Last month, the professor was the keynote speaker for the Walter Rodney Foundation’s 20th Annual Symposium, which pays tribute to the legacy of Rodney by continuing to champion human rights, racial equity, and social justice according to its website. During the event, Davis was a recipient of an award from the Atlanta City Council that she now wishes she didn’t because it doesn’t align with her moral principles.
“During a recent trip to Atlanta, in order to participate in a symposium in honor of the great Guyanese revolutionary Walter Rodney, I regret that I failed to use that opportunity to add my voice to the rising chorus of demands to stop cop city,” the author said in a video she released addressing the return of her award.
The training facility for policemen and firefighters will be the “largest police training grounds in the country.” She believes that this will be a major problem for “radical democratic futures” worldwide. Since she’s been at the forefront of the civil rights movement fighting for prison reform and police brutality, she feels it’s only right to stand on the right side of history with other activists protesting against the facility being built in Atlanta.
“I want to salute all those who are involved in the stop cop city movement. And I want to urge people everywhere to find ways to generate support for them. Atlanta activists are on the frontlines of the evolutionist movement at its crucial intersection to save our forest, indeed to save our planet,” Davis said.
She continued, “This is an especially important time to speak out simultaneously against organized police racism and the destruction of our planet.”
The Walter Rodney Foundation supports her decision to give the award back and posted a statement on the organization’s Twitter account explaining why they’re backing her.
On Monday, Jason Dozier, the Atlanta city councilman that honored her at the symposium shared that the award came about through a partnership between the city of Atlanta and the Walter Rodney Foundation, since the event was held in the city, according to The Atlanta Journal-Consitution.
“While I appreciate the passion and conviction of those who advocate, agitate, and organize in the spirit of Dr. Walter Rodney,” he said. “All efforts to have the City of Atlanta honor Dr. Davis and Dr. Rodney were done in collaboration with — and at the behest of — members of the WRF organizing team.”