Derreck Kayongo has resigned as CEO of The Center for Civil and Human Rights to pursue “other endeavors” after roughly two years in the job. The departure came as a surprise to the staff, according to Spokesperson Kristie Cain Raymer.
The center’s chair, former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, said, in a statement, “Together, we have built the Center for Civil and Human Rights into a world-class institution. . . 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.”
When he became CEO, Kayongo saw his role as helping “elevate the visibility of the CENTER globally and show case some of the most incredible stories ever told about abusers of both Civil and Human Rights and in juxtaposition depict the victims of that abuse through the heroic actions to reverse these abuses through Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Ms. Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela and many others.”
According to Kayongo, who came to the United States from Uganda at the age of 22, “The Center will be a convener of voices and opinion in order to bring equilibrium and justice to those that are marginalized. I will have managerial responsibility and most important of all raise money to keep the work of the CENTER at the heart of everyone willing and able to help us preserve that work.”
Brian Tolleson, who founded the Center’s LGBT Institute, is now at the helm on an interim basis.
The center also just named its incoming COO, Donald Byrd, an accountant who’s been working at a real estate firm.