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The Future of Tulsa’s Past: The Centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre and Beyond

2021 John Hope Franklin Annual Symposium

John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park in Tulsa, OK

The Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod invites all our siblings from across the ELCA to join us digitally for the 2021 John Hope Franklin Reconciliation in America National Symposium, May 26-29. Following the Symposium, everyone is invited to join us for a Zoom workshop where we will discuss what we learned at the Symposium and how that speaks to us as a church.

John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park in Tulsa, OK The National Symposium is an annual event sponsored by the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation in Tulsa, OK and brings together local and nationally known speakers and people from around the country to learn about and discuss ways to work against racism and for racial reconciliation. Founded in 2007, the vision of the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation in Tulsa is to transform the bitterness and mistrust caused by years of racial division and violence into a hopeful future of reconciliation and cooperation for Tulsa and the nation. In the spirit of John Hope Franklin (1915-2009), American historian and educator noted for his scholarly reappraisal of the American Civil War era and the importance of the black struggle in shaping modern American identity, the Center promotes reconciliation and generating trust through scholarly work and constructive community engagement.

Individuals must register for the Symposium through the JHF Center website: A schedule and list of speakers for the Symposium is also available on the website.

From 1:00-3:30 PM CDT on Saturday, May 29, ELCA participants in the Symposium are invited to join the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod for a time of reflection and conversation. Led by a panel including Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod Bishop Michael Girlinghouse, Mr. Bill Horne, ELCA Vice-president, Ms. Judith Roberts, ELCA Sr. Director for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Ms. Vanessa Adams-Harris, John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation, we will discuss the complicity and silence of the white church in perpetuating racial injustice, including violent events like the Tulsa Race Massacre, how the church is working against racial injustice today, and ways we can show up and step up to work for change in our church, our local communities and nation in the days ahead. ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton will share concluding thoughts and reflections about how we can move together as a church to address these issues.

ELCA participants can register for the post-symposium workshop at: to receive the Zoom link and password the ELCA event.

If you have questions please call the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod at 918-492-4288.

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