A picture of Representative Terri A. Sewell
Terri S.
Democrat AL 7

About Rep. Terri
  • Tribute to Doris Dozier Crenshaw

    by Representative Terri A. Sewell

    Posted on 2015-12-11

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    SEWELL of alabama in the house of representatives Friday, December 11, 2015 Ms. SEWELL of Alabama. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the extraordinary contributions of lifelong civil rights activist and public servant Doris Dozier Crenshaw. For more than 60 years, she has been on the frontlines in the fight for equality and human rights for all. Today, we salute this Alabama native for her commitment to serving this nation.

    Her journey began in 1955 when at just 12 years old, Doris served as Vice President of the NAACP Youth Council when Rosa Parks served as the organization's advisor. After completing her degree at Clark College, she continued her community outreach in Chicago with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the Open Housing Campaign.

    Doris began her professional career as a Southern Field Representative for the National Council of Negro Women by organizing chapters, designing rural economic programs, and health and housing programs. In 1977, Doris joined the Carter White House Democratic Policy Staff for the Small and Minority Business Issue Division. In 1980, she went on to serve as Deputy Director for the South East Region for the Carter Presidential Campaign.

    In the early 1980s, Doris also served as Special Assistant and Mobilization Director for Special Projects to the Rev. Jesse Jackson. In this capacity, she worked extensively in Washington, D.C. and nationwide with black businesses for the PUSH Trade Bureau. Doris then served as a consultant to Vice President Walter Mondale and was later named National Political Director for ``Mondale for President in 1983.'' In 1985, Doris was tapped by Coretta Scott King to serve as Director of Mobilization for the first national holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She was also charged by Dorothy Height to serve as Director of Mobilization for the First National Black Family Reunion and the National Black Family Reunions in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Detroit. This community icon also organized the nationally recognized 40th, 45th, 50th, 55th, 57th anniversary and now the 60th celebrations of the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott.

    In addition to her various leadership roles, Doris is committed to passing the torch to future generations. In 2008, she founded the Southern Youth Leadership Development Institute. The organization was created to address educational policy issues while engaging youth leaders in inspirational training programs through the ``train-the- trainer'' approach.

    Over the years, Doris has been recognized and awarded numerous accolades from organizations around the country and she is a lifetime member of the NAACP and the National Council of Negro Women. Doris is also a member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference as well as the First United Church of Christ. Her proudest accomplishment is her daughter, Dr. Kwanza (Mikki) Crenshaw.

    On a personal note, Doris has served as dedicated mentor and friend. I know that my journey as the first black woman elected to Congress from the State of Alabama would not be possible without her wise counsel, support and mentorship.

    On this the 60th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, I ask my colleagues to join me in paying tribute to an Alabama treasure whose extraordinary contributions to this nation will continue to shape future generations of public servants.


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