06.01.21

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Joins President Biden at Event Commemorating Tulsa Massacre

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) today joined President Joe Biden at an event in Tulsa, Oklahoma to commemorate the 100th year since the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

President Biden invited Congresswoman Lee to the Greenwood Cultural Center, along with Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge and Senior White House Advisors Susan Rice and Cedric Richmond, and other members of Congress. The President hosted a “meet and greet” with descendants of the massacre and the Black Tulsan community. Other attendees of the event included Rev. Dr. William Barber of the Poor People’s Campaign, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Marc Morial of the National Urban League, Al Sharpton of the National Action Network, Cherokee Nation Chief Chuck Hoskin, and Cherokee Nation Delegate to Congress Kim Teehee. Congresswoman Lee also joined her colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus for a press conference this morning to commemorate the 100th year.

“This week’s events to commemorate the 100th since the Tulsa Massacre have shed a stronger light on the tragedy that occurred in Greenwood a century ago. We met with living survivors of this tragedy, illustrating how recently this devastation impacted their community.

“President Biden announced today his efforts to close the racial wealth gap. I commend the President’s initiatives to address economic inequality and begin correcting the institutional denial of wealth that has plagued Black families for generations. He’s taking necessary steps to eradicate historical discrimination in the housing market, grow federal contracting with small disadvantaged businesses by 50 percent, and help communities of color build back bolder with new provisions in his American Jobs Plan.

“America is in desperate need of a moment of reckoning. The attempts to white wash the atrocity of the Greenwood Massacre from history will not be successful. We must continue telling this story and never stop. I’m strongly supportive of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee’s H.R. 40 legislation to develop reparations, which works in conjunction with my legislation to form a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Commission. America’s truth telling moment is long overdue. It is not enough to dismantle the systemic racism present in everyday life for Black Americans­­­—we must learn from these events and provide restorative justice for communities that have been oppressed for generations.”
 
The Biden-Harris Administration announced new steps to help narrow the racial wealth gap and reinvest in communities that have been left behind by failed policies. Specifically, the Administration is expanding access to two key wealth-creators – homeownership and small business ownership – in communities of color and disadvantaged communities.

Because disparities in wealth compound like an interest rate, the disinvestment in Black families in Tulsa and across the country throughout our history is still felt sharply today. The median Black American family has thirteen cents for every one dollar in wealth held by White families.

The Administration will:

  • Take action to address racial discrimination in the housing market, including by launching a first-of-its-kind interagency effort to address inequity in home appraisals, and conducting rulemaking to aggressively combat housing discrimination.
     
  • Use the federal government’s purchasing power to grow federal contracting with small disadvantaged businesses by 50 percent, translating to an additional $100 billion over five years, and helping more Americans realize their entrepreneurial dreams

 The Administration is also releasing new information regarding President Biden’s American Jobs Plan proposals to create jobs and build wealth in communities of color:

  • A new $10 billion Community Revitalization Fund to support community-led civic infrastructure projects that create innovative shared amenities, spark new local economic activity, provide services, build community wealth, and strengthen social cohesion.
     
  • $15 billion for new grants and technical assistance to support the planning, removal, or retrofitting of existing transportation infrastructure that creates a barrier to community connectivity, including barriers to mobility, access, or economic development.
     
  • A new Neighborhood Homes Tax Credit to attract private investment in the development and rehabilitation of affordable homes for low- and moderate-income homebuyers and homeowners.
     
  • $5 billion for the Unlocking Possibilities Program, an innovative new grant program that awards flexible and attractive funding to jurisdictions that take steps to reduce needless barriers to producing affordable housing and expand housing choices for people with low or moderate incomes.  
  • $31 billion in small business programs that will increase access to capital for small businesses and provide mentoring, networking, and other forms of technical assistance to socially and economically disadvantaged businesses seeking to access federal contracts and participate in federal research and development investments.