Be Your Own Hero

Larry and Julian BondLarry and Julian Bond

We’re in Montgomery, Alabama this weekend for activities at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) related to the 50th anniversary of the pivotal march from Selma to Montgomery march in support of voting rights and the subsequent Voting Rights Act passed by Congress.

We went through Selma Friday morning on the way here so weren’t around when President Obama, Representative John Lewis, et al. were there. But at a dinner Friday evening we did get to meet another hero of mine, Julian Bond, a lifelong champion of civil rights for African-Americans (and more recently the LGBT community). He co-founded the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee for civil rights in the early 60s, served as chairman of the NAACP for 12 years, was the first president of the SPLC,  served 20 years in the Georgia legislature, etc. etc. etc. Most of us can only dream of having such a distinguished record of public service.

Connie (a.k.a. the Fashion Queen) got in on the VIP action as well, posing here with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Connie and Nancy PelosiConnie and Nancy Pelosi

We were humbled by all the major players we met this weekend, but also encouraged by all the stories we heard about the regular folk that were part of the voting rights effort 50 years ago. Their stories reminded us that everything we do as individuals to promote such causes, no matter how seemingly insignificant, has the potential to be a contribution to a making this world a better, safer, more fair place to live for everyone.

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