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Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

The Opportunity Project Announces Support for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre National Day of ...

May 28, 2021 GMT

TULSA, Oklahoma, May 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Opportunity Project (The Opp) has announced underwriting support of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre National Day of Learning on Thursday, June 3, 2021, from 9 am until 4:30 pm. As part of its support, The Opp is facilitating a special breakout session focused on the present-day implications for young people and advancing equity in youth-serving fields. The free, virtual experience offers a chance for youth workers and community educators, along with families and others who are interested, to join this important conversation. As the worst act of racial violence in our nation’s history, The Tulsa Race Massacre has remained an open secret for too long. The National Day of Learning is an opportunity to learn the facts of what happened in Tulsa 100 years ago, understand historical racial trauma and explore the continued impact of the massacre.  Free registration is open here.

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“The National Day of Learning presents an opportunity to learn about and from the cataclysmic 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, an event emblematic of the historical racial trauma experienced by communities throughout the land,” said Hannibal B. Johnson, Esq. author, attorney and education sub-committee Chair of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission. “There is a through-line between the past and the present. Only if we understand our history -- our roots -- will we be able to surmount our current challenges around race and racism. The support of community partners like The Opportunity Project allows our shared history to be explored with honesty and gives young people and those serving them the tools to combat injustice and promote equity. Knowledge is power.”

The National Day of Learning is one of the activities organized by the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission. Underwriting support for the Day allows the event to remain free and open to the public, and available virtually worldwide. In addition to The Opportunity Project, fellow underwriters include New York Life and Ascension St. John. The Opp’s mission is to lift young people in marginalized communities and broaden access to hands-on learning opportunities beyond the classroom. With a special emphasis on building the social-emotional skills and passion for exploration young people need for future success, The Opportunity Project provides critical backbone supports for a broad network of youth-serving organizations throughout Tulsa County. Since 2017, The Opp has helped children and youth reach future goals by providing them pathways to thrive. 

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“The Opportunity Project is proud to underwrite the National Day of Learning, exploring the history and legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Acknowledging and reflecting on the past allows us to think critically about our world today and build pathways toward equity for all. The terror of the Tulsa Race Massacre is a tragedy that for too long has gone untold,” said Caroline Shaw, Executive Director of The Opportunity Project. “But it is also a story of resilience, richness of culture and triumph. As we work to advance equity for young people in our community, The Opportunity Project supports those committed to accelerating progress towards moving all youth to thriving. Together, we can connect young people to the world of opportunity in Tulsa and beyond.”

The Keynote speaker for the National Day of Learning is distinguished professor, philosopher, author, activist and Tulsa native Dr. Cornel West. West is a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual. He is Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and holds the title of Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He has also taught at Union Theological Seminary, Yale, Harvard, and the University of Paris. Cornel West graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton. He has written 20 books and has edited 13. He is best known for his classics, Race Matters and Democracy Matters, and for his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud. His most recent book, Black Prophetic Fire, offers an unflinching look at nineteenth and twentieth-century African American leaders and their visionary legacies.

Professor, author and lynching scholar Dr. Karlos K. Hill opens the day with a presentation called “Centering Survivors: The 1921 Race Massacre, an Overview” and will close the day with a session discussing the day’s lessons and future opportunities for continued learning. Hill is an associate professor and chair of the Clara Luper Department of African and African-American Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of three books, Beyond the Rope: The Impact of Lynching on Black Culture and Memory,The Murder of Emmett Till: A Graphic History and The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: A Photographic History, which will be released in March. He is a board member for The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, the Clara Luper Legacy Committee, and the Board of Scholars for Facing History and Ourselves.

Other topics and speakers include a survivor and descendent Panel; Mass Grave Update; Historical Racial Trauma; Black Wall Street 100 with Hannibal B. Johnson, Esq.; The Victory of Greenwood with Carlos Moreno; Interview with Nationally Acclaimed Artist Fulton Washington; a premiere screening of the Educational Documentary 1921 with its creator Michael Lawrence-Riddell and the impact of the Tulsa Race Massacre today. 

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission calls the National Day of Learning an opportunity to engage in the history and scholarship surrounding the massacre, learn from a leading expert on racial historical trauma, and explore the continued impact of this unprecedented event in Oklahoma History.

Leading up to this 100th anniversary, the Tulsa Race Massacre has been increasingly scrutinized and portrayed in film, television and popular culture. Most recently, it was a plotline in two HBO series, Watchman and Lovecraft Country. With the eyes of the world upon Tulsa, The Opportunity Project identified The National Day of Learning as a way to support their core belief that learning happens everywhere — not just in the classroom.

“By signing on as an underwriter for the National Day of Learning, The Opp helps families, educators, and others learn more about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre on the event of its 100th anniversary. We wanted to ensure youth workers and community educators - along with interested families - have a chance to both participate in the commemorative events and have access to information, materials, resources, and experts outside of a traditional academic environment,” Shaw said. “Part of our support allows us to invite others in our field from across the country to learn more and exchange ideas on contemporary implications for our youth. We are committed to integrating racial justice, reconciliation, and culturally-affirming programming for youth into our mission.”

Registration is currently open at  https://whova.com/web/trmec_202106/

For a full schedule, list of speakers, and to register, visit the events page at Tulsa2021.org. 

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About The Opportunity Project

The Opportunity Project knows that learning takes place everywhere, and is dedicated to ensuring young people have access to expanded learning and enrichment opportunities outside the classroom, to complement activities inside the classroom. Connecting youth to the world of opportunity that occurs outside the normal classroom structure creates pathways for lifelong success. By equipping the youth development community with tools and expertise, The Opp lifts up young people and increases access to hands-on learning opportunities. To learn more, visit  https://www.theopp.org.

To schedule interviews with The Opportunity Project or National Day of Learning speakers:


Amanda Clinton The Opportunity Project (918) 720-6262 amanda@arclinton.com