In 2014, a group of more than 300 African American leaders gathered at the Metropolitan Baptist Church (the MET) in Tulsa for two separate “Education Townhall” meetings to discuss the state of public education in the city and in particular the academic achievement levels of African American students. During the meetings, two things became apparent: 1) African American children in Tulsa lag behind their peers academically with too many stuck in failing schools with little chance of changing their circumstance and 2) there is a real desire from African American leaders to change this trajectory through a community-based effort.
With this vision in mind, the group sprung into action and created the Tulsa C.A.R.E (Creating Action to Reform Education) Alliance. Approximately fifteen African American leaders were chosen to serve on the steering committee of the organization and advance the educational priorities that grew out of the larger town hall meetings. The Alliance was made up of some of the most prominent African American leaders in Tulsa, an impressive group of individuals from a broad range of backgrounds and professions, committed to education reform and bringing significant resources, networks, and expertise to the work.
The group came to agreement that it was absolutely possible to change the educational circumstances for North Tulsa’s African American students. By focusing on one feeder system in North Tulsa, the outcomes of 4,800 Black students currently attending failing schools could be fundamentally different. The group decided to act, and the result is the Met Cares Foundation – a secular not-for-profit organization determined to rebuild North Tulsa into a thriving community and reclaim its stature of Black excellence.
North Tulsa will be a vibrant community where children are thriving, residents are empowered to drive positive change, and Black excellence is evident in every arena.
Our vision is expansive and ultimately relies on creating a self-sustaining culture of empowerment – an engine of change that seeds and nurtures leaders. Empowering communities to fuel their own improvement in turn requires a holistic approach. That approach is reflected in a theory of change incorporating through three interacting areas of focus:
Great schools, deep community engagement/ownership, and economic development.