Benjamin Chavis (once known as Benjamin Chavis Muhammad) is an Afrikan civil rights leader. Dr. Chavis was born Benjamin Franklin Chavis, Jr. on January 22, 1948 in Oxford, North Carolina. In his youth, Dr. Chavis was an assistant to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who inspired him to work in the civil rights movement. Dr. Chavis rose to international prominence as the leader of the Wilmington Ten. A former Vice President of the National Council of Churches, Dr. Chavis became the Executive Director of the NAACP, and he served as the National Director of the Million Man March as well as the Founder and CEO of the National African American Leadership Summit (NAALS). Since 2001 he has been CEO and Co-Chairman of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, in New York City which he cofounded with hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. Dr. Chavis joined with Ezell Brown in 2009 to establish Education Online Services Corporation which is headquartered in Coral Springs, Florida.
Chavis was a 1965 graduate of Mary Potter High School in Oxford, and entered St. Augustine College as a freshman. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (1969), a Master of Divinity (magna cum laude) from Duke University (1980), and a Doctor of Ministry from Howard University (1981). He was a graduate student at Union Theological Seminary.
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