UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR-TV) — In celebration of Black History Month, children and members from the community gathered at the DeSales Center to honor and pay tribute to Sister The Bowman’s impact on the community.

“Thea Bowman was an African-American sister of perpetual adiration that devoted her whole life to to working with children of all cultures. And she also was very famous for helping people of African-American decent to celebrate who they are and to value who they are and to be the best that they can be.” – Jane Domingue, Director, Thea Bowman House

Students read about her accomplishments and contributions to the Catholic church. Mayor Robert Palmieri attended and officially declared February 12th as Thea Bowman Day in Utica.

“February is Black History Month so we thought his would be a wonderful way to have the children who many of our children here are from African-American decent, so that they can celebrate who she is and that she can continue to inspire all of us.” – Jane Domingue, Director, Thea Bowman House

Bowman, orginally from Mississippi, was the granddaughter of freed slaves and dedicated her life towards preaching love and equality for all. In 2001 she passed away from cancer, but her legacy will continue to live on and be remebered.

“She really worked her whole life to make systemic change around issues like racism and classism and our center is dedicated to unconditional love or agape love and when we took her name it’s because she really was the embodiment of that type of love.” – Jane Domingue, Director, Thea Bowman House