America is the land of opportunity, founded on the principal that all men are created equal. But recent events throughout the country, across our state and in the City of Tulsa serve to remind us of the extreme racial, cultural and political divisions that impede this nation’s fulfillment of equality and opportunity for all. Transcending those divisions requires courage, leadership, and an unflinchingly honest understanding and acknowledgement of our past.

In 2021, we will observe the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Riot – the deadliest and most destructive massacre in our country’s history. I invite you to explore the links on this website to view historical documents, eyewitness accounts and more as we seek to ensure that neither this tragedy nor the lessons learned from it are never forgotten.

It takes courage to be transparent about our history, including both famous and infamous events. We must address and discuss the facts as they have happened so we can ultimately stand together across racial, geographical, political and cultural lines. The call for unity can facility education and enable greater understanding for future relations among competing and complementary interests. Therefore, in partnership with federal, state, county, city and private support, we have assembled a group of stakeholders to create the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot Centennial Commission.

The 1921 Tulsa Race Riot Centennial Commission will leverage the history surrounding the events of nearly 100 years ago by developing programs, projects, events and activities to commemorate and inform. We will remember the victims and survivors, and create an environment conducive to fostering sustainable entrepreneurship and heritage tourism within the Greenwood District specifically, and North Tulsa.

We will lead and be examples of “the best of who we are,” and we will “be the change we want to see,” and display that to the world through the efforts of this Commission. By 2021, we will have a world-class display along with systems and programs that will turn this “Tragedy into Triumph.”

We invite you to join us in our planning and implementation efforts.

- Senator Kevin L. Matthews, District 11
Chair, 1921 Tulsa Race Riot Centennial Commission