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“Changing the Narrative” series returns, more collaborative than ever

Published: Tuesday, December 21, 2021

“Changing the Narrative” – a virtual conversation series about race, equity and beyond – returns Jan. 18 at noon following a special highlights episode for the holidays.

Each episode of the series airs live on Facebook and Zoom at noon on the third Tuesday of each month. Audience members can ask questions in the chat, which contribute to the moderated conversation.

The monthly series, which started in the summer of 2020 as the “Dismantling Racism” project from the Center for Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation at OSU-Tulsa (TRHT), is now a collaborative venture of five OSU-Tulsa entities. The Center for Poets and Writers at OSU-Tulsa, the Center for Africana Studies, the Center for Family Resilience and the Center for Public Life currently serve as partners in the conversation series, in addition to TRHT.

“I’m excited to welcome everyone back to a new year of the ‘Changing the Narrative’ conversation series,” said Quraysh Ali Lansana, director of the Center for Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation at OSU-Tulsa. “Each center is responsible for curating engaging conversations throughout the year, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this dynamic partnership grows and enhances this series.”

Recent Sessions

The series officially relaunched in September after taking a break over the summer with the topic of Indigenous Representation in Movies and TV, hosted by the Center for Poets and Writers at OSU-Tulsa. The session was moderated by the center’s director, Lindsey Smith, who is also the author of “Writing the Native City from Oklahoma” and is the editor of American Indian Quarterly.

“It’s strange to think about this long history of movies about Oklahoma or made in Oklahoma that very rarely feature many indigenous characters or writers,” Smith said. “So, this moment where people have an indigenous-centered, Oklahoma-based type of series like ‘Reservation Dogs’ is groundbreaking. It’s long overdue and it’s very exciting for me as someone who teaches and lives and works in Oklahoma.”

The episode featured Brettlyn Bevenue, who serves as the outreach specialist for the Cherokee Nation Film Office, along with OSU-Tulsa’s filmmaker in residence Zach Litwack, who has been working in film education for 20 years. Together, the panel discussed new film projects like “Reservation Dogs” and “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Tulsa’s rising status as a film hub, and what it’s like behind the scenes of some indigenous-centered film projects. The full episode, and all previous sessions, can be found on OSU-Tulsa’s Facebook page.

The latest live session aired in November and centered on the topic of cancel culture. The panel discussed the term’s origins, the true definition of the term and several pop culture, political and personal examples of cancel culture at work.

“I think about this with my parents,” said Autumn Brown, an OSU doctoral student, member of Tri-City Collective and one of the panelists on the Cancel Culture discussion. “I feel like cancel culture has to allow for some type of grace for people who have lived 60-plus years within this realm of constructions, and now we’re all the sudden asking them to abandon their 60 years of lived experiences. There has to be some type of middle ground where we understand – but at the same time we’re not accepting disrespect.”

The next session in the series – which focuses on the National Day of Racial Healing – airs live in January. Interested participants can find the link to register for the Zoom webinar in the event page or watch and comment live on Facebook.  

Event pages for each discussion are posted in advance at


Media Contact: Aaron Campbell | 918-594-8046 |