As part of the Resilient Tulsa Strategy, the Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Equity (MORE) will host Equity Dialogues throughout August and early September to further encourage meaningful conversations to bring better understanding and unity among Tulsans from different backgrounds.
A follow-up to the Equity Dinners hosted in 2018, Equity Dialogues represent the City’s second round of conversations on equity, which are now taking place virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “These Equity Dialogues are a part of that work. It is our hope Tulsans of all backgrounds can come together, learn from one another, 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.”
Interested participants can choose from several dates to attend an Equity Dialogue. Dialogues will be held virtually via videoconference and will have roughly 8-10 participants. Dialogues will be held in English, Spanish and Zomi.
This round of dialogues will be held in partnership with OSU Center for Public Life.
“Many people have been speaking out this summer about their personal vision for the city we work, live, and play in,” said Dr. Tami L. Moore, Co-Director for OSU Center for Public Life. “When people are interested in creating lasting change around any issue in their community, coming together for an event like an Equity Dialogue is a wonderful first step. Dialogues are different than conversations, discussions or debates. Dialogue sessions include sharing ideas, information, experiences, and assumptions; the goal is for everyone to learn more about their neighbors and also to learn with each other about what’s going on in Tulsa at this moment. The Center for Public Life at OSU-Tulsa has been privileged to be part of such an important initiative!”
Trained facilitators will lead dialogue participants through thoughtfully organized questions to foster co-learning about racial equity in Tulsa, what is contributing to it, and what are the barriers to achieving it.
“I wanted to get involved as a facilitator because the topic of racial equity is important to me, and I want to help create an environment where people from all parts of Tulsa can openly share their lived experiences and learn from each other,” said Jane Beck, an Equity Dialogue Facilitator and a local high school teacher. “The challenges presented by COVID-19 place an emphasis on distancing at a time when connection and collaboration are critical for our well-being.”
“I love that the Equity Dialogues highlight diversity, equity, and the need to bring everyone together in a safe, purpose-filled, and respectful way,” Equity Dialogue Facilitator Elsa Velasco Paul said. “The Trainers are super passionate people equipped with the tools and know-how to facilitate and listen; really listen. I'm thrilled that this initiative is building community one conversation at a time. On a personal level, as an adopted Tulsan, I am honored and excited to be able to give back to such a generous city.”
Interested individuals can sign up and select preferred dialogue dates at https://bit.ly/TulsaEquity. Participants will be notified via email of their dialogue date, time and how to access the videoconference.
Additional information on Racial Equity Dialogues can be found at www.cityoftulsa.org/equity.
The City’s website, www.cityoftulsa.org, has a tool to help with translation assistance for any page. Website visitors can click the drop down menu on any page that says, “Select Language,” and choose from one of more than 100 different languages.