Skip to Content
Exterior of brick building: two stories with narrow arched windows and featuring a tall tower to the right
Tallahatchie County Courthouse in Sumner, Mississippi
NPF Photo
Parent pages

New National Park Site Will Preserve and Share Legacy of Emmett Till

By Ruth Prescott, J.D.

The newly established Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument will tell a story that must be told. A story about the brief life and enduring legacy of young Emmett Till. A story of a mother’s devotion to her son and to justice. A story about communities in Sumner, Mississippi and Chicago, Illinois whose actions in the summer of 1955 changed the course of America’s civil rights movement.

As the nation’s storyteller, who better to tell the story than the National Park Service?

Ruth Prescott, J.D., NPF Chief of Staff
Ruth Prescott, J.D., NPF Chief of Staff

And, who better to contribute to the success of this important new park site than the National Park Foundation and its partners?

Officially establishing the new national monument commemorating Emmett Till under the stewardship of the National Park Service is critically important, because we cannot fully understand or address what happened in Tallahatchie, Mississippi during the that fateful summer without preserving the places where history was made.

Philanthropy is essential to the National Park Service’s ability to get the new park up and running, and philanthropy will provide a margin of excellence at the Emmett Till & Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument that otherwise might not be possible. Here’s how.

Making a new national park site ready for visitors to experience requires partnership, investment, and community involvement. The Emmett Till & Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument is an example of what more philanthropy is making possible to bridge funding gaps, to add capacity to local community partners, and to accelerate the development of interpretive programming to enhance visitor experience.

A narrow grassy path leads to a river
Graball Landing site along the Tallahatchie River (NPF Photo)
Interior of courthouse, with wooden chairs, bolted to the ground and facing an elevated platform
Interior of Tallahatchie County Courthouse, part of Emmett Till & Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument (NPF Photo)

The National Park Foundation is grateful to partner with exceptional organizations whose commitment will help to ensure that Emmett Till’s story is preserved and shared as part of a fuller, more complete story of America. Very generous support from the Mellon Foundation and Fund II Foundation will provide funding for an interpretive ranger for the first two years of park operations, as well as additional investments in park capacity in the future to preserve Emmett Till’s story and place it in the larger historical context of America’s civil rights movement.

What we do at the National Park Foundation matters, and it is my hope that as the result of the work we do with together with our partners and the National Park Service, school children, adults, and people from around the world will find their way to a little town in the Mississippi delta to experience and better understand a seminal moment that sparked our nation’s modern civil rights movement.

Learn more about the Emmett Till & Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument here. For more information visit NPF’s newsroom, and don’t forget to join and amplify the conversation on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.