Press Release - August 11, 2023
Anna Briggs Pirila
National Monument Dedicated in Honor of Mamie Till-Mobley (MEd '71) and Son Emmett Till
CHICAGO – August 11, 2023
On July 25, 2023, President Joe Biden signed a proclamation establishing the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument across three separate historic sites in Mississippi and Illinois. The monument will further efforts to ensure that Till’s story, and his mother's impact on the civil rights movement, continue to be told and honored.
In 1955, Till’s abduction and murder in Mississippi shocked the nation and catalyzed his mother Mamie’s life into one of courageous activism and transformative education. In 1971 she graduated from Loyola University Chicago’s School of Education and worked toward her wish for “Emmett's name to stand for healing, reconciliation, forgiveness, and hope."
“Through her work as an educator and advocate, she not only prepared students to become productive citizens, but she was also committed to caring for the whole child; thus, her education went well beyond the walls of the classroom,” said Markeda Newell, PhD, interim dean of the School of Education. “Her courage and lifetime of leadership ignited a fire in all of us to face and challenge injustice unflinchingly and with tireless determination.”
Loyola has worked to honor and uplift Till-Mobley’s legacy as an educator and civil rights icon. In October 2022, the University launched a scholarship in her name, which will support Chicagoland high school graduates who have been recognized for their engagement with the Black community through leadership or community service. Loyola also hosted a sold-out event at the DuSable Black History Museum in junction with the museum’s Emmett & Mamie Till-Mobley: Let the World See exhibit.
“It is beautiful to see Mamie’s life work being honored through monuments, both locally and nationally. This is an exciting time for me as a next generation Till family member who has picked up the baton,” said Amberly Carter, Till cousin and board member of the Mamie Till-Mobley Memorial Foundation. “I know my purpose is to keep being a visionary and to preserve her legacy through educational opportunities like the documentary being produced through Loyola’s School of Education.”
The Gannon Center for Women and Leadership wholeheartedly endorses the creation of these national monuments. “Mamie Till-Mobley was a woman of profound strength. She was an educator and nurturer of countless young minds,” said Gabrielle M. Buckley, JD, director of the Gannon Center. “After experiencing unspeakable tragedy, her actions served as a catalyst to spark the civil rights movement in the United States. That she was able to propel such positive change is a testament to her character, leadership, and legacy. We look forward to that legacy being further enshrined in our national story."
Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ, where Till’s funeral was held, held a ceremony earlier this month with Carter and other members of the Till family in attendance as it officially became one of three sites in the national monument. The Tallahatchie County Second District Courthouse, and Graball Landing are also open for visitors.
About Loyola University Chicago
Founded in 1870, Loyola University Chicago is one of the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic universities, with nearly 17,500 students. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy, as well as course locations in Vernon Hills, Illinois (Cuneo Mansion and Gardens), and a Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, Illinois. The University features 15 schools, colleges, and institutes. Ranked a top national university by U.S. News & World Report, Loyola is also among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations including AmeriCorps and the Carnegie Foundation. To learn more about Loyola, visit LUC.edu or follow us on Twitter via @LoyolaChicago.
About the School of Education
Established in 1969, the School of Education (SOE) endeavors to advance equity in education in service of social justice. Offering a wide range of degrees including undergraduate, master's, doctoral, as well as certificate and endorsement programs, SOE prepares teachers, principals, superintendents, psychologists, counselors, methodologists, and higher education professionals to be extraordinary scholar-practitioners, researchers, and change-makers. These future leaders are equipped to dismantle social inequalities in their local and global communities to create more equitable systems. Students receive second-to-none learning opportunities: integrated curriculum linking theory, research, and rigorous field-based experiences; community-driven service and advocacy opportunities; international study at Loyola's John Felice Rome Center; and participation in a robust professional learning community that supports students and faculty. To learn more about SOE, visit LUC.edu/education or follow us on Twitter via @LoyolaSOE.