Survey Results from The Legacy of Emmett Till event

The survey was open from 4/19/16 - 5/25/16 and involved 127 participants

Survey Participants:
48% Okemos students
27% Okemos staff members
25% neither Okemos students nor staff


33% under age 18
27% 18-25
4% 25-35
28% 35-55
18% 55-75

Ethnicity/Race(respondents were able to mark more than 1 category):
79% Non-Hispanic White or Euro-American
10% Black, Afro-Caribbean, or African American
5% Latino or Hispanic American
6% East Asian or Asian American
3% South Asian or Indian American
2% Middle Eastern or Arab American
3% Native American or Alaskan Native 

75% Okemos
10% Lansing
9% East Lansing
7% Other Lansing-Area Communities
6% Outside the Lansing Area

Prior Knowledge About Emmett Till
33% had never heard of Emmett Till
12% had heard of Emmett but couldn’t remember much about the incident
28% knew the basic facts
24% had a fairly firm grasp of the case facts
3% were case experts

To view the entire comments list, click here.


I was saddened by what I heard but so impressed with Mr. Parker’s sense of forgiveness and emphasis on love.


It was a great event…it felt sincere.


I thought it was incredible that we got to see and hear Wheeler Parker in person, a direct connection to an era of the past. The way he felt during the funeral surprised me and his voice left a lasting impression.


This event was spectacular. We were moved by hearing the first account from Wheeler. We were moved by learning and understanding the family’s lack of bitterness. I was impressed to hear from all the different perspectives of the panel.


The event really opened my eyes even more to what racism is.


This event changed my life and the lives of my family. It brought history to life and our community together. But more importantly, it provided content for meaningful school and family discussions on what this means to us as human beings today– what can we learn and what can we do in our daily interactions with one another to keep that learning alive (“don’t hate, appreciate”).


I haven’t had the chance to be a part of something like this before. I am grateful, thank you. Hopefully it opened some eyes, because it sure did open mine.

I thought this event was such an amazing experience for our students and staff. Many of Mr. Parker’s thoughts and ideas about progress and change really resonated with me and the idea that the wheels of change grind….an important lesson for a generation of instant-gratification needing people to hear!


I plan to learn more about Emmett Till and the Civil Rights movement.


I had great dialogues with my own children at home on this event. Thank you for providing this for our High School students


To hear directly from Mr. Wheeler was incredibly powerful. His statement that laws only make us nice to each other and that change has to come from the heart really hit home with many students.


I give Okemos credit for bringing such ugly history into the open.


I am so proud to be part of a district that offered this important event. The opportunity to spend an evening learning about and sharing thoughts on civil/human rights was an incredible gift to our community. I am left holding the words “radical love” in my heart and mind.


I was shocked when I heard about Emmett in class but when I saw the presentation with Wheeler Parker himself it made the story feel more real and made me realize that this tragedy hadn’t occurred that long ago.


This was an amazing event. Profound, thought-provoking and timely. The turn-out was amazing. Kudos to all the people involved in organizing such a wonderful evening. Makes me proud to be part of this community.


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