Ben Chaney is founder and president of the James Earl Chaney Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for Civil Rights, Human Rights, and Social Justice. Born in Meridian, Mississippi in 1952, Ben grew up in the Civil rights Movement and was arrested in nonviolent demonstrations more than 21 times before he was 12 years old.
Ben was supposed to accompany his brother, James Earl Chaney, when he was murdered in 1964 in Mississippi by the Ku Klux Klan, along with Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, for trying to register African Americans at voting polls. The bodies of the Civil Rights martyrs were recovered after 44 days in an earthen dam. The tragic events surrounding this case are the subject of the movies Murder In Mississippi and Mississippi Burning.
From that incident, Ben gained a burning desire to fight for the rights of oppressed people. He established the James Earl Chaney Foundation in 1998 in order to honor the sacrifices of the Civil Rights activists by helping to creation the next generation of Civil Rights Leadership!