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TPS Plans Diversity Conversation Next Month


The Tulsa Public Schools announced plans for a community conversation regarding diversity in the school  district. Below is the letter of explanation from the Tulsa Education Service Center:

Dear Tulsans,

The start of the 2016-2017 school year marked the beginning of our bold journey to make Tulsa Public Schools a destination for excellence in teaching and learning.

Together - with input from thousands of Tulsans - we developed a vision and commitment to work with our community and families to ignite the joy of learning and prepare every student for the greatest success in college, careers and life.

Of course, a successful journey requires that we have a good sense of direction. Our core values of equity, character, excellence, team, and joy guide the way in which we work and interact with each other and with our community. As we considered how those values would direct the implementation of Destination Excellence, we knew that it was critical to demonstrate our commitment to transformative change by putting equity at the forefront.

The success of young Tulsans should not be predicted by their race, gender, zip code, socioeconomic status, or any other factor. We must ensure that all of our students have equal opportunities to fulfill their greatest potential.

Change starts with people who care about doing what's right, regardless of whether it's easy. It won't be easy to create the equitable conditions we want for our children, but we can start working toward it together through learning, reflecting, and sharing honest dialogue.

Starting in February, we will hold the first in a series of five community gatherings designed to provide a space for Tulsans to learn about a variety of issues which affect diversity, justice and acceptance. These conversations will be facilitated by community leader and advocate Hannibal Johnson and will take place monthly through the end of the school year.

Our first community conversation, Exploring Equity: Oklahoma and Tulsa History, will take place on Tuesday, February 7 at 5:30 p.m. in the Selman Room at the Education Service Center (3027 S. New Haven Avenue in Tulsa). Dinner will be available at 5:30 p.m. with learning and conversation beginning at 6:00 p.m. Please feel free to share the attached flyer (in English and Spanish) with anyone you know who might be interested in participating.

Future gatherings will include conversations about Greenwood and North Tulsa history, religious diversity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and immigration and immigrant communities. We look forward to engaging with you as we examine these critical subjects and work to identify ways in which we can begin to confront and combat the systemic inequities that have limited our children for far too long.


Board President Dr. Lana Turner-Addison and Superintendent Deborah A. Gist