Actress and social rights activist Donzaleigh Abernathy recently visited Ramona Convent School in Alhambra to speak about the unsung female heroes of the Civil Rights Movement during the school’s Women’s Leadership Symposium.

Abernathy spoke about her first-hand encounter with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during his peaceful fight for civil rights for all Americans. King was a close friend of her father, the Rev. Ralph David Abernathy.

Although Abernathy discussed the relationship between the two influential leaders, she also stressed that “women were the facilitators of change,” making special mention of Rosa Parks and the other women who were arrested for taking a stand against segregation laws. She also mentioned Viola Gregg Liuzzo, who helped register black men and women to vote in Selma, Alabama, and was later murdered by the Ku Klux Klan.