City of Rochester

News Release

(Monday, Oct. 23, 2023) – Mayor Malik D. Evans has returned from a productive visit to Rochester’s sister city in Rennes, France where he celebrated the renaming of a city square after Frederick Douglass, among other things.

This year marks the 65th anniversary of the sister-city relationship between the two communities, and both cities are celebrating the milestone. A delegation from Rennes, a city in the northwest of France, visited Rochester earlier this year in May.

“We have much we share and can learn from each other,” said Mayor Evans. “Partnerships play a vital role in spreading new ideas for common challenges. Personally, it was delightful to enjoy French hospitality and to build on the people-to-people connections at the foundation of Sister Cities’ citizen diplomacy.”

Mayor Evans spent one week in Rennes at the invitation of Mayor Nathalie Appéré and led a delegation that included Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., a direct descendant of Douglass and president of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives based in Rochester.

The new name for the Rennes square came from local residents involved in the Sister Cities program and is intended to symbolize the humanitarian values shared by the two communities, according to Rennes Mayor Appéré.

Students at both the high school and college level have especially benefited over the years from the opportunities for education, sports and cultural exchanges.
In addition to inaugurating the new square and visiting a school named after American author Toni Morrison, delegates from each city also discussed economic and city planning issues.

The Mayor of Rennes is exploring similar opportunities as Mayor Evans to support a vibrant center city. The City of Rennes even has a river that Mayor Appéré wants to better incorporate into her downtown.


The Administration of Mayor Malik D. Evans strives to create a safe, equitable and prosperous Rochester by inspiring hope and delivering opportunity for everyone. Guided by the Administration’s Mission, Vision and Values and the principles of the “Rochester 2034” comprehensive plan, City employees are committed to providing exceptional customer service, transparent stewardship, and collaborative leadership to foster a vibrant community that empowers personal, professional and generational growth for all who live, work or play in the city of Rochester.