History Program Launched

By the Bulls And the Thunder

A virtual Black history classroom program has been launched by the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Chicago Bulls.

Students in Tulsa and Chicago, respectively, will study the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and the 1919 Race Riot.

The two events are not usually included in school curriculums, a statement for the teams said.

“The programs come on the heels of the centennial recognition of Chicago Race Riot and just ahead of the 100-year mark of the Tulsa Race Massacre in the spring,” a statement said.

“The interactive program aims to illuminate the past in an effort to empower the future,” the statement continued, “and to encourage students to explore ways to expand economic empowerment within their communities.”

“Reflecting on Black history gives us all a chance to learn from the past while we continue to work towards justice and equity in our future,” said Adrienne Scherenzel Curry, senior director of community relations for the Chicago Bulls.

“We and the Thunder are working to help form a bridge between Chicago and Tulsa students, giving them a unique opportunity to connect and explore ties between these moments in our cities’ histories.

“Our goal is to have them inspire each other to find innovative ways to uplift their communities.”

“Black history is a vital component of the history of our state and our country,” said Christine Berney, vice president of community relations for The Thunder.

This partnership gives us the chance to highlight these chapters of American history that were previously not discussed for decades in both Tulsa and Chicago.”

“Launching this program just ahead of the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre provides us with phenomenal resources to highlight the significance of ‘Black Wall Street’ and the resilience of the Greenwood District in Tulsa,” she continued.

“Through this education exchange, we can elevate these historical events that are integral to how we view and understand our society today.”

Through the end of the school year, students from Black history classes from Chicago’s South Shore International High School and Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa will virtually participate in six interactive workshops together.

The teams have worked with the Obama Foundation, the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 Commemoration Project and the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission tocreate the workshop curriculum, with workshop formats, including lessons with mixed media resources, guest speakers and roundtable discussions.

The program builds on the Bulls’ and Thunder’s ongoing social justice efforts and commitment to elevating Black history for future generations, the statement said.

More information is available online at okcthunder.com/classroomexchange.

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