NAACP Chairman Bond Speaks at JMU's Annual King Observance

From: Public Affairs

January 14, 2008

HARRISONBURG Veteran civil rights activist Julian Bond, chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, will speak at James Madison University Monday, Jan. 21, at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day program.

The 7 p.m. program in Wilson Hall Auditorium will honor King's life on the national holiday observance of the 79th anniversary of his birth on Jan. 15, 1929.

Bond's relationship with King dates to 1960 at Morehouse College in Atlanta, where Bond was a founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee while King was affiliated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Bond served as communications director of the SNCC and was active in protests and registration campaigns throughout the South.

He was elected at age 25 to the Georgia House of Representatives, but was barred from taking his seat by members who objected to his opposition to the Vietnam War. He was eventually seated after a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Bond has served as head of the NAACP, the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the United States, since 1998. In 2002, the National Civil Rights Museum awarded him a prestigious National Freedom Award. The recipient of 25 honorary degrees, Bond retired in 2006 from teaching history at the University of Virginia.

JMU will broadcast a live Web cast of the Jan. 21 program. Viewers can visit the JMU home page at to watch the program.

JMU students, faculty and staff will honor King's memory Thursday, Jan. 17, during a march through campus and a "speak out" for participants to comment on the civil rights leader's enduring contributions to society. The march will begin at 4 p.m. at the steps of Wilson Hall and will proceed to Taylor Down Under in Taylor Hall for the "speak out."

JMU students will travel to the Harrisonburg Children's Museum on Tuesday, Jan. 15 King's birthday to read and lead activities to inform children about King's life and legacy. The two-hour community service event will begin at 4 p.m.

The JMU chapter of the NAACP will sponsor "History Meets the Future," re-enactments of significant events in the national organization's history, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, in Transition, Warren Hall.

Admission to Martin Luther King Jr. observances is free and open to the public. For a full schedule of the week's activities, check the JMU Center for Multicultural Student Services Web site at

JMU Public Affairs contact: Janet Smith, 540-568-8008 or

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