WXXI AM News

Pittsford taking a stand against racism

Jul 10, 2020

Pittsford residents gathered Friday on Main Street in the village for a “Stand-up Against Racism” event.

Jen Canning, one of the organizers, says stickers pertaining to a white supremacy group were found in the village in May and again in June in front of the Town Hall. Canning says she was disappointed the town didn't act sooner to counteract that message, so she went to the Town Hall with her own Black Lives Matter sign.

“I feel like there was a void, and the white supremacy took advantage of that void, so I wanted to make sure that the true voice of Pittsford was seen and heard,” she said.

Credit Facebook.com

Canning says community members stood outside the Town Hall daily for ten days with a Black Lives Matter sign until town and village leaders responded with a sign of their own.

Pittsford Town Supervisor Bill Smith says he publicly addressed both incidents, notified law enforcement, and last week joined other local leaders in putting up a Black Lives Matter sign at the Town Hall.

“This was an initiative that I did together with the school superintendent and the village mayor, as a joint statement of a basic humanitarian proposition,” he said. 

Smith says some people are trying to portray Pittsford as some kind of "racist hellhole," but he says that's 180 degrees opposite of the truth.

Canning says there have been many interesting conversations outside Pittsford Town Hall the past few days.

“Communities that are majority white need to pay attention to this issue,” she said. “It isn't just a city issue, and we all need to work together to dismantle systemic racism.”

The Stand Up Against Racism event was held Friday evening in the village of Pittsford.