Tulsa teachers use Greenwood tour to bring 1921 Race Massacre history into the classroom

Posted at 3:50 PM, Jul 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-17 14:31:33-05

TULSA, Okla. — Once a thriving district, Greenwood was forced to rebuild after the 1921 race massacre.

As the city looks to recognize this, Tulsa schools are beginning to break down that history.

"You can't reconcile something that you don't acknowledge or that you don't admit happened and you can't reconcile something that you know nothing about," said Thoreau Demonstration Academy teacher Candice Pierce.

Pierce went through the first Race Massacre Institute last year to create a lesson plan for her classroom. TPS wants students from all grade levels to understand that event.

"They're already familiar with the subject, they get that base in elementary schools. But let's expand on that and let's learn what are the causes, what are the effects, and how can we move on today we'll learn in the upper levels," Pierce said.

Ultimately, educators hope this knowledge will change Tulsa's future.

"Being able to connect that as they go through their trajectory of schooling to the kinds of choices they're going to make as they become adults, as they become the people who are making decisions about what will happen to our city and our state and our nation," deputy chief of academics Danielle Nevs said.

About 50 teachers participated in total. They'll create new lesson plans by the end of the week, touching on monuments like Mt. Zion Church that they visited along the way.

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