Speaker Series Upcoming Speakers
Julian Bond, a noted civil rights activist and former chairman of the NAACP, will be the keynote speaker of the 20th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Banquet on Feb. 15 where he will speak on his extensive experience participating in the movements for civil rights and economic justice since his student days at Morehouse College in the early 1960s.
Bond, 72, who is also well-regarded politician, professor and writer, began his activist career by helping to establish the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960 and then becoming the first president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a public interest law firm based in Montgomery, Ala. As SNCC's communications director, Bond was active in protests and registration campaigns throughout the South.
After college, he was elected to four terms in the Georgia House of Representatives and later to six terms in the Georgia Senate, having served a combined twenty years in both legislative chambers. When elected in 1965 to the Georgia House of Representatives, Bond was prevented from taking his seat by members who objected to his opposition to the Vietnam War. He was re-elected to his own vacant seat and un-seated again, and seated only after a third election and a unanimous decision of the United States Supreme Court.
Bond helped found the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), along with Morris Dees. He was that organization's president from 1971 to 1979. From 1998 to 2010, he was chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He has been a commentator on America's Black Forum, the oldest black-owned show in television syndication. His poetry and articles have appeared in numerous publications. He has narrated numerous documentaries, including the Academy Award winning "A Time For Justice" and the prize-winning and critically acclaimed series "Eyes On The Prize.” In 2002, he received the prestigious National Freedom Award. Bond is a distinguished adjunct professor at American University in Washington and a professor in the history department at the University of Virginia.
"Many are attracted to social service - the rewards are immediate, the gratification quick. But if we have social justice, we won't need social service," — Julian Bond.
"I tell young people to prepare themselves as best they can for a world that grows more challenging every day - get the best education they can, and couple that education with real-life experience in social justice work," — Julian Bond.