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Julian Bond Headlines Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at W&L

Julian Bond, chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1998, will present the keynote address for the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at Washington and Lee University on Sunday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. in Lee Chapel.

The title of Bond’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is “The Road to the Dream: From Alabama to Obama.” A reception will follow at 9 p.m. in Evans Dining Hall.

Bond’s keynote is the centerpiece of a series of events to honor the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. Other events include:

  • A special showing of the movie “Crash” on Jan. 12 at 6 p.m. in Stackhouse Theatre.
  • A community service project will be held on Saturday, Jan. 16.
  • A birthday party for the children of Rockbridge County will be held in the Elrod Commons from 12 to 2 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 18.
  • A showing of “Four Little Girls,” Spike Lee’s 1997 documentary about the Birmingham church bombing, will be held in the Lewis Hall Moot Courtroom at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 19, and will be followed by a discussion facilitated by W&L history professor Molly Michelmore and law professor Scott Sundby.

Julian Bond has been an active participant in the movements for civil rights and economic justice from his student days to his current chairmanship of the NAACP. While a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta he was a founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960. As SNCC’s communications director, Bond was active in protests and registration campaigns throughout the South.

He was elected in 1965 to the Georgia House of Representatives but 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.

He was co-chair of a challenge delegation from Georgia to the 1968 Democratic Convention and was nominated for vice-president, but had to decline because he was too young.

Bond helped found the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a public interest law firm based in Montgomery, Ala., along with Morris Dees. He was that organization’s president from 1971 to 1979.

Bond 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.