News Release - Mayor Warren Re-Names Flint Street R-Center to Honor Willie W. Lightfoot

City of Rochester

News Release

(Friday, June 18, 2021) – Mayor Lovely A. Warren on Friday renamed the Flint Street R-Center, 271 Flint St., as The Honorable Willie Walker Lightfoot R-Center for Equity and Justice in honor of the late County Legislator and community activist.

“Willie W. Lightfoot was among the early Black leaders in Rochester who built the coalitions that demanded equity and justice in our community,” said Mayor Warren. “It is my pleasure and my honor to name this building after him and give our children an opportunity to learn how he and others fought so tenaciously against the sinister forces of racism in Rochester. We must remember the names of men and women like Willie W. Lightfoot, whose shoulders we are standing on today.”

“On behalf of City Council, my family and my father’s many, many friends, I want to applaud and thank Mayor Warren for honoring the legacy of Willie W. Lightfoot by memorializing his name in the heart of the community he loved so much,” said City Council Vice President Willie J. Lightfoot. “My father’s legacy is a testament to the righteous purpose of lifting lives, delivering fairness, confronting the immorality of racism and advocating for a better quality of life for all. The Honorable Willie Walker Lightfoot R-Center for Equity and Justice will serve as an instrument of that legacy for generations to come.”

The father of City Council Vice President Willie J. Lightfoot Sr., Willie W. Lightfoot (1940 to 2001) was a determined activist in Southwest Rochester for almost four decades.
He served as president of Action for a Better Community, was a founding member of the SouthWest Area Neighborhood Association and served on the County Legislator for almost 20 non-sequential years between 1978 and 2001. He was known for his passion for justice and fairness, particularly for those denied opportunity by the damage of racism and structural inequality.

The Flint Street R-Center was dedicated in his honor so those who gather there can learn from and preserve the examples he set.

With the completion of a $2.7 million renovation project, the R-Center will re-open July 6 with the start of the summer recreation schedule. The project included an updated commercial-style kitchen, retractable gym bleachers, a new media and game room, expanded fitness room outfitted with new strength and cardio equipment, updated community meeting spaces, a new library and updated locker and restrooms.

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