The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s Statement On The Passing Of Ben Chaney

The Andrew Goodman Foundation (AGF) is deeply saddened to announce the passing of Ben Chaney, brother of James Earl Chaney, on February 3, 2024. Our hearts go out to the Chaney family during this difficult time.

James Earl Chaney, along with Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, was tragically murdered by the Ku Klux Klan for his heroic participation in 1964’s Mississippi Freedom Summer Project. Their sacrifice remains at the heart of AGF’s mission and legacy. The bond between the Goodman and Chaney families has been a source of strength and inspiration in continuing the fight for civil rights and democracy.

From David Goodman’s Personal Photo Archive. David Goodman and Ben Chaney with former President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.

David Goodman, brother of Andrew, shared his cherished memories of Ben Chaney, “I have many wonderful memories of Ben, including traveling and speaking to groups about our different experiences, but on the same subject we witnessed as brothers of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner. Ben is now with Bob [Moses] and so many other luminaries. I consider myself and our family lucky to have known the Chaney Family and worked with Ben on many projects that we both hoped, like all of you, would uplift our sacred democratic ideals to make sure they are part of our everyday practices. Thank you for everything you have done. With great love, appreciation, and affection.” 

The passing of Ben Chaney is a profound loss. Yet, his spirit and the collective efforts of those like him continue to inspire us to work tirelessly toward a world that upholds our sacred democratic ideals. We pledge to honor his memory by continuing this vital work.

From David Goodman’s Personal Photo Archive. Pictured left to right: David Goodman, Ben Chaney, Stephen Schwerner.