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Renaming Homer Street School in Honor of Rep. Ben Swan

Renaming Homer Street School in Honor of Rep. Ben Swan
Posted on 10/18/2021
Rep. Benjamin Swan

 Homer Street School to be Renamed 
in Honor of 
Springfield Civil Rights Icon Rep. Benjamin Swan 

Page updated 11/22/21

The Springfield Public Schools School Committee voted unanimously to name the new Homer Street School in honor of civil rights icon State Representative Benjamin Swan during a regularly scheduled meeting last week. 

"This is a tremendous honor for me and for every member of my family. To have a school named in your  honor is not something that happens every day and it's not something I take lightly," said Swan during comments made following the School Committee vote. 

Born in Mississippi, Swan moved to Springfield in 1950 and graduated from the former Technical High School. During the 60s, Swan served in several roles with the Springfield branch of the NAACP and became the Western Massachusetts coordinator of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. He also organized the Springfield chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality and helped organize and lead a protest that grew out of an incendiary police incident that occurred at a lounge in Winchester (now Mason) Square. In 1965, Swan marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma.

As a state legislator serving the 11th Hampden District from 2009-2016, Swan held leadership positions on many legislative committees, including several that focused on youth education and development.  Through his legislation, a youth development center was created in Springfield.

Representative Swan is the recipient of numerous awards and citations for his community service, among them the WGBH-TV “Eyes on the Prize” award in 1988 and the NAACP James F. Hennessy Medal in 1993. He is also a member of Prince Hall Masonry and the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. He is also a US Army veteran of the Korean War.

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