Virtual COA Heritage Trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma

The new (May, 2021) virtual heritage trip “transports” your UU group to a particular historical moment in Tulsa, Oklahoma that offers serious questions for UUs today. It introduces a local congregation, All Souls Unitarian, which has wrestled with and continues to reckon with their local faith heritage.

A photo of a group marching in a protest, framed as a filmstrip image to represent a timeline of UU history

A moment from the timeline of UU history that helps orient our virtual heritage travelers.

Welcome Aboard!

The virtual trip to Tulsa is for “UU heritage travelers” of all ages, but especially for youth in a UU Coming of Age program. The Curriculum (PDF, 11 pages) is designed as 90-minute online session (with active breaks!). It can be adapted for multiple sessions, including in-person sessions.

If you are a Coming of Age group leader, before deciding to "go" to Tulsa, you must take a prerequisite facilitator training online, on the UU Leadership Institute (UULI) website. Upon completing the Tulsa Heritage Trip Facilitator Training, you will receive access to the 30-minute, interactive Google slide presentation with embedded video clips that offers the actual virtual "trip."

The facilitator training is based on this Introduction (PDF, 14 pages) and a May, 2021 Webinar (Vimeo, 50 minutes) where the curriculum creators explain this virtual heritage trip. The training highlights learning opportunities as well as support concerns for a Coming of Age group and particularly for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) participants. There are risks inherent in necessary but often difficult conversation about racial violence. The training, Introduction, and Webinar all invite discernment as to how ready you and your group are for this trip, and how prepared you are to support and care for participants, especially BIPOC youth in the group.

A Facebook group has been created for religious educators and youth advisors planning to offer the virtual trip to Tulsa. Request to join.

The Curriculum and the Trip

The Tulsa virtual trip is designed as a 90-minute online workshop which facilitators will lead over Zoom. The trip begins with a 15-minute warm-up and preparation time (Part I, "get ready") which builds excitement as the group prepares for “travel.” Then, an audio/visual presentation (Part II, "the trip"), which the facilitator hosts using Google slides, virtually brings the group to Tulsa. A UU-themed time travel effect transports the group to the year 1921, when two relevant events occurred: the founding of All Souls congregation and the Tulsa Race Massacre, in which white residents demolished the Greenwood section of the city, known as Black Wall Street. The audio/visual presentation then zips forward in time. Via a pre-recorded video, All Souls youth advisor Corey Smith guides a tour of the congregation's history and its present-day youth and antiracism activities. Finally, the curriculum provides Part III, “the ride home,” for the group to respond to the experience and plan any follow-up activities.

Download and explore these components of the Tulsa Virtual UU Heritage Trip curriculum:

Introduction (PDF, 14 pages)This document provided the basis for the Tulsa Heritage Trip Facilitator Training. It describes the concept and purpose of a virtual COA heritage trip to elsewhere than Boston and it answers the question, Why Tulsa? It gives detailed guidance for implementing the trip as designed (an online, 90-minute program) or adapting it for multiplatform/multi-session use.

The Introduction discusses deep questions about heritage, accountability, and systemic racism that will come up during the "trip" and provides caveats and guidance related to protecting and supporting all youth, particularly BIPOC youth, to engage with difficult material and hard conversations about race and racism.

Curriculum (PDF, 11 pages). This document provides the detailed materials and preparation instructions for the entire virtual trip and the workshop flow guidance for Part I ("getting ready") and Part III ("the ride home"). It explains how to transition from Part I to "the trip"—for which you will screen-share Google slides—and back again for Part III, "the ride home." (The Google slides include embedded video clips and the "Speaker Notes" you will need to lead the trip.)

Extension Activities (Word, 3 pages). Whether your group meets online or in-person, consider these suggestions to deepen and expand the impact of the virtual trip to Tulsa. You can use these ideas in addition to those offered in Part III.