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Reps. Adams and Sewell Introduce the American Civil Rights Cities Act

Mar 6, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.  –Today, Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12) joined members of Congress in celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the 1965 march from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery. In recognition of this historic event, she and Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (AL-7) introduced H.R. 1161, a bill that annually designates at least one city an “American Civil Rights City,” as determined by the Department of the Interior.

“Today, I joined 98 of my colleagues on a pilgrimage to Selma, Alabama, in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery,” said Representative Adams.

“As the Representative for Greensboro, a city with its own legacy in the civil rights movement, it is an honor to memorialize the men and women who risked their lives in pursuit of full and equal participation in our democracy. At a time when racial tensions are rising, it is important to commemorate these watershed moments of the civil rights movement,” Adams continued.

“To mark our historic pilgrimage and in celebration of the progress we have made in these fifty years, Rep. Sewell and I introduced a bill honoring those cities that opened doors to equal rights for all in this country. The first two cities recognized under this bill will be Greensboro, North Carolina and Selma, Alabama, for their unique role in the fight for racial equality for African Americans,”concluded Adams.

“I am pleased that my hometown of Selma will be one of the first two cities recognized under this bill. We must never forget the notable contributions of American cities in the fight for civil and human rights. Our nation must commit to preserving and protecting the legacies of these notable cities while recognizing their unique roles in American history,” said Representative Sewell.

Cities would be identified based on their past contributions to promote and protect civil rights by preventing discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or disability.

The city’s efforts to highlight the struggle to secure civil rights and liberties through preservation and celebration, including the establishment of historical organizations or museums and recognition of civil rights leaders, will also be considered. 

The following members joined to cosponsor H. R. 1161:


1. Representative Brad Ashford

2. Representative Robert A. Brady

3. Representative Corrine Brown

4. Representative Julia Brownley

5. Representative Yvette D. Clarke

6. Representative Steve Cohen

7. Representative Tammy Duckworth

8. Representative Keith M. Ellison

9. Representative Raul M. Grijalva

10. Representative Luis V. Gutierrez

11. Representative Alcee L. Hastings

12. Representative Brian Higgins

13. Representative Mike Honda

14. Representative Hank Johnson

15. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

16. Representative Ted Lieu

17. Representative Gregory Meeks

18. Representative Gwen Moore

19. Representative Patrick E. Murphy

20. Representative Mark Pocan

21. Representative Jared S. Polis

22. Representative David Price

23. Representative Terri A. Sewell

24. Representative Juan Vargas

25. Representative Frederica Wilson