Press Release Detail
Local Peace Activist Constance Mitchell Speaking on Campus Thursday, November 1
Constance Mitchell made history in 1961, as the first woman and African-American elected to the Monroe County Board of Supervisors (known today as the Monroe County Legislature). To top that, she was the highest elected official among African-Americans in the United States at the time. Over 50 years later, and right before a presidential election when women’s issues have been a popular campaign conversation, she will be on campus to share some of her story. Mitchell will speak on Thursday, November 1, at 3:00 p.m. in the Lavery Library lower level gallery.
Active in the civil rights movement, Mitchell participated in the march from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery. She and her husband, John, attended the “I Have a Dream” march in Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous speech. Mitchell also participated in NAACP demonstrations and sit-ins.
Locally, she has served on a variety of civic and business-related boards including Blue Cross/Blue Shield, United Way, Urban League of Rochester, Crime Stoppers, and Action for a Better Community, Inc. In addition, Mitchell was the first female elected to the board of directors of Rochester Community Savings Bank (Citizens Bank today) and Rochester Gas and Electric Company.
Mitchell’s talk is being sponsored by the African American Studies Department in collaboration with the “1,000 PeaceWomen” exhibit and Lavery Library.