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Mamie Till Memorial Sculpture and Scholarship

Tax deductible
With $25,000 in seed money, Argo Community High School and the Argo Higher Education Foundation are raising funds to erect a bronze sculpture honoring the life and work of Mamie Till, mother of Emmett Till, and to establish a scholarship in her honor. All funds raised in excess of the cost for completion of the monument will be directed to scholarship funds honoring Mamie and Emmett Till.
Mamie Till, mother of Emmett Till and tireless advocate for social justice, is arguably Argo High School’s most influential graduate. She was the first Black student to make the A Honor Roll and only the fourth Black student to graduate from Argo High School. Following Emmett’s murder in 1955, Mamie fought for justice for her son while pursuing her degree in education. As a teacher, Mamie continued her social justice advocacy, working with children in and out of the classroom until her death in 2003 at the age of 81. To honor her life and her work, a bronze sculpture will be erected in the front of the high school, adjacent to the neighborhood where Mamie and Emmett lived, which is now a historic landmark.
Argo has commissioned sculptor and community activist Sonja Henderson to create this monument. She is known for her community-based art and social justice advocacy, an example of which is the MLK Living Memorial in Marquette Park, the first monument in Chicago devoted to Martin Luther King, Jr. and the fair housing marches. In addition to her accomplished work as painter and sculptor, Ms. Henderson works as an educator and advocate for survivors of violence.
The sculpture is expected to be unveiled in Fall 2022.
The Mamie Till Memorial Scholarship Fund is being established by the Argo Higher Education Foundation to support Argo graduates who demonstrate a commitment to social justice and helping others. The scholarship will be awarded annually based on availability of funds.
Donations of $5,000 will be honored with donor names on standard-sized brick pavers placed on Mamie’s Way walk-way approaching the monument. Donations of $10,000 will be honored 8X8 pavers at the base of the monument. Major donors of $25,000 and up will be honored on their own plaque at the base of the monument and will be recognized at the unveiling


  • Anonymous
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • Julie Norvaisas
    • $100 
    • 1 yr
  • Kristin Hill
    • $20 
    • 1 yr
  • Ross Koenig
    • $100 
    • 1 yr
  • Tamara Evans
    • $25 
    • 2 yrs

Fundraising team (3)

Argo Community High School District 217
Summit, IL
Argo Higher Education Foundation
Alexa Edwards
Team member
Betsy Leonard
Team member

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