Skip to main content
Press Release

U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins to Convene a Justice Department Delegation in Selma to Commemorate "Bloody Sunday" and the Passage of Voting Rights Act of 1965

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
U.S. Attorney Rollins, Vice-Chair of the Attorney General Advisory Committee’s Civil Rights Subcommittee, hopes visit reinforces the urgency of this work

BOSTON – U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins has announced that a Justice Department delegation of more than 30 U.S. Attorneys from across the country will travel to Selma and Montgomery, Alabama, in commemoration of the 58th Anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” and the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The delegation will meet with community and civil rights leaders while exploring some of the significant and historic civil rights institutions in Alabama from March 4-7, 2023. Rollins, who serves as Vice-Chair of the Attorney General Advisory Committee’s Civil Rights Subcommittee, along with Chair U.S. Attorney Nicholas Brown of the Western District of Washington, planned the trip and will lead the delegation.   

“Walking the same steps as those who courageously marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965 is a powerful and moving experience. I am incredibly honored to join my Justice Department colleagues in Selma,” said U.S. Attorney Rollins. “The beliefs that compelled those before us to march toward justice – that everyone should have equitable access to participatory democracy, fair and equal protection of the law, and the ability to live and thrive authentically and fully as themselves – are identical to what drives the work of my office and the Justice Department today.”

“As Vice-Chair of the Civil Rights Subcommittee, I have the privilege of furthering the Justice Department’s mission and priorities to uphold the rule of law and protect civil rights. I am proud of the exceptional work we have done in Massachusetts, including: 

  • Setting up a hotline (1-83-END-H8-NOW) to allow the public to report hate crimes or incidents in our Commonwealth; 
  • Being an inaugural District for United Against Hate – a Justice Department program that educates the public about their civil rights;
  • Ensuring that every neighborhood and person in our Commonwealth has the benefit of constitutional, lawful, and effective policing; and 
  • Creating our District’s first Civil Rights and Human Trafficking Unit to investigate and prosecute hate crimes, including racially motivated church burnings in Springfield, multiple incidences of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia across our Commonwealth, race-directed violence and hatred in Quincy, and threats against Boston Children’s Hospital and other medical institutions for providing gender-affirming care.”  

In addition to walking across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Sunday, March 5th, the U.S. Attorneys will meet with Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division; distinguished jurist Myron Thompson, the first Black Assistant Attorney General for Alabama and the second Black federal judge in the state; and Bryan Stevenson, Founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit organization that provides legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons. In addition, the U.S. Attorneys will visit The Johnson Institute in the Montgomery federal courthouse where many key civil rights cases were decided; The Legacy Museum, which provides a comprehensive history on the legacy of slavery; and The Memorial for Peace and Justice. These opportunities are some examples of the way U.S. Attorney Rollins has worked to bring learning out of the conference room and into the communities we have the privilege to protect and serve. She and U.S. Attorney Brown have also convened the Civil Rights Subcommittee for programs with the U.S. Holocaust Museum. 

U.S. Attorneys from the following Districts have confirmed they will attend the Selma and Montgomery events: Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, South Carolina, Colorado, Nevada, Montana, Idaho, South Dakota, Western and Middle Districts of Louisiana,  Eastern District of Wisconsin, Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan, Middle District of Florida, Northern and Eastern  Districts of California, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Western District of Virginia, Western District of North Carolina, Southern District of Ohio, Eastern District of New York and the Southern District of West Virginia.

U.S. Attorney Rollins and U.S. Attorney Brown want to acknowledge the assistance of the Middle District of Alabama, who is hosting the delegation, as well as U.S. Attorney Breon Peace of the Eastern District of New York and former U.S. Attorney Cindy Chung of the Western District of Pennsylvania who provided valuable assistance.

Updated March 3, 2023

Civil Rights