By Emerald Wright-Collie
Special to the Tribune
Julian Bond, a first-hand witness and active contributor to the Civil Rights Movement, speaks during an event that is free and open to the public today at 7 p.m. in Shafer Auditorium at Allegheny College.
Bond, an activist in civil rights, economic justice and peace movements, is a keynote speaker for the college’s Year of Civil Rights, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act in 2014.
Bond is a recipient of the Freedom Award and has also been honored with the Bill of Rights Awards by the American Civil Liberties Unions of Massachusetts and Georgia. Time Magazine names him as one of America’s top 200 leaders and the Library of Congress calls him as a “Living Legend.”
His contribution to Civil Rights in today’s society has inspired many documentary films. His most recent documentary, “Grounds for Change,” was showed at the college’s café on Tuesday. The documentary gave students a taste of Bond and his impact. Students who attended the documentary watched it to be prepared for today’s talk in Shafer Auditorium.
Quinn Kobelak, a student fellow of the Center for Political Participation, helped organize the showing of the documentary.
“It gave a background and touched on a lot of major moments of his life,” Kobelak said.
Brian Harward, the director for Political Participation at Allegheny College, is also one of the coordinators for the two years of annual themes related to Civil Rights and democratic participation. Harward contributed to bringing Bond to Allegheny’s campus along with other members of the committee.
“We had lots of input on who should come speak from across campus,” Harward said. “His name is one that continued to be mentioned. There was a lot of interest in bringing him here.”
This is Bond’s fourth time speaking at Allegheny. He made appearances in 1970, ’76 and ’81 as part of the Allegheny Coalition of Black Legions. Prior to today’s talk, Bond will set aside some time to meet with students and faculty.
“We can accommodate anyone who wants to come to the talk,” Harward said.
Emerald Wright-Collie is an Allegheny College student studying journalism.