On May 31, 2020, 99 Years after the Tulsa Race Massacre, Leading Rights Groups and Leaders Join to Accelerate Momentum around Reparations and H.R. 40 with Forum Series


Brandon Cox, ACLU, bcox@aclu.org, 804-502-2003;  
Gerry Johnson, HRW, johnsog@hrw.org, 609-923-1816; 
Don Rojas, NAARC, donrojas636@gmail.com, 410-844-1031

On May 31, the National African American Reparations Commission, Human Rights Watch, and the ACLU will join leaders from Tulsa, Oklahoma and across the U.S. to open a series of virtual forums that address the enduring impact of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and the path to reparations for its victims and their descendants, and for other African Americans at the local and national level.  

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee; Bryan Stevenson, founder and director of the Equal Justice Initiative; and Dr. Tiffany Crutcher, founder of Tulsa’s Terence Crutcher Foundation, are among the leaders slated to participate. 

Their Blood Cries Out: The Tulsa Race Massacre and H.R. 40 kicks off a series of nonpartisan national forums focused on the massacre and the urgency of reparations for both the massacre and for slavery and its legacy. The forums build on the unprecedented momentum behind the reparations movement: In 2019, Congress held a historic forum on Shelia Jackson Lee’s H.R. 40 legislation, a federal bill that would establish a commission to examine the institution and legacy of slavery and make recommendations to Congress for reparations. That bill has seen a dramatic surge in support. At the local level, communities across the U.S. have pursued reparations for African Americans, with successful reparations programs in cities like Chicago and Rosewood, Florida, and legislative success in Evanston, Illinois. 

The forum will open 99 years to the day when mobs of white residents stormed Tulsa’s affluent Greenwood district, burning down the enclave known as “Black Wall Street” and leaving hundreds of Black people dead. Although it has been called one of the worst incidents of racial violence in US history, no one was ever charged with a crime for the violence or compensated for the loss of life and economic devastation.  

“The Tulsa Race Massacre set in motion an inescapable cycle of grief and poverty for so many in Tulsa’s Black community. That it was covered up and hidden from the world for so long compounded the suffering,” said Dr. Tiffany Crutcher, founder of the Terence Crutcher Foundation. “As we approach the centennial of the massacre, there is still a great deal of trauma among survivors and their descendants. But there’s also a new sense of urgency and hope. We’re excited to launch this series to show why reparations for communities like ours should be a local and national priority.”

This event is a non-partisan educational forum on HR 40 and approaches to reparations.

Sunday, May 31 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. ET



Some of the esteemed leaders and participants include:

  • Dr. Tiffany Crutcher, Founder, Terence Crutcher Foundation
  • Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Lead Sponsor of H.R. 40
  • Dr. Ron Daniels, Convener, National African American Reparations Commission
  • Jeffery Robinson, Deputy Legal Director, Director of the Trone Center for Justice and Equality, National ACLU
  • Nicole Austin-Hillery, Executive Director of the US Program, Human Rights Watch
  • Bryan Stevenson, Founder and Director of the Equal Justice Initiative
  • District 1 City Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper
  • Oklahoma State Representative Regina Goodwin
  • Dr. Julianne Malveaux, President Emeritus, Bennett College for Women
  • Montague Simmons, Movement for Black Lives Policy Table
  • Kamm Howard, National Co-Chairperson, National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA)
  • Nkechi Taifa, Esq., Civil Rights/Human Rights Attorney & Convener, Justice Roundtable
  • Jasiri X, Hip-hop artist/activist


The event is free and open to the public. Media interested in covering should RSVP to Gerry Johnson, johnsog@hrw.org; Brandon Cox, bcox@aclu.org; or Don Rojas, DonRojas636@gmail.com.