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Racial Equity Dialogues


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“When we launched our Resilient Tulsa Strategy, we knew we would continue building a community of Tulsans who want to see our city become a place of opportunity for everyone. These Equity Dialogues are a part of that work. It is our hope Tulsans of all backgrounds can come together, learn from one other, and walk away with a better understanding of where we need to go as a city. I encourage as many Tulsans as possible to sign up for these dialogues.”

~ Mayor G.T. Bynum


The City of Tulsa, as part of its Resilient Tulsa Strategy, is committed to organizing and hosting community conversations on racial equity to foster intergroup dialogue, to continue to normalize conversations about race and racism, and to encourage Tulsans to organize and engage with government and organizations to create a more equitable city. In 2020, the Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Equity has partnered with Oklahoma State University’s Center for Public Life on this project.

By engaging an increasing number of Tulsans to name racism and the role institutional and systemic racism has played in creating and maintaining racial inequities, the City of Tulsa is  normalizing and organizing to create change. The City is using  the Government Alliance for Racial Equity’s approach which calls for jurisdictions to normalize, organize, and operationalize racial equity.


Equity Dialogues: October 2020
The City will host its second round of virtual Equity Dialogues starting Oct. 20, 2020, to further encourage meaningful conversations to bring better understanding and unity among Tulsans from different backgrounds. 

Would you like to be trained as an Equity Dialogue Facilitator for the City's next round of dialogues? Please email resilient@cityoftulsa.org for more information.


Background
In 2018, the City of Tulsa hosted 27 dialogues of eight-to-10 people each to discuss issues of race, unity, and understanding among groups. The purpose of the dialogues was to begin to normalize conversations about race and racism among a broader group of Tulsans. The dialogues were attended by more than 200 Tulsans who pre-registered and then were assigned to dinner tables with diverse identities and perspectives. Participants expressed the desire to continue meeting and facilitators/dinner hosts expressed a desire for more training on how to facilitate conversations about race and racism.


Further Plans for 2020
In 2020, the City of Tulsa will build on the enthusiasm and success of the first dialogues and create opportunities for Tulsans to engage in intergroup dialogues via multiple engagements and provide training to hosts of the dialogues to foster meaningful exchanges and build community capacity among participants.

We have trained 21 facilitators who will then host one dialogue of eight-to-10 people. A second round of training will be offered to 25 participants of the first dialogues, who will then each host a dialogue of eight-to-10 people. The sessions will culminate in an online, citywide summit to bring people together for additional training, networking, and community connection. 


Alignment With Other Citywide Efforts
This effort will align with other efforts in Tulsa to bring training on racial equity and anti-racism; link participants to forums and spaces that address diversity, equity, and inclusion; and amplify the many grassroots efforts taking place to bring Tulsans together through community dialogue.


Measuring Impact
Dialogue outcomes include increased social cohesion, increased trust in government, new partnerships formed, increase knowledge of levels of racism. The City has plans to conduct a qualitative analysis of the impact of the dialogues through in-depth interviews with participants, focus groups, surveys and other methods.