University of Pittsburgh
March 5, 2003

Civil Rights Pioneer and NAACP Chair Julian Bond To Deliver March 26 Inaugural Lecture of Pitt's Center on Race and Social Problems

Contact: 

Sharon Blake

412-624-4364

Cell: 412-277-6926

March 6, 2003

PITTSBURGH—Longtime civil rights activist and NAACP Chair Julian Bond will deliver the inaugural lecture of the University of Pittsburgh 's Center on Race and Social Problems (CRSP) at 3:30 p.m. March 26 in the Seventh-Floor Auditorium of Pitt's Alumni Hall, 4227 Fifth Avenue, Oakland.

Bond's talk, "Civil Rights: Then and Now," will be presented to an audience of faculty, researchers, students, alumni, and community leaders. The public will be admitted free of charge.

Bond has been a figure on the cutting edge of social change since 1960. "Few Americans can match Julian Bond's personal lifetime legacy of fighting for racial equality," says Larry Davis, dean of Pitt's School of Social Work and director of CRSP. "His appearance will help to highlight the center's goals of bringing forth racial harmony, insight, and justice."

The center, the only one of its kind in a school of social work, was established earlier this academic year to conduct scholarly research on race and its influence on the quality of life for Americans in the 21st century. Using faculty and researchers from throughout Pitt and from other institutions of higher learning, CRSP is focusing on five key areas: interracial group relations; economic and educational disparities; mental health practices; youth, families, and the elderly; and criminal justice. More information on the center is available on the Web at www.pitt.edu/~pittssw/crsp/crsp.html.

Julian Bond was arrested as a college student for his civil rights activity; he served more than 20 years as a Georgia state legislator; and he is nationally renowned as a writer, teacher, and lecturer. Born in Nashville, Tenn., in 1940, he was raised in Bucks County, Pa., where his father, the late Horace Mann Bond, was the first Black president of the country's oldest Black private college, Lincoln University. The younger Bond earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Morehouse College in Atlanta, where his civil rights career began. He helped form the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and also helped establish and worked for the Committee on Appeal for Human Rights, the Atlanta University Center student civil rights organization that directed the nonviolent antisegregation protests responsible for integrating Atlanta's movie theaters, lunch counters, and parks.

Bond was barred in 1965 from beginning a term in the Georgia House of Representatives because of his opposition to the Vietnam War. The following year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Bond's rights had been violated, and he went on to serve four terms in the Georgia House and six terms in the Georgia Senate. Bond sponsored more than 60 bills that became law, including a pioneer sickle cell anemia testing program. He was president and founder of the Southern Elections Fund, an early political action committee that aided in the election of rural Southern Black candidates. At the 1968 Democratic Convention, the Georgia Loyal National Delegation nominated Bond for the vice presidency of the United States, but he was only 28 at the time, seven years younger than the age required to hold the office.

In 1998, Bond was elected chair of the NAACP, the country's oldest and largest civil rights organization. He sits on a number of boards, holds more than 20 honorary degrees, and is a distinguished professor in residence at American University in Washington, D.C., and a professor of history at the University of Virginia. Bond was host of "America's Black Forum," the oldest Black-owned program in television syndication, from 1980 to 1997, and he serves as a commentator on the show today. He is the author of A Time To Speak, A Time To Act, the Movement in Politics and Black Candidates—Southern Campaign Experiences, as well as essays, poems, and articles that have appeared in dozens of publications.

The Center on Race and Social Problems' inaugural lecture is presented in partnership with Pitt's Faculty and College of Arts and Sciences, School of Law, Center for Minority Health, and Office of Public Affairs. The event is made possible through the generous contributions of three Pittsburgh law firms: Buchanan Ingersoll Professional Group, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP, and Reed Smith LLP. Known for their dynamism, these Pittsburgh-based national law firms are pleased to be supporters of the University of Pittsburgh in this event, which has been designed to promote diversity at the University and in the local legal community.

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