Rochester Civil Rights Icon Constance Mitchell Dies

Rochester civil rights icon Constance Mitchell has died. Mitchell was the first African American woman to serve on the Monroe County Board of Supervisors.

Several elected officials and local leaders have released statements following the passing of Constance Mitchell.

Statement from Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren: "Constance Mitchell was one of my personal heroes and role models in the fight to bring civil rights and social justice to the city of Rochester.  She continued to give back to this community in many ways and she remained a source of strength and support for my family and me late into her life. I am a living example of the fact that she continued to lift as she climbed. I encourage all of Rochester’s citizens to take a moment today to offer a prayer of gratitude for the life of Connie Mitchell. We can never forget those whose shoulders we stand upon. We can never forget those whose sacrifice made our own achievements possible." 

Statement from Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo: “Constance Mitchell was a living testament to the power that everyday people possess to make change through public service. As the first African American and first woman to serve in Monroe County elected office, Constance was an inspiration to me and so many leaders on both sides of the aisle who followed in her footsteps. Her loss will leave an incredible void, but will also beckon for the next generation of local change-makers to step forward in her place. On behalf of a grateful community, I thank Constance for her service and example, and I offer my deepest condolences to her family, friends, and colleagues.” 

Statement from Congressman Joe Morelle: “I join all of Rochester in mourning the loss of Connie Mitchell, an iconic activist and leader who dedicated her life to the pursuit of equality and racial justice. Connie’s commitment to breaking down barriers was nothing short of inspiring, and her contributions helped to open the door of opportunity for so many people in our community. I extend my prayers and deepest sympathies to the entire Mitchell family during this difficult time.”

Statement from Monroe County Legislator LaShay Harris: “It is with great sadness to hear of the passing of former Monroe County Board of Supervisor Constance M. Mitchell.  Constance has a deep passion for service to the City of Rochester and County of Monroe.  Her leadership prevailed during a time when women and people of color were typically overlooked for opportunities in government and private industry. She prevailed through the adversity of racism and sexism therefore blazing a trail for African Americans and women in government. I will continue the work Constance has begun and will look to reach back as she did for me to those behind me."



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