Julian Bond

photoFrom his student days to his current Chairmanship of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Julian Bond has been an active participant in the movements for civil rights and economic justice. As an activist who has faced jail for his convictions, as a veteran of more than 20 years service in the Georgia General Assembly, a university professor and a writer, he has been on the cutting edge of social change since 1960.

He was a founder, in 1960 while a student at Morehouse College of the Atlanta student sit-in and anti-segregation organization and of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). As SNCC's Communications Director, Bond was active in protests and registration campaigns throughout the South.

Elected in 1965 to the Georgia House of Representatives, Bond was prevented from taking his seat by members who objected to his opposition to the Vietnam War. He was re-elected to his own vacant seat and un-seated again, and seated only after a third election and a unanimous decision of the United States Supreme Court.

He was co-chair of a challenge delegation from Georgia to the 1968 Democratic Convention. The challengers were successful in unseating Georgia's regular Democrats, and Bond was nominated for Vice-President, but had to decline because he was too young.

Bond serves as Chairman of the Premier Auto Group PAG (Volvo, Land Rover, Aston-Martin, and Jaguar) Diversity Council and is on the Boards of People for the American Way, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Council for a Livable World, and the advisory board of the Harvard Business School Initiative on Social Enterprise, among others.

He was a commentator on America's Black Forum, the oldest black-owned show in television syndication. His poetry and articles have appeared in numerous publications. He has narrated numerous documentaries, including the Academy Award winning "A Time For Justice" and the prize-winning and critically acclaimed series "Eyes On The Prize."

Since 1998, Bond has served as Chairman of the Board of the NAACP, the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the United States. From 1996 – 1998, he served as Chairman and Publisher of The Crisis Publishing Company, Inc.

In 2002, he received the prestigious National Freedom Award and in July 2009, he was awarded the NAACP's Spingarn Medal.

The holder of twenty-five honorary degrees, served as a Distinguished Professor at American University in Washington, DC, and continues as a Professor in history at the University of Virginia.

 

Jerome Whyatt Mondesire

photoNewspaper publisher and former congressional staff member Jerome Whyatt "Jerry" Mondesire was born October 10, 1949 in Harlem, New York. His working class parents, Jerome Alexis Mondesire, a Dominican Garveyite and Winnifred Taylor Mondesire of South Carolina emphasized education. Mondesire attended P.S. 88 and Junior High School 172. He graduated from Martin Van Buren High School in Queens in 1968 where he was a member of the NAACP High School Youth Council. Mondesire attended City Colleges of New York. He studied journalism and as a student activist, he volunteered with SNCC in 1969.

Mondesire pursued his journalism career and while at the Baltimore Sunpaper, in 1973, he covered the "Black October" killings of Maryland State Senator James Turk Scott and "Pee Wee" Matthews. At the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1974, he covered Mayor Frank Rizzo's strip-searching of the Black Panthers. At the Inquirer, Mondesire became assistant city desk editor. Turning to politics full-time in 1977. he was chosen to work as chief of staff for William H. Gray's successful congressional campaign. As Congressman Gray's top aide, Mondesire influenced and shaped policy. He was instrumental in the 1985 national "Stop The Springboks!" campaign and helped to write the South African sanctions legislation for Congress. In 1992, after Congressman Gray retired, Mondesire acquired the Philadelphia Sun newspaper including the online edition. Mondesire is also the host of FreedomQuest, a local public and political affairs talk show on Philadelphia cable television.

Mondesire is a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors. In 1997, he was elected president of Philadelphia's NAACP chapter and increased the organization's membership to over 5,000. He was recently elected Pennsylvania Sate Conference President. The Philadelphia NAACP Branch, under Mondesire, overturned the ex-felon disenfranchisement law in 1999. Mondesire is active in welfare to work training, health care, youth violence and police brutality.

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