I admire the thought leaders of our world – globally, nationally and locally. They are our thinkers and doers. Our leaders are our heroes. They create awareness while building ambassadors for their cause and their community. They motivate change with their words and actions, committed to creating a greater tomorrow.
In the nonprofit sector, we are fortunate to collaborate with many social justice leaders daily. It reminds us why we stand on the frontline of challenge, passionately fighting for change.
Today, I celebrate a heroic leader, an activist who demonstrated the excellence of leadership in the city of Atlanta. He didn’t just do the work, he mastered it and compelled others to follow. Our hero, Julian Bond, former N.A.A.C.P. chairman and civil rights leader, has passed.
Bond’s work illustrates many examples of leadership, service and heroism. From age 17 to 75, his journey is indicative of a man who never gave up the fight. He was elected to our Georgia House of Representatives in 1965, not taking his seat until a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1967. An advocate for humanity, Bond dedicated more than 20 years at the forefront of decisions that shaped Atlanta.
He led a life committed to thought leadership and activism. Can you imagine the stories he has shared? Sitting at the helm of young black Americans sharing their voice during the civil rights movement, Bond led the protests as a leader of peace. He graduated Morehouse as a co-founder and the communications director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In an effort to promote legal advocacy, he founded the Southern Poverty Law Center. His work, now serving as a legacy, covers the span of a lifetime. It is a constant motivation to remain at the frontline of challenge, creating change for one and all.
Notably, change requires a commitment to the work, advocating for the people and building a greater tomorrow. But when heroes fall, who will have the courage to do more than stand on their shoulders? Who will keep the conversation going to ensure positive change continues?
But when heroes fall, who will have the courage to do more than stand on their shoulders? Who will keep the conversation going to ensure positive change continues?
I am hopeful Julian Bond’s iconic work will continue to have a voice in our community, opening doors for all people. He is proof that superheroes do in fact exist. When we work together, we create a force – a superpower – that changes the world. I salute you Mr. Julian Bond, celebrate your life as a social justice hero and honor your commitment to service.