TULSA, Okla. — Oklahoma State University-Tulsa is launching the Center for Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation at OSU-Tulsa (TRHT).
The new community-focused center's mission is to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism while bringing about transformational and sustainable change.
OSU-Tulsa is celebrating the launch of the center with a Facebook live panel discussion on May 6 at 11:30 a.m. on OSU-Tulsa's Facebook page. The panelists will talk in-depth about the mission and initiatives of the TRHT center as well as discuss their participation in the Association of American Colleges and Universities 2020 Institute on Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Campus Centers.
The TRHT center at OSU-Tulsa is part of a nationwide, community-based initiative by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation that focuses on topics of racial equity specific to its location.
“There is a Renaissance-like energy awakening in Greenwood,” said Quraysh Ali Lansana, the center’s acting director. “We want to match the energy of other centers we work alongside, such as the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation and the Greenwood Cultural Center, and work together to amplify truth, healing, and change.”
The OSU-Tulsa campus is located in Tulsa’s Greenwood district, the historic home of Black Wall Street and the events of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. The Greenwood district exists on the boundaries of Cherokee, Osage, and Creek Nation land. The TRHT center is designed to honor and acknowledge the history of the land OSU-Tulsa calls home while helping shape an informed, equitable future.
“I strongly believe we have a special, ethical responsibility to educate about the history of Greenwood, about civil rights, and about the need to work toward racial and social justice given our campus resides on an extremely important portion of land,” said Pamela Fry, President of OSU-Tulsa.
The TRHT center will engage with the community to create programming and initiatives that benefit Tulsa, particularly north Tulsa, and the OSU-Tulsa campus community with input and guidance from a community advisory board.
Several Tulsa organizations have already participated in the center’s Rx Racial Healing Circles, where trained facilitators encourage discussions about experiences with race and conscious and unconscious biases.
“TRHT will play a critical role working in synergy with other initiatives and organizations focused on justice and racial equity in our city,” said Carlisha Williams Bradley, executive director of Impact Tulsa and member of the TRHT Advisory Council. “I look forward to the institute's community-driven model to confront injustice, unveil truths, and take actions for racial equity that will drive systemic change.”
This function of the center is conducted with the goal of welcoming and including all students, faculty, staff, and community as well as creating a space for all ideas. The center works closely with other OSU-Tulsa initiatives such as its Center for Public Life and student organizations.
“We’re here to listen deeply and act positively,” Lansana said. “We’re driven to tell the truth of our institutional and neighborhood histories and honor the stories of the people who gather here.”
For more information on the center’s purpose and initiatives, visit the center’s page on the OSU-Tulsa website.
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