WASHINGTON – Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after the passing of longtime civil rights stalwart Julian Bond, a co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Southern Poverty Law Center and a ten-year chairman of the NAACP:
“If anyone lived the story of our nation’s civil and human rights struggle, it’s Dr. Julian Bond. Bond understood that the fight against bigotry and discrimination must be waged in every sphere of American life. He waged this battle in the streets and at lunch counters, in the courtroom, at the ballot box, in the halls of power, and in university classrooms across the country.
Bond’s tenacity helped to ensure our movement wouldn’t rest on past accomplishments. After we passed the Voting Rights Act in 1965, he took the next step and ran for office in Georgia. After leading SNCC and helping to stop the scourge of Jim Crow, he went on to co-found the Southern Poverty Law Center to ensure the fair enforcement of our new civil rights laws. And his ten years as the NAACP’s chairman ensured that our movement would have continuity of strong thoughtful leadership into the 21st century.
Bond measured civil and human rights by a single yard stick and he applied that guiding principle of equality to all people. He was a champion for immigrants and immigration reform, a leader in the fight against poverty, and a passionate advocate for the equal rights of LGBT people.
He is one of our icons and will be deeply missed. But his moral voice will continue to be a guide for all of us seeking to advance civil and human rights for all people.”
Wade Henderson is the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org. •