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Budzinski Urges Biden for Race Riot Monument

Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski recently joined Monuments for All for a press conference in front of the U.S. Capitol to continue her call for President Biden to invoke the Antiquities Act to recognize the site of the 1908 Springfield Race Riot as a national monument. Budzinski led a letter to the President in December requesting formal designation of the site by the administration.

“The 1908 Springfield Race Riot is an example of our nation’s deep history of racial violence – it’s also the story of strength and resilience that led to the creation of the NAACP and the fight for civil rights,” said Congresswoman Budzinski. “Since coming to Congress, I’ve been pushing for our history to be appropriately recognized by introducing bipartisan legislation to designate the site of the 1908 Springfield Race Riot as a national monument, and by leading the Illinois congressional delegation in a request for President Biden to memorialize the site by invoking the Antiquities Act. Today, I was glad to continue calling on the White House to take action and honor Springfield’s important role in the Civil Rights Movement.”

During the 1908 Springfield Race Riot, a mob of white residents attacked Springfield’s Black community, burning down homes and businesses and attacking hundreds of residents for no other reason than the color of their skin. In the aftermath of the riot, the NAACP was formed. During an excavation as part of the Springfield Rail Improvements Project, foundations and artifacts from homes destroyed during the riot were uncovered. An agreement with community members was reached in 2018 to excavate the remains and designate the uncovered site a memorial.

One of the first bills introduced by Congresswoman Budzinski during her first term was bipartisan legislation with Congressman Darin LaHood and Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin to recognize the significance of this tragedy with a national monument. Budzinski has also been working with the Biden-Harris administration in an effort to secure a national monument designation through the President’s authority under the Antiquities Act. 


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