Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Terri Sewell (AL-7) is launching an Oral History Project to preserve the legacies of the brave men and women who took part in the marches from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.

This is a year-long partnership with Alabama State University, Miles College, and the University of Alabama. College student volunteers will identify potential interview subjects, conduct video interviews, and archive footage. The Oral History Project is an excellent opportunity for these students to connect with their local communities and learn about Alabama’s rich civil rights history while preserving it for future generations.

“This initiative will honor the bravery and courage of our Foot Soldiers. As we approach the 50th commemoration of Bloody Sunday, we must recommit to never forgetting the contributions of those before us. This endeavor will preserve the story of America’s Civil Rights District,” said Rep. Sewell. “I am thrilled that students from Alabama State University, Miles College, and the University of Alabama will have the opportunity to connect with their local communities and learn about Alabama’s rich civil rights history, all while preserving the history of voting rights for future generations.”

“The Voting Rights Movement that led to the Selma to Montgomery historic march is a dynamic freedom movement that -- 50 years later -- must not only be celebrated, but researched and taught to ensure that our country continues to holds true to its democratic principles of freedom and justice.  Alabama State University congratulates Rep. Sewell for her work to preserve and protect this history that will be gathered from those who were on the front lines of this non-violent movement that resulted in national voting rights legislation for all Americans,” said Dr. Janice Franklin,  Dean of Alabama State’s Levi Watkins Learning Center.

“Students from Miles College have always been at the forefront in the fight for civil rights. We are thrilled for the opportunity to participate in the recording of the accounts of various Foot Soldiers who were active in the fight for voting rights. The stories of these ‘invisible leaders’ would give us a deeper understanding of the past and motivate us to face current and future challenges with courage and hope. We thank Rep. Sewell for initiating and implementing this great project. Our students will help ensure that these monumental moments in American history will stay fresh in all the classrooms and libraries of the world,” said Dr. Emmanuel Chekwa, Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Miles College.

“The University of Alabama is pleased to be able to participate in this initiative to preserve this significant event in our country’s history. Being able to capture the stories of the individuals who were there will provide a unique, important and insightful perspective for generations to come, and we thank Rep. Terri Sewell for the opportunity to be involved,” said Dr. Judy Bonner, President of the University of Alabama.


For more information about our releases, please contact Deshundra Jefferson (Washington, DC) at 202.225.2665 or Aneesa McMillan (Birmingham) at 205.254.1960.