR and Facebook.

Media Inquiries:

Kristie Cain Raymer, [email protected], 404-835-4281