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A bill to prioritize scholarships for Tulsa Race Massacre descendants passes through Oklahoma House

reginagoodwin-juneteenth2020
Jamie Glisson / Focus: Black Oklahoma
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Rep. Regina Goodwin (D-Tulsa) speaks at Tulsa's Juneteenth celebration in 2020.

A bill that enhances a scholarship program originally intended for the descendants of survivors and victims of the Tulsa Race Massacre passed in the House, Monday afternoon.

Rep. Regina Goodwin, D-Tulsa, represents the Greenwood District. And her measure House Bill 4154, would ensure that descendants of survivors and victims of the Tulsa Race Massacre would be given preference when applying for a Tulsa Reconciliation Scholarship with the Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education.

The scholarship program came in the wake of a 2001 Commission Report that recommended reconciliation steps for descendants of survivors and victims.

The state has given about eight $1,000 scholarships a year over the last two decades to Tulsa high school graduates.

Goodwin has said it’s unclear how many of the about 160 recipients are actually descendants because they aren’t asked in the scholarship application form. It would also increase the maximum amount of money a family can make to qualify to keep up with inflation and open it up to more students.

She says the scholarship program is a critical piece of reconciliation.

Her measure would change that and prioritize eligible descendants. She says the scholarship program is a critical piece of reconciliation.

The measure now moves to the Senate.

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