NH mourns loss of civil rights leader Rogers Johnson

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Rogers Johnson. Photo/Seacoastonline.com

STRATHAM, NH — New Hampshire has lost an important voice for equality with the passing of Rogers Johnson, a civil rights leader who fought to make New Hampshire a more diverse and equitable state. He was 62.

Johnson served as president of the Seacoast NAACP as well as the chair of Governor’s Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion.

“Rogers was a great friend,” Sununu said. “He was always laser-focused on making New Hampshire a more diverse and equitable state, and thanks to his tireless leadership and advocacy over these last few years, New Hampshire has made tremendous strides. We will carry on this work in his legacy and honor, and all of New Hampshire mourns his passing. While his work made a tremendous impact both in New Hampshire and across the country, Rogers was first and foremost an incredible husband, father and friend. I extend my deepest sympathies to Rogers’ wife Poppy, his sons Jay and Jeremy, and all those who knew and loved him.”

James McKim, President of the Manchester Branch of the NAACP, issued the following statement late Friday on behalf of the organization:
“Manchester NAACP  is shocked and deeply saddened at the news of the passing of Rogers Johnson. Some of you may know him as President of the Seacoast NAACP or Chair of the Governor’s Diversity Advisory Council. But he was much more.

Over the last few years, Rogers used his decades of experience at the local, state, and federal levels to have a postitive impact on the state. Everyone who knew him considered him not just an advocate for equality, but as a friend who would talk straight with you.

His passing is a great loss for the state. He was dedicated to improving how all people were treated and related to each other. We vow to continue his fight for equality, justice and truth.”

In addition to serving as chair of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion, Rogers and was a member of the governor’s COVID-19 Equity Response Team and the Commission on Law Enforcement Accountability, Community, and Transparency.

Johnson also served as a state representative from 2001-2006, representing Stratham. During that time, he was selected House Majority whip, the first African American to hold this position in the state’s history. 

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