Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Tour will focus of racism in America


Plan to “Get on the Bus to D.C.” in June 2018 and travel with other Oklahoma United Methodists to learn more about racism in America.
The chartered bus trip is jointly planned by three Conference groups:  the Board of Church and Society, Commission on Religion and Race (CORR), and Strengthening the Black Church in the 21st Century (SBC-21).
Dates are June 9-16.
The journey to the nation’s capital builds on the educational program “Get on the Bus to Tulsa,” which took place early this year.
The travelers will visit the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., and the Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, including the permanent display about the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921.
“The goal is for persons of color to be strongly represented and for the travel experience itself to inform and inspire the participants,” said Jeni Markham Clewell, who is an officer of the Board of Church and Society. “In these days of spirited talk around racism, unity, and faith, may we all add our walk to our talk when living out the good news of Jesus Christ.”
Although she grew up in Tulsa, she was in college when she first learned about the deadly Tulsa riot.
“I was born into the Methodist church in Tulsa. I spent my first 18 years being educated in the Tulsa Public Schools. I participated in the first round of integration of Booker T. Washington High School in 1973.”
As a freshman at Oklahoma City University, “I had the first occasion to be in conversation with someone who mentioned that the worst race riot in the history of the U.S. was in Tulsa in 1921. I flatly rebuked this as fabrication because, well, I grew up there. I would certainly know if something that significant happened in my hometown, wouldn’t I?”
The associate pastor of OKC-Mosaic UMC now knows about the 300 people killed, most of them African-American, and the destruction of dozens of city blocks, an area once heralded as the Black Wall Street of America.
“How could I not know?” she asked. She urges United Methodists to gain more education about racism in all forms.
For trip information, contact a committee member. The chairpersons are: Mark Davies, Church and Society; Valerie Steele and Nicholas Lee, SBC-21; Shelly Daigle and Scott Spencer, CORR.


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