Purdue expands awards to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; Bond will speak at MLK convocation

November 14, 2013  

Julian Bond

Julian Bond 
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – New awards will be presented as part of the Purdue University celebration to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The MLK Dreamer Award, established in 2004, will continue to be presented at the annual MLK convocation, which will be at 7 p.m. Jan. 21 in Loeb Playhouse and feature Julian Bond as the keynote speaker.

"The new MLK awards will be presented at a reception on Jan. 30 to individuals who have aided in creating an inclusive community and who have demonstrated a commitment to diversity and fostering inclusiveness and appreciation of differences," said Renee Thomas, director of Purdue's Black Cultural Center and co-chair of the Martin Luther King Planning Committee.

The committee is accepting nominations until Dec. 18. To nominate an individual or organization, visit https://purdue.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_8cwDg0fpt6d6PnD

Bond is former chairman of the NAACP and a leader of the American civil rights movement. He helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee while a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta in 1960 and organized voting drives and student protests against segregation in public facilities in Georgia.

After graduation from Morehouse, Bond helped start the Southern Poverty Law Center, serving as the organization's president from 1971-79. He was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives but white members of the House refused to seat him because of his opposition to the Vietnam War until the U.S. Supreme Court intervened. He served in the Georgia House from 1965-75 and served six terms in the Georgia Senate, from 1975-86.

Co-chairman of an insurgent delegation to the 1968 national Democratic Convention, he became the first African American to be nominated for vice president. He withdrew his name from the ballot because he was too young to serve.

Bond is chairman emeritus of the NAACP and appears frequently on America's Black Forum, the oldest black-owned show in television syndication. He has written a nationally distributed newspaper column and narrated the award-winning documentaries "A Time for Justice" and "Eyes on the Prize."   

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711, gmcclure@purdue.edu  

Source: Renee Thomas, 765-494-3091, rathomas@purdue.edu

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