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'Focus: Black Oklahoma': FAFSA, Tulsa's Beyond Apology report, Retinoblastoma

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Kenneth 'K.Roc' Brant (center) speaks during a community meeting of the 'Beyond Apology' report in Tulsa, Okla.
Jamie Glisson
Focus: Black Oklahoma
Kenneth 'K.Roc' Brant (center) speaks during a community meeting of the 'Beyond Apology' report in Tulsa, Okla.

This episode of Focus: Black Oklahoma features stories on the need for reparative justice following the 'Beyond Apology' report, significant changes to the federal student aid program, FAFSA, and more.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid program, or FAFSA, is undergoing significant changes, resulting in a critical need for college counselors. High School counselors help navigate changes which are vital for students facing the complexities of college admissions and financial aid. Anthony Cherry speaks with two Tulsa counselors, Jennifer Sack and Erica Walker.

In the U.S., homeownership is the largest driver of wealth creation for families. Yet, homeownership rates for Native Americans lag 15% behind their white American counterparts. Two Oklahoma realtors, Cori Taber (also a realtor in Arizona) and Ashley Daily, are devoting their careers to helping indigenous people utilize programs through the federal government and tribal nations to close the gap. Tabor is a 2SLGBTQIA+ woman descendant of three tribes — the Osage, Muskogee Creek, and Cherokee who is also a descendant of enslaved Africans. Daily grew up on the Osage Reservation and also identifies as Latina. Shonda Little breaks this all down.

The 'Beyond Apology' report, released in early 2024, opens dialogue on the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, fostering community engagement and emphasizing the need for reparative justice. These discussions and the resulting recommendations aim to collectively shape a more equitable future for Black Tulsans, acknowledging past injustices while seeking tangible solutions for healing and reparations. Greg Robinson, Bernice Alexander, and City Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper further detail the report and its potential. Carlos Moreno has details.

Retinoblastoma, a rare but aggressive eye cancer affecting children, challenges the way cells develop in the retina. Treatment options hinge on early detection, which creates disparities in health outcomes in lower socioeconomic populations with limited access to healthcare. Zaakirah Muhammad speaks with Marissa Gonzalez, president of the U.S. chapter of World Eye Cancer Hope, Melissa Mills, a part-time genetic counselor at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University, and Dr. Jesse Berry of Children's Hospital Los Angeles and the Roski Eye Institute also in L.A., to bring us new details and help us understand Retinoblastoma.

In Checotah, summers with Sondra Slade’s grandparents were filled with laughter, life lessons, and a humorous mix-up about "Arthur?" This tale encapsulates the essence of childhood innocence, the strength of family bonds, and the enduring love that weaves through generations - plus drop biscuits!

Focus: Black Oklahoma is produced in partnership with KOSU Radio and Tri-City Collective. Additional support is provided by the Commemoration Fund.

Our theme music is by Moffett Music.

Focus: Black Oklahoma’s executive producers are Quraysh Ali Lansana and Bracken Klar. Our associate producers are Smriti Iyengar and Jesse Ulrich. Our production intern is Daryl Turner.

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