An Alabama civil rights institute is rescinding an honor for longtime civil rights activist and academic Angela Davis. 

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute announced last September that Davis, a Birmingham native, would receive the Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award at its annual gala this year. 


But the institute said in a statement this week that its board of directors voted to rescind the award "upon closer examination of Ms. Davis’ statements and public record."

It also stated that the gala event, which was scheduled for Feb. 16, would be canceled. 

The board added that it made the decision after "supporters and other concerned individuals and organizations, both inside and outside of our local community, began to make requests that we reconsider our decision."

"While we recognize Ms. Davis’ stature as a scholar and prominent figure in civil rights history, we believe this decision is consistent with the ideals of the award’s namesake, Rev. Shuttlesworth," the board went on to say. "We regret that this change is necessary, and apologize to our supporters, the community and Ms. Davis for the confusion we have caused."

The board did not give explicit reasons on why the decision was made to withdraw the honor for Davis. The institute did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. 

Davis has long been a controversial figure. CNN noted that Davis had been a member of the Communist Party and the Black Panther Party. She's also been an outspoken critic of Israeli policies toward Palestinians. 

Davis also supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, according to the news network. 

Birmingham mayor Randall Woodfin said in a statement that he was "dismayed" by the institute's decision to rescind the honor after "protests from our local Jewish community and some of its allies."

Black activists called for leadership changes and protests at the institute on Monday, according to The Associated Press

“This is the ultimate insult to deny Angela Davis her inheritance,” activist Frank Matthews said outside the museum, adding that protests would be held because of the announcement.