JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Tuesday, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland visited several communities and sites in Mississippi to honor individuals and events that advanced the Civil Rights Movement.

Secretary Haaland, White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory, and Congressman Bennie Thompson met with local officials and community leaders in the Delta region and Jackson.

Emmett Till’s cousin, Reverend Wheeler Parker Jr., joined the leaders for the day’s events in the Delta region. The group visited Bryant’s Grocery, the site where Till was accused of flirting with the grocery store owner in 1955. The subsequent kidnapping and murder of Till helped catalyze the struggle for equal rights across the nation.

The leaders finished the day at the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument in Jackson, a new national park unit that was authorized by the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act in March 2019. The site commemorates the lives of civil rights activists Medgar and Myrlie Evers.

The National Park Service is currently conducting a Special Resource Study of significant civil rights sites in Mississippi.