“We need to do everything possible to emphasize the positive qualities that all of us have, qualities which we have never utilized to the fullest, but which we must utilize if we are to solve the problem of the color line in the twenty-first century.”
– John Hope Franklin, The Color Line
The story of the Center’s work begins now. With Dr. Franklin’s lifelong devotion to scholarly analysis and social progress as a model, the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation is developing a consortium of academic institutions, historical societies, and organizations devoted to equality, racial justice and social harmony to continue his legacy.
This nationally unique Center focuses on these broad goals:
- Education – Increasing public knowledge and understanding
- Scholarship – Creating new knowledge through scholarly work
- Community Outreach – Opening conversations to bring communities together
- Archives – Laying a foundation for scholarship by gathering materials for research
By building community partnerships, the Center has launched several immediate projects, with these specific objectives:
- Sponsor the national symposium (May 29-31, 2013) to create knowledge and understanding of Tulsa’s and our nation’s history
- Gather documentary evidence to be used by scholars and students in establishing the historical record – beginning in early 2010
- Document the energy and resilience of the Greenwood community both before and after the Riot – on-going in all projects
- Create opportunities for high school and university students to participate in historical research and hear public presentations by eminent scholars – in all projects
Ultimately, the serious work of reconciliation will occur in the John Hope Franklin Center building, which will house galleries, archives, a digital story-telling booth, documentary projects, conference space, and other facilities appropriate for a historical site of national significance. Through education and community dialogue, the Center’s “parlor” will create an atmosphere for healing and reconciliation.