As the Member of Congress representing Alabama’s civil rights district, Congresswoman Sewell has been a passionate champion for recognizing and honoring the sacrifices of those freedom fighters who served as powerful agents of change. Since she was first elected in 2011, Congresswoman Sewell has helped secure more than $7 million in Historic Preservation Grants through the National Park Service (NPS) for historic sites in Alabama’s 7th District.
Congresswoman Sewell was honored that her first piece of successful legislation recognized the “Four Little Girls” who tragically lost their lives during the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963. The Congressional Gold Medal bill, which is the highest civilian honor Congress can give ,passed unanimously in both houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on May 24, 2013 at a special signing ceremony in the Oval Office. In September 2015, on the 50th Anniversary of this tragic event, the American people, through their elected representatives, finally paid tribute to the “Four Little Girls” by bestowing them with a Congressional Gold Medal during a ceremony held in our nation’s Capitol.
Congresswoman Sewell also sponsored a Congressional Gold Medal bill honoring the Foot Soldiers, whose courageous march from Selma to Montgomery led to passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Congresswoman Sewell’s bill honoring the Voting Rights Foot Soldiers passed both the House and the Senate and was signed into law by President Obama while en route to Selma, AL, on March 8, 2015, for the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery march.