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SPLC Mourns the Passing of Civil Rights Activist Ben Frazier

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) reflects on the legacy of Civil Rights Activist Ben Frazier, who passed away on Saturday, June 24, 2023.

“Ben Frazier led with a passionate, public servant’s heart. A fierce advocate for justice, fairness, and equality, Ben consistently challenged those in power while encouraging and empowering others to take decisive action to create the change they wanted to see in their communities,” said Bacardi Jackson, interim deputy legal director of Children's Rights for the SPLC.

“Through his advocacy group, the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville, Ben was instrumental in dismantling symbols of white supremacy across Jacksonville. He led collaborative efforts that forced a reckoning with racist public school names, resulting in six schools honoring Confederate leaders being renamed in Jacksonville. Ben’s advocacy also played a vital role in removing the Confederate monument from James Weldon Johnson Park. We are thankful he lived to see these missions accomplished.

“Leading by example was easy for Ben because he always understood the assignment: apathy is NOT an option. It has truly been our privilege to stand with Ben, the Northside Coalition, and the city of Jacksonville in this ongoing fight for civil rights. The SPLC extends our deepest sympathy to Ben’s family, loved ones, and the city of Jacksonville.”