Congresswoman Terri Sewell

Representing the 7th District of Alabama

Rep. Sewell will bring Recy Taylor’s Granddaughter to SOTU

Jan 30, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) will bring Mary Joyce Owens, the granddaughter of Recy Taylor, as her guest to the State of the Union. Alabama native Recy Taylor, who recently passed away, became an outspoken advocate for victims of sexual assault after being raped in 1944 by six white men who were never brought to justice. The Democratic Women’s Working Group will be wearing all black in solidarity with the #MeToo movement and women CBC Members are inviting representatives to wear red Recy Taylor pins at the State of the Union.

“Recy Taylor was an American shero and an Alabama treasure who spoke up in the face of racism, hate, and sexual violence,” said Rep. Terri Sewell. “While she is no longer with us today, I think Recy Taylor would be proud to know that her granddaughter, Mary Joyce Owens, is attending the State of the Union in honor of her legacy and our ongoing fight against racism and sexual misconduct. By standing up to injustice over six decades ago, Recy Taylor inspired generations of men and women to hold perpetrators of sexual violence accountable. Mary Joyce Owens’ presence at the State of the Union is a symbol of the bravery of all those who are speaking out and a reminder that we will not be silent in the face of injustice.”

On September 3, 1944, at the age of 24, Mrs. Taylor, a wife and mother to a 3-year old daughter, was walking home from a church service in Abbeville, Alabama, when she was raped by six white men and abandoned in the woods. Her perpetrators who were never brought to justice for their egregious crime. Mrs. Recy Taylor passed away on December 28, 2017. Rep. Sewell submitted a Congressional Record in honor of Mrs. Taylor on January 5, 2018, the day of her funeral service in Abbeville, Alabama.


Rep. Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) is serving her fourth term representing Alabama’s 7th Congressional district. She sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and was recently appointed to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Sewell is a Chief Deputy Whip and serves on the prestigious Steering and Policy Committee of the Democratic Caucus. She is also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, and serves as Vice Chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus, and Vice Chair of Outreach for the New Democrat Coalition.