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Press Release

Barbara Laskin

Civil Rights Leader Julian Bond to Speak at Macalester
and Receive Honorary Degree

Photo: Civil rights leader Julian Bond

September 28, 2009 - St. Paul, Minn.Civil rights leader Julian Bond will speak at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, October 1, at Macalester College. Bond’s speech is titled “Civil Rights Then and Now.” He will also receive an honorary degree.

The campus-wide convocation at which Bond is speaking is being held to mark the dedication of Markim Hall, home of Macalester’s Institute for Global Citizenship. Bond serves on the institute’s international advisory board. Markim Hall, which opened this summer, this week received LEED-Platinum certification. It is the first higher education building in Minnesota to earn platinum status.

From his college days as a founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960 to his current chairmanship of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Bond has been in the forefront of the movements for civil rights, economic justice, and peace.

As an activist, he organized non-violent sit-ins and voter registration drives. At age 25 he was elected to the Georgia legislature, where he served 20 years, authoring legislation to help the poor and disenfranchised.

In 1968, Bond led an insurgent delegation to the Democratic National Convention and successfully unseated the handpicked regular delegates. He was nominated for Vice President of the United States, the first African American to be nominated by a major party, but withdrew his name because, at 28, he was too young to serve.

Bond has led a variety of organizations dedicated to justice and peace. He served four terms on the board of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the country’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, and has been its chair for more than 10 years.

He has been a prolific writer, commentator, and teacher, and he is currently teaching at the University of Virginia and American University in Washington, DC.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,958 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism and civic engagement.