James Leonard Farmer, Jr. was a civil rights activist and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement. He was the initiator and organizer of the 1961 Freedom Ride, which eventually led to the desegregation of inter-state transportation in the United States.
In 1942, Farmer co-founded the Committee of Racial Equality, which later became the Congress of Racial Equality, an organization that sought to bring an end to racial segregation in the United States through nonviolence. Farmer was the organization's first leader, serving as the national chairman from 1942 to 1944. He was an honorary vice chairman in the Democratic Socialists of America.