Salt Lake City street renamed in honor of local civil rights leader

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4)- Salt Lake City leaders, friends, and colleagues gathered today to honor local longtime pastor and civil rights leader Rev. France Davis by renaming a portion of Harvard Ave. to “Pastor France Davis Way.” 

The new signs were unveiled Thursday as the community and members of Calvary Baptist Church came together to celebrate.

Davis was born in Georgia and moved to Salt Lake City in 1972. He later joined Calvary Baptist Church where he served as pastor and chief administrator for 46 years. He also served on the Utah State Board of Regents as a University of Utah faculty member and he serves on the City’s Commission on Racial Equity in Policing.

“Pastor France A. Davis has been one of my longtime mentors and guides in my life, and it is with great pride and respect that I get to honor him,” Utah Multicultural Civic Council founder Shawn Newell said. 

Davis’ friends and colleagues started petitioning for an honorary street naming for him back in 2019 around the time he retired. Then in  August of this year, the Salt Lake City Council adopted the petition for the honorary street renaming.  

Renaming streets is usually done to recognize someone who has had a significant cultural or communal impact, whether local or national. Former San Francisco Mayor Harvey Milk, civil rights activists Rosa Parks and labor rights activist Cesar Chavez are among those who have also received honorary street names in Salt Lake City. 

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