Empowering Minds and Igniting Change: Reflecting on the Tulsa Race Massacre Social Impact Lecture Series 2023

The Raymond A. Mason School of Business at William & Mary recently hosted its third annual Social Impact Lecture Series, titled "Blood on Black Wall Street: The Principled Pursuit of Justice for Tulsa." This annual event is a crucial platform for thought leaders making a substantial impact in the field of business for the greater social good. Each year, the lecture series aims to demonstrate the power of blending business acumen with a commitment to creating a broader societal impact. Past speakers include Jennifer Brown, author of How to be an Inclusive Leader and Dr. Sarah Federman of the University of San Diego, who studies how corporations atone for past wrongdoing. This year’s event—the biggest to date—involved student participation from all Mason School of Business Programs, including online programs.

This year's lecture featured two prominent speakers, Sara Solfanelli '99 and Damario Solomons-Simmons. They collaborated to represent the last living survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre, a pivotal event in American history that saw a massive disruption of black wealth. Their talk shed light on the impact of this historical event, focusing on its consequences for the survivors and the pursuit of justice.

In summary, The Tulsa Race Massacre, often referred to as the Tulsa Race Riot, was a devastating event that occurred in the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921. It marked one of the most severe racial incidents in American history, resulting in the destruction of the thriving African American community known as "Black Wall Street." During the massacre, white mobs attacked and looted the prosperous black neighborhood, leading to the deaths of numerous Black residents, significant property damage, and the forced displacement of thousands of survivors. The event has long been a symbol of racial violence, systemic racism, and the destruction of black wealth in the United States. Its historical significance and lasting impact on the Tulsa community were the central themes in this most recent lecture series at the Mason School of Business.

Insights from attendees, such as Stephanie Cook-Martin, Part-Time MBA Class President and MBA '24, revealed the emotional roller coaster experienced during the lecture. She expressed anger, pity, hurt, disappointment, helplessness, and finally, empowerment. Her comments also reflect the skepticism and cynicism that can result from learning about historical injustices and government actions. Stephanie emphasized the importance of teaching the whole story of American history, including the good and bad, in educational curricula. Context plays a huge role.

Amaya琼斯的25分享了她的观点,指出了t the lecture offered a more detailed understanding of the Tulsa Massacre. She commended the speakers for their dedication to educating and raising awareness about the event, highlighting the potential implications for reparations in the future. Her comments emphasized the need for accountability and a thorough understanding of history to avoid repeating past atrocities.

Jason Mueller, MAcc ‘24 found the talk to be an eye-opening experience, revealing the individual impacts of historic events like the Tulsa Massacre. He emphasized the importance of teaching and learning about such events, pointing out the wealth disparities and the promises of the Declaration of Independence. Jason recognized that education and awareness are essential but believes that addressing historical injustices requires concrete action and radical candor.

至于他的珀耳斯onal contributions to creating a more equitable society, Jason expressed his commitment to volunteering and giving back, particularly in areas where he is passionate, like addressing food insecurity. He highlighted the idea that each individual can decide how they can best contribute to making the world a better place.

The event not only educated attendees about the Tulsa Race Massacre but also inspired a sense of empowerment, responsibility, and a call to action. It reinforced the significance of acknowledging the full scope of American history and the ongoing work required to address racial injustices and wealth disparities. This event was organized by the Raymond A. Mason School of Business Inclusive Excellence Committee.