Equipping a new generation of leaders committed to justice & equal opportunities.
The Honorable Benjamin Swan, Sr. serves as the State Representative for twenty-two years in the 11th Hampden District (Springfield). He is a long-term member of the Massachusetts Black & Latino Caucus (MBLLC), Third Vice-Chairman of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, and House Committee on Ways and Means. Prior to his election to the Great and General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Rep. Swan had experienced a long career in partisan and non-partisan politics, civil and human rights, and numerous grassroots movements. During the 60’s he was the youngest board member of the Springfield NAACP branch, he served on the Region and National Action Council of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and as the Western Massachusetts Coordinator for the 1963 “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.”
Rep. Swan is proud to list among his legislative priorities such issues as youth development, economic development, housing, health-care, elderly services, education, police-community relations and concern for Massachusetts prison inmates. His legislation created a youth development center in Springfield, which provided a vehicle to lessen youth involvement with the criminal justice system, and to enhance productive citizenship. Beyond his legislative duties, he has made international affairs a labor of love, specifically as Africa is impacted. An Active member of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL), he served a number of years on its Committee of International Affairs; a capacity from which he has worked to reform the United States immigration and refugee policies.
His work experience and interests are eclectic. He has worked in management positions in both the public and private sectors, throughout the United States. An aficionado of history, he has written and lectured extensively. Rep. Swan is a twenty-nine-year host of “The Black Love Experience,” a radio talk show aired on WTCC, 90.7 FM, (Springfield Technical Community College radio) which focuses on historical perspectives and public affairs.
In 1952 while a freshman at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on his nineteenth birthday, Rep. Swan received word of the death of his brother Halbert Swan, who then was serving in the United States Army. At the end of that semester, he dropped out of school, enlisting in the Army where he served three years’ active duty and five years in the reserves. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Corporal.
Rep. Swan received the Doctor of Public Service, Honoris Causa from Westfield State University. He completed course work for the D.Ed. at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, from which he holds the M.Ed. He holds a B.F.A. from Fashion-Art School, attended Howard University, and American International College.
A foundering member of the Spring of Hope Church of God in Christ, which the Bishop Talbert W. Swan, II is the pastor with Reverend Talbert W. Swan, I the foundering pastor, and now the senior pastor. Born in Belzoni, Mississippi, Rep. Swan is the eleventh child and the seventh son of George W. and Sallie M. Johnson Swan. He is the father of five sons and three daughters.
Benjamin Swan is the recipient of numerous awards, citations, plaques, and recognition for community service, including being name the Honorary Paramount Chief of Bo & Kwila Nimba County in Liberia, 2008, the WGBH-TV’s Eyes on the Prize Award, 1988 and the NAACP’s James F. Hennessey Medal, 1993. He is a 33⁰ Degree member of Prince Hall Masonry, Richard Allen Lodge No. 30, Black Men of Greater Springfield, National Black Caucus of State Legislators, Harmony Lodge No. 140, I. B.P.O.E. of W., American Legion; and a disabled US Army veteran of the Korean Conflict.
Americans & Liberian politicians always say "Liberia is America's closest friend in Africa." Let's check the deeds of the USA against the words:
Co-Founder of Ziah Mission School, a co-ed Christian school in Ziah Nimba County, Liberia. The late Esther W. Krua and Rev Mahn C. Krua Sr. have devoted their lives to Christian education of the mind, body, and soul. Rev. Krua is a powerful preacher who exemplifies the power of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit to transcend language, culture and ethnicity when he preaches with his assistant, interpreter and son, Torli. Rev. Krua is a seasoned church planter and missions specialist, who has successfully established new ethnic churches in the U.S., assisted American churches to adapt to the changing demographics of cities, and is raising new refugee leaders to return to their native countries as missionaries.
Torli H. Krua, founder of the Citizens Independence Movement and Free Liberia believes his desires to equip ordinary citizens to sieze power and control their own destiny is best realized through civic education and organizing for change. Torli was also a professional engineer, working for the Wang Computer Co. in Brussels, Belgium, serving U.S. embassies and other organizations in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Krua is founder of a technology company, High Tech Applications Inc, a US State Department sub-contractor in the early 1990's. Since his arrival in America, Torli has been an effective advocate for African refugees, gaining recognition from members of Congress, the cities of Boston and Baltimore, and an award during the 40th anniversary of the United States Peace Corps in Washington, DC.