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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Build In Tulsa’s Ashli Sims Talks Seeing Past 103-Year-Old Trauma

Build in Tulsa Honors the History of Black Wall Street

Source: Build in Tulsa / George Kaiser Family Foundation


103 years ago today (June 1, 1921), a catastrophic tragedy known to many either as The Tulsa Massacre, Tulsa Race Riots, The Black Wall Street Massacre or anything along the lines of those variations came to an end after 48 hours of deadly racism that resulted in the eradication of Black affluence thriving in Tulsa, Oklahoma. From Black History Month that spans all of February to the fact that Black Music Month actually starts today, it’s always important to know our history and commemorate the events that changed us as a culture, whether from a positive or negative perspective.

However, we’re here today to show you all a different side of Tulsa that often gets overlooked in the midst of mourning. The Tulsa riots will for sure never be forgotten on our people, especially when it comes to the city’s current residents. However, there’s a whole new wave of Black affluence happening in the city right now that’s being spearheaded by the good people over at Build In Tulsa.

On this special anniversary in Tulsa, we chopped it up with the company’s Managing Director, Ashli Sims, to get a closer look at the advancements happening in tech, education, business, architecture, entertainment and so much more.





RELATED: The Beauty Of Little Africa: A History of Black Wall Street


Operating on a mission statement to “close the wealth gap in America by catalyzing the creation of multi-generational wealth through tech and entrepreneurship,” Build In Tulsa has been doing some major heavy lifting when it comes to distributing equitable knowledge, breaking barriers that we’ve been culturally hurdling over for decades, programming centers built especially for Black entrepreneurs and most importantly building community. Throughout our sit-down with Ashli Sims, community-building acted as an overarching theme that applied to all aspects of the company. For her and many likeminded Tulsa residents, the constant commemoration or even excess empathy can oftentimes feel like being anchored to the past — how do you move towards a brighter future if the world is still mourning yesterday’s tragedy?

In all actuality, Tulsa is making strides in rebuilding the affluence that once made it a mecca for Black prosperity. Not only did we have Ashli on board to break it all down for us, but we even provided a few photos below so you can visually see what life is currently like for our people in T-Town. The duck slide at Gathering Place Park looks like a lot of fun!


As we remember the Tulsa Massacre of 1921 that put a huge dent on Black affluence 103 years ago today, watch our one-on-one with Build In Tulsa’s Ashli Sims to understand the advancements happening in the city today. Also, peep a gallery of images below that showcases Tulsa, Oklahoma in all its glory, from the Future CEO Camp and the Tower of Reconciliation to the recent 1921 Awards ceremony:



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