In 1960, Bond was a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and served as communications director from 1961 to 1966. In 1965, Bond was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives where he served four terms before being elected to the Georgia Senate where he served six terms until 1986.
In 1971, Bond earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Morehouse College. Also in 1971, Bond co-founded the Southern Poverty Law Center and served as president from 1971 to 1979. In the 1980s and 1990s, Bond taught at several universities, including American, Drexel, and Harvard. From 1998 to 2010, he served as chairman of the NAACP and in 2009 received the organization’s Spingarn Medal. Bond has been awarded 25 honorary degrees and today is a Distinguished Adjunct Professor at American University and a faculty member in the history department at the University of Virginia.