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Julian Bond began a lifetime career of social activism during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. While still a student, Bond founded the Committee on Appeal for Human Rights, an organization that successfully fought to integrate Atlanta's movie theaters, lunch counters, and parks. He also helped to form the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and later became the communications director of the organization. Bond began a political career in 1965 when he was elected to a one year term in the Georgia House of Representatives. Members of the House voted not to seat him because of his outspoken opposition to the war in Vietnam. Bond was elected two more times before the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the Georgia House had violated Bond's rights in refusing him his seat. He served in the Georgia House and Senate until 1986.
Bond was named the first president of the Southern Poverty Law Center at its founding in 1971 and still sits on the board. He is currently a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the American University in Washington, D.C., and a professor in the history department at the University of Virginia. In 1995, Bond was elected to his fourth term on the National Board of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Bond has served as chairman of the NAACP since his election in February 1998.