North Tulsa

Photo by Don Thompson

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we chat with the noted photographer Don Thompson, who's been documenting the people and places of north Tulsa for more than 40 years now. His photos have been shown at local galleries, are on permanent display at OSU-Tulsa, and were recently added to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

Women are the fastest-growing prison population group in the United States today -- and the State of Oklahoma, tragically, puts women in prison at twice the national rate. On this edition of ST, we check in with the non-profit organization known as Still She Rises, a public defender office based here in our community that's dedicated to representing North Tulsa mothers within the criminal justice system. Still She Rises, which began operations in Tulsa about a year ago, grew out of a similar group in NYC known as The Bronx Defenders.

On this edition of ST, we learn about the Unity Heritage Neighborhoods Design Workshop, a program to create designs, plans, and visions for future development in neighborhoods immediately north of downtown Tulsa. These include the Brady Heights Historic District, Emerson Elementary, Greenwood, and the Evans-Fintube site. Throughout the fall, the Notre Dame University Graduate Design Studio has been viewing the landscape and speaking with community stakeholders on how they want the neighborhood to look and feel as they develop their design ideas.

On this edition of ST, we offer a closer look at some of the economic development objectives within the Vision Tulsa proposal. For years, the north side of Tulsa has felt neglected and shortchanged when it comes to infrastructure improvements as well as efforts to provide good-paying jobs in the area. But within Vision Tulsa, there is money for a public-private partership that would create a ready and receptive environment for the next potential manufacturing or industrial employer looking at our city as an expansion site.

On this edition of ST, an interesting exit interview with John W. Silva; the CEO of Morton Comprehensive Health Services here in Tulsa will leave this post next month to assume a similar job in his native Massachusetts. Silva has been at the helm of Morton since 2010. Under his leadership, it has expanded from its North Tulsa headquarters to additional locations in Bartlesville and west Tulsa and has moreover become Oklahoma's only community health center-based teaching facility.

We speak by phone with the Emmy Award-winning, Cincinnati-based documentary filmmaker Rachel Lyon, whose films have appeared on CNN, PBS, BBC, the History Channel, and elsewhere. Lyon's newest film, "Hate Crimes in the Heartland," will be screened here in Tulsa on Thursday the 5th at 5:30pm; this screening is part of a free-to-the-public panel discussion happening at the Perkins Auditorium on the OU-Tulsa campus (at 41st and Yale).

KWGS

Protestors want bond denied for the two suspects in the Northside shootings. Outside the Tulsa Courthouse, they also call for the case to be prosecuted as a ‘hate crime’. About a dozen sign carrying demonstrators gather in the courthouse plaza to demand those arrested in the shooting spree be held without bond. Protestor Andrew Burkes also says it’s a hate crime and should be treated as such.

Suspects Jake England and Alvin Watts are being held on bonds of more than nine million dollars each. It’s not been decided whether the case will be prosecuted as a hate crime.

Pastors in North Tulsa and city leaders call on people of faith to meet and discuss ways to keep young people on the right path. The pilot project will begin with a focus on the northside. At a city hall news conference, citizens are urged to attend a May 1st meeting at Greenwood Cultural Center. The effort is not specifically a response to the tragic shootings and manhunt over Easter Weekend, but Reverend Weldon Tisdale with Friendship Church says it shows how the city can come together.