TULSA — Oklahoma education took another step forward on Tuesday as teachers gathered for a workshop to learn ways to teach the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
It’s part of a statewide curriculum rollout for schools this fall. Tuesday kicked off a three-day workshop at OSU-Tulsa for teachers of grades 5 through 12.
The hope is teachers will take away strategies to teach students about one of the darkest times in our state’s history.
Educators were taught the timeline of the Race Massacre, beginning with the basics. They learned about the racial tensions that essentially lead to the coordinated attacks on Greenwood led by 10,000 whites.
Families fled and others were forced from their homes. The death toll is believed to be around 300.
Educators are taught the ramifications of civil discourse and how to convey this to students. One of the important topics is teaching students how this tragedy relates to today.
“There’s so many lessons that can be learned from it about embracing each other, about multi-cultural education, about race and racism,” said Shanedra Nowell, with Secondary Social Studies Education. “There’s so many lessons that we can learn and its really important to teach it. It’s also important to teach our local history and it helps our students make connections to the event.”
Several speakers who specialize in the Race Massacre and even wrote books on the topic will be on hand throughout the course of the workshop.
Teachers will also engage in discussions about their perceptions of what happened and how they feel they can best teach students, whether that be through reading, writing or another creative avenue.
The workshop aims to help teachers develop a curriculum specific to their classrooms that will consider the impact the tragedy continues to have on the community.
The City of Tulsa is taking its next step in the 1921 Race Massacre mass graves investigation. A public oversight committee for the investigation will meet on June 27 to discuss the process into potential mass graves searches.