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Release Date: 6/18/24

Media Contact: Emily Thompson,
Em************@pr********.org, 202-758-3936

 The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks Applauds Public Meeting in Support of the 1908 Springfield Race Riot National Monument

Last week, Brenda Mallory, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and Shannon Estenoz, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, visited Springfield, Illinois, to meet with community leaders and residents to discuss their vision for commemorating the 1908 Springfield Race Riot, including the designation of a national monument.

Following the public meeting, the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks issued the following statement of support:

“We thank Chair Mallory and Assistant Secretary Estenoz for visiting Illinois and speaking with the community to learn about the support for the designation of the 1908 Springfield Race Riot National Monument.

Preserving the Springfield site for future generations would help acknowledge our nation’s legacy of racial violence and would add to the story of the incredible Black leadership in Springfield, Illinois that worked to overcome that legacy.

Our national parks tell the stories of not only our nation’s triumphs, but also its tragedies. Key to this process is ensuring that the stories of all communities are fully represented within our National Park System. Designating a site to commemorate the 1908 Race Riots will fill a critical gap in the National Park System, which currently does not have parks that tell the story of race riots or the founding of the NAACP.

We urge President Biden to use the Antiquities Act to designate a national monument in Springfield and help to ensure that the 1908 Springfield Race Riot and the courage of Black leaders who founded the NAACP in response is commemorated.”

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The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks represents over 2,700 current, former, and retired employees and volunteers of the National Park Service, with over 45,000 collective years of stewardship of America’s most precious natural and cultural resources. Recognized as the Voices of Experience, the Coalition educates, speaks, and acts for the preservation and protection of the National Park System, and mission-related programs of the National Park Service. More information can be found at https://protectnps.org