The Feminist Majority Foundation and activists across the country are mourning the loss of Julian Bond. Bond passed away over the weekend at 75, leaving behind a legacy of activism as civil rights, social justice, and progressive leader.
Bond was a strong supporter of women’s rights. He was an advocate for the Equal Rights Amendment, for a full range of reproductive healthcare, and spoke out against anti-abortion extremist harassment of women’s health clinics. Bond often tied his fight for civil rights to the fight for women’s rights, saying in an interview with the Center for American Progress:
“I think you could not be in the civil rights movement without having an appreciation for everyone’s rights. That these rights are not divisible- not something men have and women don’t.”
“I had the privilege of knowing Julian Bond. When he spoke out, his words were always inclusive– he left no group nor fight for justice behind in thought or deed,” said Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation.
Bond’s activism can be traced back to his 20s, when he co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee at Morehouse College. At only 25 Bond was elected to the House of Representatives in Georgia, where he would serve for four terms. He also served for six terms in the Georgia State Senate. Bond became chairman of the NAACP in 1998 and later was the founder and first President of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Bond was also known for his firm opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War. Bond was outspoken for LGBT rights, publicly supporting and marching for same-sex marriage.