Oklahoma City Thunder and Chicago Bulls Team Up to Launch Virtual Black History Classroom Exchange Program
OKLAHOMA CITY, March 16, 2021 – The Oklahoma City Thunder and Chicago Bulls have teamed up to launch a virtual Black History Classroom Exchange program, a first of its kind, multi-year partnership between the two teams. The program will give students in Chicago and Tulsa a chance to learn about two tragic events in U.S. history often left out of school curriculum – the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 and the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
Coming on the heels of the centennial recognition of the Chicago Race Riot and just ahead of the 100-year mark of the Tulsa Race Massacre this spring, the interactive program aims to illuminate the past in an effort to empower the future and 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, Chicago Bulls. “We are proud to partner with the Thunder to help form a bridge between students in Chicago and Tulsa, giving them a unique opportunity to connect, explore ties between these moments in our cities’ histories and 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 Oklahoma City Thunder. “Partnering with the Bulls for this classroom exchange 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 recognition of the 1921 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. 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 African American 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 to build out 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. To learn more about this program, the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 and the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, fans can visit okcthunder.com/classroomexchange for additional content and resources.