Longtime Minneapolis community activist Ron Edwards passes away at 81

Longtime Minneapolis activist Ron Edwards has passed away. (FOX 9)

A longtime voice for racial justice in Minneapolis has passed away

FOX 9 has learned activist Ron Edwards has died. He was 81 years old.

"It's heartbreaking,” said Al Flowers, a community activist. “As a mentor of mine, Ron Edwards was one of the reasons I started fighting for civil rights and fighting for justice."

Flowers says Edwards was born in Kansas City, Missouri, but later moved to Minneapolis, where he became one of the leading voices for racial equality and social justice. Edwards was a past president of the Minneapolis Urban League and in the 1970s worked to desegregate the Minneapolis Fire Department, which was all-white at the time.

He also spoke out against police brutality and making sure all people were represented in the city’s police force.

"Economic justice and the plight of the poor," said Flowers. "He didn't get a check to do what he was doing. He kept doing it. He was doing it before I knew him and up until the end."