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'Focus: Black Oklahoma': the state of teaching, critical race theory, white supremacist gangs

Focus: Black Oklahoma co-host Kolby Webster
Jamie Glisson / Focus: Black Oklahoma
Focus: Black Oklahoma co-host Kolby Webster

We kick off this episode of Focus: Black Oklahoma with Devin Williams reporting on how teachers in the state are being pushed to the brink and the current state of teaching, and subbing, during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as policymakers advocating for better.

Focus: Black Oklahoma has been selected to participate in the Advancing Democracy cohort with the Solutions Journalism Network, or SJN. Our series, In A Confused State, will follow Oklahoma advocacy groups navigating new restrictions on freedoms in four areas: reproductive rights, voting laws, teaching history and direct action/activism. Continuing this series, Crystal Patrick and Dr. Nick Alexandrov go in depth on critical race theory and the penalties against public institutions that teach concepts that the state legislature finds problematic.

We then follow Shonda Little to the southwestern part of the state as she finds white supremacist gangs are a growing threat. She speaks with Oklahomans who have had direct experiences with the United Aryan Brotherhood terrorist organization.

Carlos Moreno joins organizations that are holding space for the healing and processing of Black and Brown death and explains how to have conversations about it with the whole family.

Robert Caddy and Sherrita Sweet continue our series on wellness and tell us about mindfulness techniques to fight battles within the body.

Finally, when it comes to Valentine's Day, we explore expectations, reality, and how, sometimes, less is indeed more with comedian Sondra Slade.

Focus: Black Oklahoma is produced in partnership with KOSU Radio, Tulsa Artist Fellowship, and Tri-City Collective. Additional support is provided by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies.

Our theme music is by Moffett Music.

Focus: Black Oklahoma’s executive producers are Quraysh Ali Lansana and Bracken Klar. Our associate producers are Nick Alexandrov and Vanessa Gaona. Our production intern is Smriti Iyengar.

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