TRIBUTE: Opal E. Bond, LDF Office Administrator from 1981-2015
LDF mourns the passing of our dear friend and beloved former colleague, Mrs. Opal Bond. Mrs. Bond was a treasured member of LDF’s administrative team, serving for more than three decades in our Washington, D.C. office, from 1981 to 2015. She most recently served as our D.C. Office Administrator, where she performed a wide range of administrative and clerical duties, supporting our civil rights work and fast-growing D.C. office. Mrs. Bond worked closely with former LDF President and Director-Counsel Elaine Jones and members of our current Policy Leadership team.
“Opal was the perfect example of the dedicated long-time employee, committed to excellence, who cared about LDF work,” said former LDF President and Director-Counsel Elaine R. Jones. “She demonstrated daily her commitment to the work, the clients, and the institution. We at LDF are so grateful she spent her professional life with us dedicated to moving this nation towards LDF’s commitment to equal justice under law.”
Mrs. Bond began her LDF career as an Administrative Assistant and Lead Legal Secretary. Notably, and early in her LDF tenure, Mrs. Bond assisted the legal work of Barry Goldstein, former LDF Attorney and Director of the D.C. Office, and the management of his large and influential employment discrimination docket.
Over the course of her career, Mrs. Bond became an indispensable member of the LDF team, providing a well of institutional knowledge, and whose presence was often synonymous with the D.C. office itself. She played a central role in the smooth transition to the D.C. office’s current office space in 1998, and her leadership strengthened the work of LDF’s legal team and staff.
During Mrs. Bond’s career at LDF, she was part of LDF’s most meaningful achievements. She was involved in assisting attorneys and staff in hundreds of civil rights cases and was part of the LDF team during many significant milestones, including seminal capital punishment cases, such as Ford v. Wainwright (1986) and McCleskey v. Kemp (1987); bellwether affirmative action litigation, such as Gratz v. Bollinger (2003) and Grutter v. Bollinger (2003); and significant and hard-won employment discrimination suits, such as Lewis v. City of Chicago (2010).
She also provided steadfast support and institutional knowledge to several LDF presidents and director-counsels, including the late Jack Greenberg, the late Julius L. Chambers, Elaine R. Jones, Theodore M. Shaw, the late John Payton, and current LDF President and Director-Counsel, Sherrilyn Ifill.
“Opal provided critical support for our lawyers and for our work in Washington, D.C.,” Ifill shared. “Generations of D.C. lawyers can recount their reliance on Opal’s dedication and excellence. We were incredibly fortunate to have Opal as such a wonderful colleague for over three decades.”
Mrs. Bond retired from LDF in 2015, after serving 35 distinguished years managing the D.C. office. LDF gives our deepest condolences to Mrs. Bond’s surviving family and friends. She will be sorely missed by all who knew and had the pleasure of serving side by side with her.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.