What We’re Doing
Preserving land around the home of Emmett Till to heal from and honor an important time in America’s history.
Strengthen a connection to our nation’s shared heritage.
The National Register of Historic Places lists more than 95,000 entries, from the famous (the Statue of Liberty) to the infamous (Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco Bay).
Despite the extraordinary range of places that have earned a spot on the register, just 2 percent of its sites focus on the experiences of Black Americans. We’re proud to be part of the growing movement to preserve and promote a more accurate, equitable public memory of U.S. history.
The Emmett Till Campus on the South Side of Chicago recognizes and honors a painful and grave moment in American history—the brutal lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till, which galvanized the civil rights movement.
To keep Till’s memory alive, community members, including Blacks in Green, came together to save his childhood home from demolition. Trust for Public Land then drew on contributions from our Equitable Communities Fund, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and L.L.Bean to help purchase additional properties near the home.
We also made improvements to the Mamie Till-Mobley Forgiveness Garden, which invites residents and visitors to heal from decades of painful racism and honor Emmett Till’s mother, a courageous activist in her own right. The garden will serve as an anchor for a series of 16 gardens that pay homage to luminaries of the Great Migration from Mississippi to Chicago, such as the poet Gwendolyn Brooks and the playwright Lorraine Hansberry.
Our hope is that by connecting people to the outdoors through a culturally and historically significant event, we will help to foster community, provide healing, and honor a significant shared history.
Emmett Till house: Woodlawn childhood home officially a Chicago landmark