News & Events

BC Franklin Lecture Feb 16th

February 3rd, 2016 - 

The University of Tulsa College of Law
16th Annual Buck Colbert Franklin Memorial Civil Rights Lecture

“The Force of Implicit Bias:  Science and Rhetoric”

Jerry Kang
UCLA Professor of Law, Professor of Asian American Studies
Inaugural Korea Times-Hankook Ilbo Chair in Korean American Studies and Law
Inaugural Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Tuesday, February 16, 2016
5:30 PM - Reception
6:00-7:00 PM, Lecture

John Rogers Hall, Price & Turpen Courtroom

3120 East 4th Street, Tulsa

Reservations Required by Feb 12
Contact Barbette Veit, 918-631-5604 or

KJMM Promotes Annual JHF Dinner

November 16th, 2015 - 

Click to hear the radio spot!


JHF Center on Diversity Dialogue Talk Show

October 16th, 2015 - 
JHF Center member Bob Webber and Executive Director Jocelyn Payne had an opportunity to talk about the Center and upcoming Dinner of Reconciliation with Rebecca Marks-Jimerson, host of the Tulsa Community College Diversity Dialogue Talk Show.  The interview was held on October 1st at the Thomas K. McKeon Center for Creativity. Click the link or watch the video below.

Noted Author Rilla Askew to Keynote Reconciliation Dinner

October 7th, 2015 - 

Author_photo_-_Rilla_Askew-330Rilla Askew received a 2009 Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in a variety of journals, and her story “The Killing Blanket” was selected for Prize Stories 1993: The O. Henry Awards. Askew’s first novel, THE MERCY SEAT, was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Dublin IMPAC Prize, was a Boston Globe Notable Book, and received the Oklahoma Book Award and the Western Heritage Award in 1998.

FIRE IN BEULAH, her novel about the Tulsa Race Riot, received the American Book Award and the Myers Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights. She was a 2004 fellow at Civiella Ranieri in Umbertide, Italy, and in 2008 her novel HARPSONG received the Oklahoma Book Award, the Western Heritage Award, the WILLA Award from Women Writing the West, and the Violet Crown Award from the Writers League of Texas. Askew received the 2011 Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book. Her new novel KIND OF KIN will be published by Ecco Press in January 2013 and in the UK by Atlantic Books in August.

“Five generations of Rilla Askew’s family have occupied southeastern Oklahoma. Celebrating this birthright, she has concocted of it her own Faulknerian kingdom. Askew is writing a mythic cycle, novels and stories that unsettle our view of the West’s settling. In a continuous fictional mural populated with hardscrabble souls – credible, noble and flawed – Askew is completing the uncompleted crossing of the plains. Trusting prose that is disciplined, luxuriant and muscular, she is forging a chronicle as humane as it is elemental.”
–Allan Gurganus, May 20, 2009, American Academy of Arts and Letters

The sixth Dinner of Reconciliation will be held Thursday, November 19, 2015, at the Greenwood Cultural Center, 322 North Greenwood Avenue, with a gathering at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:00 p.m. The Dinner of Reconciliation provides an intimate opportunity for members of the Tulsa community to come together, break bread, enjoy each other’s company, and share a vision of reconciliation in Tulsa and our nation.

 Honorary Chairs for the 2015 Dinner of Reconciliation

Sam and Rita Combs

Tickets for the Dinner of Reconciliation cost $20 for adults and $10 for students.

Click here to register


Save the Date

2016 National Symposium “Justice and Reconciliation” May 27-29, 2016

City Council Proclaims John Hope Franklin Day

October 13th, 2014 - 

City Council Proclamation Announcement2 10.9.14

2014 Dinner of Reconciliation Set for November 20

September 14th, 2014 - 

Our annual Dinner of Reconciliation will take place on November 20, 2014.

For more information, please contact Jean Neal at 918-295-5009 or by email at

Julius Pegues: The long season of reconciliation

May 5th, 2014 - 

Tulsa World

By JULIUS PEGUES | Posted: Monday, May 5, 2014 

Daniel Sterling is a name most Americans could not identify a week ago.

As owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Sterling’s racist remarks about African-Americans have cost him his team and the trust of his players.

This man enjoyed years of fabulous wealth and relative fame in the world of NBA basketball. The Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP was days away from bestowing a “lifetime achievement” award to Sterling, despite him being known by many over the years as a devout racist.

For those of us who devote our time and energy to the issues of social harmony, Sterling challenges our souls and our character.

As chair of an organization —— The John Hope Center of Reconciliation —— that has the word Reconciliation in its title, I join with others to face the task of truly seeking reconciliation.

Reconciliation is hard work and it requires us to follow the path of temperance. This kind of perseverance requires all of us to lay aside our anger and acerbic rhetoric.

When people like (Nevada rancher) Cliven Bundy and Daniel Sterling spew their venom, and the national media carries it to our homes, we have an obligation —— an obligation to think about and to discuss what’s happened. An obligation to promote dialogue. An obligation to seek understanding.

This is where the hard work of reconciliation begins.

Then we must, with grace and poise, discredit the comments and assure our friends and family that racist remarks have no place in our society and are not reflective of the majority of Americans. And we must, above all, educate our children on how to look at the terrible scars of racism, learn from the past, and create a better future.

Although society continues to be plagued by the evils of racism, we must hold firm in our work to overcome. Tulsa is a community that is rapidly growing in diversity. This is the world we live in and the world in which we navigate each day in a population that is changing before our eyes.

At the John Hope Franklin Center of Reconciliation, we continually work to “transform society’s divisions into social harmony.” Our organization does not focus on or emphasize one particular race or ethnicity, religion, or gender; we seek dialogue, education and social harmony on all fronts.

Just like an NBA team, we have a long season. Our goal is ambitious (social harmony for all) and we strive each and every day to win the hearts and souls of all citizens in our community.

In the coming days, we at the John Hope Franklin Center will be working with the Oprah Winfrey Production Company on a miniseries about the 1921 Race Riot. Our focus in that visit will be Tulsa’s promise as a community once devastated by racial conflict. Our focus is the resilience of our people and our hope for achieving a future based on mutual respect.

Julius Pegues is John Hope Franklin Center of Reconciliation chairman.

Read this story on the Tulsa World website

Tulsa World: John Hope Franklin symposium focus is STEM education

May 4th, 2014 - 

By RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer | Posted: Sunday, May 4, 2014 

STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — will be the focus of the fifth John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation symposium, scheduled for May 29-30 at the downtown Hyatt Regency Hotel.

“Education for Reconciliation” will look at the ways education can create and sustain successful, strong and diverse communities. Featured will be Freeman A. Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, and George C. Wright, president of Prairie View A&M University.

TIME magazine included Hrabowski in its 10 Best College Presidents. He was featured in a 2011 “60 Minutes” segment and is well-known for his TED (Technology, Education, Design) talks.

Wright is a former director of the Afro-American Studies program at Duke, where he was a friend and colleague of the late John Hope Franklin.

The Symposium features two public sessions: a May 29 breakfast forum with Hrabowski at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame and a Thursday evening screening of “Freedom School,” a documentary film about Tulsa’s Booker T. Washington High School, at Guthrie Green.

Both events are free but require tickets, which may be obtained at

For more information about the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation or the 2014 Symposium on Reconciliation in America, contact Jocelyn Lee Payne or Jean Neal at 918-295-5009 or


Tulsa World: Ellison Portrait Dedicated at State Capitol

March 6th, 2014 - 

Editorial: Oklahoma literary giant Ralph Ellison to be honored

By World’s Editorials Writers | Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 12:00 am

A portrait of Oklahoma author Ralph Ellison will be unveiled on the second floor of the state Capitol on Thursday.

2014 is the centennial of Ellison’s birth in Oklahoma City, and official recognition inside the Capitol is well-deserved.

There is little doubt that Ellison is one of the greatest authors to call Oklahoma his home, though his fame is based almost entirely on one book.

His novel “Invisible Man” is a stunning look at black life in the early part of the 20th century. It tells the story of a man who is buffeted by events as a series of manipulators — philanthropists, educators, radicals and criminals — use him for their own advantage.

He ends up beaten, empty and nameless — living underground, stealing power from the electrical utility and “invisible.”

Winning the 1953 National Book Award for fiction, “Invisible Man,” was recognized almost immediately as a masterwork.

Ellison struggled with a follow-up. In 1967, a house fire destroyed more than 300 pages of his second novel “Juneteenth.” He would eventually write more than 2,000 pages on the book, but he never finished it.

Nevertheless, he remained a leading black intellectual, especially noted for his essays on jazz and literature. Ellison died in 1994 and was buried in New York City.

Ellison’s writing is brilliant, but his ideas are challenging. It could be argued that Ellison has not gotten sufficient note in his home state.

A public library and the street that runs in front of Classen School of Advanced Studies in Oklahoma City are named in honor of Ellison, but lesser talents have gotten far greater recognition.

It is appropriate for the state Capitol to include a portrait of Ellison. He is literary giant and a great Oklahoman.

Film Premiere: Hate Crimes in the Heartland

January 23rd, 2014 - 

Tulsa, OK — Hate Crimes in the Heartland, a new documentary explores the 250,000 hate crimes committed in the United States each year through the lens of two hate crimes in Tulsa, Oklahoma. On February 3, 2014, Greenwood Cultural Center presents the world premiere of Hate Crimes in the Heartland during Black History Month.

“There has been a sharp increase in violent hate crimes, whether based on religion, sexuality or most often based on race. The film speaks to media, race, crime and punishment in a way that encourages constructive dialogue,” states producer/director Rachel Lyon. “Tulsa’s story can help America heal our seemingly intractable racial wounds and help halt the cycle of violence that erupts all too often,” asserts Co-­‐Producer, Pi-­‐Isis Ankhra.

savedate_greenwoodThe Greenwood Cultural Center, a natural partner to the film, has been a part of the education and rebuilding process of the black community in the aftermath of the 1921 Race Riot. The Center is dedicated to rebuilding the thriving center of commerce of Greenwood that was once considered America’s “Black Wall Street”. The Greenwood Cultural Center and the George Kaiser Family Foundation seek to engage minority, student and interfaith community members at Hate Crimes in the Heartland. The film allows audiences to focus on solutions, local heroes and distinguished speakers.

“We have been engaged with this film centered in Tulsa from the beginning,” states Executive Director of the Greenwood Cultural Center, Frances Jordan Rakestraw. “We are proud to present this film which explores Tulsa’s own explosive racial history, while focusing audiences on hope and reconciliation.”

Like no other documentary exploring this topic, Hate Crimes in the Heartland tells powerful stories of survivors, activists, leaders, and community members. The film explores current and past hate crimes in our nation, asking important questions related to social justice, our individual and collective responsibility along with a true examination of the media’s influence on the justice system.

The film begins in Tulsa in April 2012, when two white males drove through the African-­‐American Greenwood neighborhood targeting blacks at random, killing three people and leaving two others in critical condition. Community leaders united with government and law enforcement, who led a successful manhunt. The film follows the murders, social media uproar, manhunt, and capture of the suspects, who in late December pleaded guilty and will now serve life in prison. The film compares this current hate crime to the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot. In 1921, the white-­‐led attack on the black community, the largest race riot in America, burned down the wealthy “Negro Wall Street” district of Greenwood, leaving up to 300 dead and more than 10,000 homeless. This event was not recorded in history books for decades.

More than 90 years later, two crimes reveal the story of the racial animosity and inequality that have come to define modern American society and culture. Hate Crimes in the Heartland explores these events, exposing an All-­‐American city forever divided, and revealing the dangerous connections between the media, power, race, and justice.

Filmmaker and Emmy Award winner Rachel Lyon has created 65 films, documentaries and international series. Her films focus on human and civil rights issues specializing on films dealing with media, race, crime and punishment. Co-­‐Producer Pi-­‐Isis Ankhra brings 16 years of experience within the philanthropic industry and focuses her current efforts on engaging diverse audiences around stories that surface social and cultural issues often underrepresented in mainstream media.

National partners on Hate Crimes in the Heartland include Harvard Law School’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, DePaul University’s Center for Justice in Capital Cases, New Jersey City University and Northern Kentucky University’s College of Informatics. National screenings include events in New York, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Miami and New Jersey City.

Please visit us at our website: our Facebook Page: Twitter Page: or Tumblr Page:

For more information about the film and screening contact Greenwood Cultural Center at