(Modesto, CA) – 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.
There will also be a free public reception for Bond from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the King-Kennedy Memorial Center, 601 S. Martin Luther King Dr., Modesto.
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. To sponsor or donate, make a tax-deductible check payable to "Modesto Peace/Life Center-MLK” and mail it to Jim Costello, 1849 Richard Way, Ceres, CA 95307-4504. For more information contact Costello at firstname.lastname@example.org or 209-402-9191, or Dan Onorato, MJC professor emeritus, at email@example.com, 209-526-5436. The Modesto Peace/Life Center is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization with the IRS tax identity number 94-2800825.
Sponsors to date include the City of Modesto Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods Department; Modesto Junior College; Modesto Peace/Life Center; California State University, Stanislaus; West Modesto King-Kennedy Neighborhood Collaborative, and College Avenue Congregational Church.