29th Annual MLK Celebration Keynote
Professor, University of Virginia
Chair, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Julian Bond, a professor at the University of Virginia and chair of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), stood shoulder to shoulder with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the early days of the civil rights movement.
While an undergraduate at Morehouse College, Bond played a key role in organizing protests that led to the desegregation of Atlanta's movie theaters, lunch counters and parks. Bond himself was arrested for sitting in at the segregated cafeteria in Atlanta's City Hall.
He helped create the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee in 1960 and worked in voter registration drives in rural Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas.
He was elected to the Georgia legislature in 1965 and 1966 but was denied his seat because of his outspoken opposition to the Vietnam War. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Georgia House had violated his rights, and Bond went on to serve four terms in the Georgia House and six terms in the Senate.
In 1968, Bond co-chaired the Georgia Loyal Delegation to the Democractic Party national convention and was nominated for vice president. He withdrew his name because he was too young to serve.
Bond was the founding president of the Southern Poverty Law Center in 1971. A longtime member of the NAACP board, he was elected chair in 1998.
He narrated the critically acclaimed 1987 and 1990 PBS series "Eyes on the Prize" and the 1994 Academy Award-winning documentary "A Time for Justice."
Bond is a distinguished scholar in residence at American University and member of the faculty in the University of Virginia Department of History. He has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Harvard University and Williams College. He is the author of "A Time to Speak, a Time to Act" (1972).