People Around The World Come Together To Remember Julian Bond

We are saddened with the passing of Julian Bond, who inspired Aviva Kempner to make the film when he talked about Julius Rosenwald at a lecture at the Hebrew Center 12 years ago on the Vineyard. The family is spreading his ashes in Florida on Saturday and asks that people go by a body of water and throw flowers into the water at 3pm EST. Please post photos of your ceremony to social media with the hashtag #HonorJulianBond. Aviva will be in Philly on Saturday opening Rosenwald and will do it there.

For those who live in DC, below is what is organized by DC VOTE to honor Julian Bond. Bond was a student of MLK and Kempner had filmed Julian Bond for a promo for voting rights for DC residents. He was always a fighter for justice. And Julian Bond is just wonderful in Rosenwald.

Those wishing to honor Bond’s memory in the DC area are asked to gather at the Tidal Basin by the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the 22nd.

  • Who: Those in the DC area who have been inspired by Julian Bond, including DC Vote Executive Director Kimberly Perry, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and Ralph Neas
  • Where: 1964 Independence Ave SW at the Tidal Basin
  • When: 3:00 PM on Saturday August 22nd

How to Best Honor Julian Bond, the Great Civil Rights Advocate

The Family and Friends of Julian Bond are grateful for the outpouring of love and support during this time. Throughout his life Julian Bond was a leader in the movements for civil rights, economic justice, and peace. For those who wish to honor Julian Bond’s legacy:

1.) Please consider making a donation to the University of Virginia College and Graduate School of Arts and Science “Julian Bond Professorship of Civil Rights and Social Justice.” Your donation will honor his legacy and advance teaching and scholarship of the civil rights era for future generations of students. Donations can be made online at

2.) On Saturday August 22, friends of Julian Bond will gather at bodies of water across the world to reflect on his legacy and release flowers in his honor. We encourage those who wish to honor his legacy to organize a flower release in your community. Flower releases will take place across the world at 3pm EDT/ 2pm CDT/ 1 pm MDT/ Noon PDT. Participants are encouraged to share photos of their flower release events and use the hashtag #HonorJulianBond and post your event at the URL

3.) It is likely the public memorial service for Julian Bond will be in Washington, DC around September 10th, though the exact date and location has not been selected.

While we are feeling the sorrow of his loss, we can come together for support, build community and continue his legacy and struggle for justice, freedom, peace and democracy.

Julian Bond Remembered

Rosenwald director Aviva Kempner made an appearance on MSNBC this morning to discuss the tragic passing of Julian Bond on Saturday. Kempner was joined by Rev. Al Sharpton and journalist April Ryan. She discussed the fact that Bond was a tireless civil rights activist, whether it be for things such as voting rights for the District of Columbia or gay rights, which Rev. Sharpton noted at the time was not popular within the black community. He added that “[Bond] didn’t play to his base, he led his base.” Kempner called her late friend “very funny, very intellectual” and described how during her many outings with Julian and his wife, Pamela, “invariably someone would come up and say, ‘Are you Julian Bond?’ He’d smile, he’d give them time and you know what he’d usually say? ‘Everyday. I’m Julian Bond everyday.’” Click here to watch the full interview at

The Ciesla Foundation Mourns the Passing of Julian Bond

The Ciesla Foundation mourns the passing of civil rights activist Julian Bond, whose speech twelve years ago at the Hebrew Center at Vineyard Haven inspired me to make this film on Julius Rosenwald. As a consultant Julian guided me every step of the way about who to interview, where to look for materials, what the story line was, what photo to use in the poster, and most of all how important Julius Rosenwald was to African American history. He always guided me with humor and kindness.

Julian not only inspired me in the making of Rosenwald, he delivered one of the best lines in the film that was edited towards film’s closing.

“You can look at the people who got grants from Julius Rosenwald, and say, these are the predecessor generation to the civil rights generation that I’m a part of. And I’m a predecessor generation to the Obama generation that resulted in the election of the first black president of the United States.”

When we appeared together to speak after the film, Bond loved to tell the story about his father, who was working for the Rosenwald Fund. His father, Horace Mann Bond, was once driving in the South when his car suddenly got stuck in a hole filled with mud. Julian’s father assumed that someone had put the mud there just so they could charge him money to be pulled out. Two African American men came out from behind the bushes and noticed that he was wearing nice clothes and was driving a nice car. When they asked whom Julian’s father was working for, he replied, “I work for the Rosenwald Fund”. The men responded, “Oh you work for Captain Julius? There’ll be no charge”.

Aviva Kempner and Julian Bond speaking at the Washington Jewish Film Fesitval. Photo credit: Aryeh Schwartz, Washington Jewish Film Festival

What I am most grateful is that Julian Bond and his beloved wife Pamela Horowitz became dear friends during the twelve years it took to finish the film. We were all looking forward to taking ROSENWALD all over the country to show how Julius Rosenwald’s vision for a better America was so needed today. Am happy that Julian, Rabbi David Saperstein and myself presented the film at the NAACP convention in Philadelphia on July 14 and he was able to hear the warm response to the film.

From now on all my introductions to the film will be dedicated to Julian Bond’s bravery and legacy. The country lost a great hero today and his legacy made for a better America.

Aviva Kempner