[VIRTUAL] History, Racism, and Education in Oklahoma
This event was part of PEN America’s celebration of Banned Books Week.
Learn more about PEN America’s advocacy against book bans and championing the freedom to learn.
Youth advocate and Oklahoma Board of Education member Carlisha Williams Bradley and University of Oklahoma history professor Anne Hyde joined PEN America for a discussion of currents threats to honest teaching of history and racism in Oklahoma schools and universities, in the context of social and political backlash against anti-racism education, and in the wake of the passage of HB 1775 in May. This event was a chance to support the writers, readers, scholars, and free expression supporters in Oklahoma and the rest of the country who are being targeted by wrongheaded legislation.
This event was co-sponsored by the American Historical Association and Magic City Books.
Carlisha Williams Bradley is a passionate educator and youth advocate who serves as the executive director of ImpactTulsa. Most recently, Bradley served as the executive director of Tulsa Legacy Charter School (TLCS). Under her leadership, TLCS became the first charter school in the state of Oklahoma to join the prestigious portfolios of Charter School Growth Fund and NewSchools Venture Fund. Bradley was also a 2017 School Systems Leader Fellow who supported Tulsa Public Schools as a senior consultant to the superintendent’s cabinet for strategy and talent development. Prior to these roles, Bradley served on the National Leadership team of Lighthouse Academies, which served over 7,000 students and 825 teachers, principals, and staff members nationwide. In this role, she managed the highest performing school in the network and Oklahoma school expansion. Bradley was a former middle school teacher and administrator who worked abroad in nonprofit development before entering the classroom. Prior to teaching, Bradley founded Women Empowering Nations, an organization devoted to the self-esteem and leadership development of girls of color in Africa and the United States. Bradley holds an MPA from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, a BBA in entrepreneurship and venture management, and a BA in African and African-American studies from The University of Oklahoma.
Dr. Anne Hyde is professor of history at the University of Oklahoma (OU). An expert on the American West and Indigenous histories, she is editor-in-chief of The Western Historical Quarterly. She serves as the faculty coordinator for OU’s required U.S. history survey course, enrolling 3,600 students each year. She has also served as faculty director of the American Historical Association’s “Tuning the History Discipline in the United States” project. Her latest book is Born of Lakes and Plains: Mixed Descent Families and the Making of the American West (W. W. Norton & Company, 2022).
James Tager is the research director at PEN America. Tager previously worked with the Asia & the Pacific Programme at the International Commission of Jurists, first as a Satter Human Rights Fellow and subsequently as an international associate legal advisor. Before that, he was a 2013-2014 Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellow, researching civil society responses to the developing human rights framework within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). He has lived and worked in Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia. Tager holds a BA from Duke University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.