Historic Greenwood Chamber of Commerce Launches National Campaign

Thursday, June 18th 2020, 12:28 pm
By: Chinh Doan


Tulsa's Historic Greenwood Chamber of Commerce has launched a national campaign to restore Black Wall Street.

The announcement the day before Juneteenth calls for the community to help raise $10 million by May 2021 for the commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre.

From restoring historic buildings to helping current and future business owners to attracting people to Greenwood, organizers hope the money raised can do all that and more for years to come.

Greenwood Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dr. Freeman Culver said his staff is leading the efforts with the help of activists and organizations across the country.

"We are committed to our mission of helping to alleviate the stresses and the social and economic ills of our people and our district and our city," said Culver.

He said the campaign aims to restore the historic district, provide resources to entrepreneurs and increase the number of minority-owned businesses.

"We would like to see an entrepreneur start-up school titled ‘There is Freedom in Self-Employment,’" said Dr. Patricia Carter Breeckner, president of the Greenwood Business Owners Association.

Culver said before the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, Blacks owned more than 600 businesses in the 35-square blocks.

Now, there are 32 Black-owned businesses in Greenwood, according to Culver. "We can do it together with unity,” said Culver. “Most of all, we can do it with our youth. Our youth can give, too, and I believe in our future."

Organizers said they believe the community has a desire for reconciliation, and that there is momentum.They invite everyone, including President Trump, to unite in the efforts. “Mr. President, we would like to show you the history of Greenwood and what we're doing to rebuild it," said Culver.

Reverend Al Sharpton, who will be in Tulsa Friday to commemorate Juneteenth, is an honorary co-chair of the campaign.

There’s a gofundme set up under Restore Black Wall Street, if you’d like to donate.