NAACP Chair Julian Bond To Serve as MLK Speaker

NAACP Chairman Julian Bond will be keynote speaker for the 20th annual lecture commemorating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Wednesday, Jan. 23 at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum. Bond will discuss “Civil Rights: In the Day, Today, and Tomorrow.” The 6 p.m. dinner is limited to CMC persons and invited guests, with the public portion of the program beginning at 6:45. Seating is on a first-come basis. Overflow seating and a live video feed will be provided in McKenna Auditorium.

Bond has served since 1998 as chairman of the Board of the NAACP, the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the United States, and in 2002 received the National Freedom Award. Bond also currently serves as president emeritus of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and is a Distinguished Professor at American University in Washington, D.C., and a Distinguished Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Virginia.

His book, A Time to Speak, A Time to Act (Touchstone, 1972), is a collection of his essays which, along with his poetry, have been featured in numerous publications.

Bond’s involvement with the civil rights movement began with his participation in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the sit-in and anti-segregation organization that he founded while a student at Morehouse College. As SNCC’s communications director, he was active in protests and registration campaigns throughout the South during one of this nation’s most difficult times. Since then, he has worked to advance the cause of civil rights in politics, journalism, and literature.

Bond was elected in 1965 to the Georgia House of Representatives and, overcoming the recalcitrance of members who objected to his opposition to the Vietnam War, he took his seat after three re-elections and a Supreme Court decision in his favor. His role as a public voice and advocate for equality and justice ranges from commentator on America’s Black Forum, the oldest black-owned television show in syndication; narrator of the Academy Award-winning documentary A Time for Justice; commentator for The Today Show; and author of the nationally syndicated newspaper column Viewpoint.

Bond serves as chairman of the Premier Auto Group Diversity Council and is on the boards of the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Council for a Livable World, and the advisory board of the Harvard Business School Initiative on Social Enterprise, among others. In addition to his professorships at American University and the University of Virginia, he has taught at Williams College, the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel College, Harvard, and has been awarded more than 20 honorary degrees.

Bond’s address is sponsored by the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum.