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Zarrow Family Commits Charitable Trust to Helping Tulsans of Color

A local charitable trust is being transformed to honor the memory of victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre by helping Tulsans of color.

The Zarrow Families Foundation will likely offer at least $6 million over five to seven years through the newly established Commemoration Fund.

Retired Ronald McDonald House President and CEO Glenda Love-Williams is a member of its inaugural advisory board, which exclusively represents the people they’ll help.

"To have a board with only people of color, I mean, that’s just not happened before. And so, we first thank them for that, and it speaks volumes of the confidence that they have in this group," Love-Williams said.

"We really saw that it’s not enough to just grant funds; we need to grant the authority to determine those grants. It’s the authority to direct that money as much as it is the money itself that is valued," Maxine and Jack Zarrow Family Foundation President Gail Richards said in a news release.

Love-Williams said there’s been something missing in how charitable funds have been distributed.

"Not saying that they haven’t been distributed properly, but there are things that we would probably notice and that we would be affected by and would be aware of that maybe others wouldn’t," she said.

Grants could take the form of scholarships, justice and diversion initiatives, or support for health and mental health care. Guidelines should be in place for the first round of grants to be announced by the race massacre centennial next May.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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