An excerpt from my 2015 novel, Dear Layla/Welcome to Palestine:
Corporate Citizen/1 (Products/2)
Some things changed and some didn’t on September 11
It shocked and angered us
To see products we had built to connect people for peaceful purposes
Used for acts of terror and destruction
Many nations joined the United States in waging war against terrorism
Boeing products —
In-flight refueling tankers and satellites —
Were deployed to protect the peace
To know that
Boeing is the patriotic creator
Of products to protect the peace
Pursued so selflessly by the United States
As is easily verified by talking with those intimately familiar
With products such as these—
Those people still breathing (barely) and on the ground in
A friend texted me the following headline earlier this morning–
I also received the following email this morning…
Boeing Contributes $500,000 for Youth Programming at Greenwood Rising- Foundational investment will fund the Greenwood Rising XR Learning platform and the Youth Race & Leadership Forum
TULSA, Okla., May 26, 2021— Next month, Greenwood Rising, the world-class history center built to remember the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, will open for a special ten day preview event for family members, descendants and residents of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The space is dedicated to educating visitors about historic Greenwood before, during and after one of the worst race massacres in American history. In addition to engaging exhibits, Greenwood Rising will host and coordinate many events to educate the public about its history and engage people in a conversation about reconciliation and racial justice. Greenwood Rising will open to the general public in early July.
As one of the first corporate partners for Greenwood Rising, The Boeing Company is investing $500,000 to support two of the center’s key programs through 2026: The Youth Race & Leadership Forum and the Greenwood Rising XR Learning platform.
“Our goal is that Greenwood Rising becomes more than a place for historical reflection, but a home for personal and community transformation,” said Phil Armstrong, Project Director for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, “Boeing’s contribution is providing long-term funding for two programs that show the breadth and depth of programming we will have at Greenwood Rising. One program engages the world in the history of Greenwood and the other helps individual students deeply comprehend the impact of race in their lives and their communities.”
Greenwood Rising XR Learning will allow students throughout the Tulsa community and around the world to participate in virtual field trips to Greenwood Rising. In the XR environment, students will be assigned an avatar that can walk through Greenwood Rising, interact with other avatars and virtually engage with Greenwood Rising exhibits.
The second program funded by Boeing is the annual Youth Race & Leadership Forum, a partnership with the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice (OCCJ) during which students learn about race and how they can advocate for positive change for themselves and their communities.
“My experience attending the Youth Race and Leadership Forum last fall was so fun and interesting within learning more about my Tulsa Black community history,” said Trinity Tottress, Kipp Tulsa University Prep, Class of 2023, “I met people who care about Tulsa’s history as a whole. When attending this program, it’s ok to be shy at first but open up and participate in the activities.”
Boeing funding will also enable this program to expand internationally, enabling students to travel to Tulsa for this annual event.
“Boeing is proud to partner with Greenwood Rising to help educate us all about this horrible and tragic event in our nation’s history. Through our investment, we will continue the conversation about how to improve racial equity in the United States and to empower the next generation – both here and abroad – to be part of that change,” said Cheri Carter, vice president of Boeing Global Engagement. “We are committed to being part of the solution—to support programs like Greenwood Rising that are making positive, lasting changes in our communities.”
“The Centennial is an important moment for the world to pause and reflect about the massacre but our work does not end in 2021,” said Armstrong, “The programs at Greenwood Rising, including these generously supported by Boeing, will ensure that our work toward reconciliation and healing continues for every descendant, every family member, and every person impacted by the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.”
The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission pays homage to the martyrs of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and celebrates the resilience of the Greenwood spirit and the Black Wall Street mentality. The projects of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission will educate Oklahomans and Americans about the Race Massacre and its impact on the state and Nation; remember its victims and survivors; and create an environment conducive to fostering sustainable entrepreneurship and heritage tourism within the Greenwood District specifically, and North Tulsa generally.
As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing’s diverse team is committed to innovating for the future and living the company’s core values of safety, quality and integrity.