Brigade Congress 2021
Bringing together Brigade leaders, government and community partners, and civic tech professionals from across the country.
Brigade Congress is the primary meeting centered on the Code for America Network, bringing together Brigade leaders, government and community partners, and civic tech professionals from across the country. Brigade Congress offers Code for America brigade members an opportunity to build relationships, deepen connections and participate in various discussions & trainings.
Greetings from the Magic City, the Oil Capital of the World, America’s Most Beautiful City, Tulsa. These were all names that were used to describe what was once the nation’s largest oil producer, during a time when the U.S. was shifting to a car-oriented culture and infrastructure. Route66’s largest number of road miles run through Oklahoma.
Tulsa is a city of contradictions. It is the home of Greenwood—the largest and most wealthy all-Black community in the nation, and the 1921 massacre—the most deadly and destructive act of domestic terrorism on U.S. soil. #2 on that list was the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
Emmit J. McHenry grew up in Greenwood. He is the founder of Network Solutions and invented the DNS registration system.
In 1958, 75 of Tulsa’s churches signed a petition to the city to desegregate downtown hotels and restaurants. Five years later, Oral Roberts University was founded; the birthplace of televangelism. Its most popular and influential figure during the 1990s, Reverend Carlton Pearson, was featured in 2005 on NPR’s This American Life announcing he no longer believed in the existence of hell.
The agency of record for the National Rifle Association is based in Tulsa. So is the largest community foundation in the country. So much of what CfA fights for and against, we here in Tulsa see happening all around us. So many of the cultural and political shifts that define our nation today come from this place.
It’s challenging for us to wrap our heads around that, but we’re excited to be a part of Code for America’s mission and movement.
2021 marks the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre. 100 years ago the thriving, all-Black community of Greenwood in Tulsa known as America’s Black Wall Street was decimated in less than 24 hours by one of the worst acts of racial violence in our country’s history. An angry, white mob descended on Greenwood, burning down homes and businesses and killing an estimated 300 residents.
The once-thriving community was left in ruins. While it was eventually rebuilt, the act resulted in decades of intergenerational harm. And to make matters worse, the massacre went unacknowledged and its victims silenced. This tragic, significant part of Tulsa’s history needs to be shared and remembered.
That’s why it was important to Code for Tulsa to host Brigade Congress on the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre—to acknowledge and educate about the tragic events of the past, and to look toward current and future progress within the community.
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