Julian Bond, renowned leader and activist in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, will present the keynote address for the 21st Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration on Saturday, February 7, 2015 in the Modesto Junior College Performing Arts and Media Center Auditorium, 435 College Avenue in Modesto. Bond will speak on “The Road to Freedom: From Alabama to Obama.” Doors open at 6 p.m. and the program begins at 7p.m. The event is open to the public and admission is free.
College and high school students are invited to meet Julian Bond and ask questions during an informal student discussion held at 4 p.m. on Feb. 7 at the King Kennedy Memorial Center, located at 601 S. Martin Luther King Drive in Modesto. The student discussion will be followed by a free public reception for Bond from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the King-Kennedy Memorial Center.
From his civil rights and anti-war activism in the 1960s to his support for gay rights in the new millennium, Julian Bond has been on the cutting edge of social change. As an activist, he has faced jail for his convictions, most recently for protesting the Keystone Pipeline.
Co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960, Bond helped organize voting drives and sit-ins. An elected member of the Georgia House of Representatives, he was denied his seat by legislators until the intervention of the United States Supreme Court. Co-chairman of an insurgent delegation to the 1968 Democratic Convention, he became the ﬁrst African-American to be nominated for Vice President of the United States. He served as Chairman of the NAACP from 1998 to 2010, and was the ﬁrst President of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Bond has taught at Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, and American University, and is a professor emeritus in the History Department at the University of Virginia.
In order to host this free, public event, the organizers depend solely on generous donations of money or services from co-sponsors and donors. Sponsors to date include the Associated Students of Modesto Junior College; City of Modesto Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods Department; MOCSE Credit Union; Modesto Junior College; Modesto Peace/Life Center; California State University, Stanislaus; West Modesto King-Kennedy Neighborhood Collaborative, College Avenue Congregational Church; Rockwell, Kelly and Duarte and Valley Lexus.