Renowned Philly civil rights activist Paula Peebles dies at 70

Throughout her lifetime, Paula championed for economic, social and civil rights.

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Philadelphia activist Paula Peebles. (Courtesy of Fonya Brown)

Philadelphia activist Paula Peebles. (Courtesy of Fonya Brown)

Long time Philadelphia activist Paula Peebles died Sunday in the presence of her family. She was 70 years old.

Peebles held many leadership roles. She was the founder, president and CEO of the Renaissance Community Development Corporation, Inc., where she led efforts to create affordable housing for residents of North Central Philadelphia. She retired from that position in 2017. Peebles was also the founder and Pennsylvania Chairwoman of the National Action Network , where she served under Rev. Al Sharpton. She was the vice president of the Philadelphia Human Relations Council and president of the National Alumni Association of the Black Panther Party.

“She had strong convictions and she lived her life in service of those convictions,” said Joann Bell, convener of the Black Women’s Leadership Council, who found a friend and colleague in Peebles.

Over the decades, Peebles participated in numerous civil rights actions and protests. She was a strong advocate against gun violence and police brutality. She was a prolific writer and contributed opinion pieces to local newspapers.

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Peebles leaves behind three daughters and two grandsons. Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.

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