Davis, best known for promoting women’s rights and racial justice in the 1960s and 70s, was the keynote speaker for the event, and discussed the recent outcome of the presidential election during her speech.
“This election was fundamentally about race and history,” Davis stated.
“White working class people …were led to believe that their troubles are a direct result of immigrants, Mexicans, black people, Muslims,” she said, regarding Donald Trump’s recent presidential bid.
Davis also said Trump’s win was the result of the “political bankruptcy” of both political parties.
She ended her address with former Rochester resident and anti-slavery advocate Frederick Douglass’ quote, “Without struggle, there is no progress.”
Five local leaders, including Rochester City Councilman Adam McFadden, Zaire Downs, Camille McIntyre, Gaynelle Wethers, and Hanif Abdul-Wahid, were also honored with community empowerment awards during the event.
Melany J. Silas, an associate professor at Monroe Community College, and founder of MSJ Productions, was the organizer of the event.