Social Justice Lessons in the Heartland: Exploring the Holocaust and Human Rights in Oklahoma’s History

Date: June 6 - 10, 2022
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Photo: John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Tower

Social Justice Lessons in the Heartland: Exploring the Holocaust and Human Rights in Oklahoma’s History is an inquiry-driven, writing-as-pedagogy-based seminar for educators of all levels interested in deepening their understanding of the Holocaust. Oklahoma’s diverse ethnic heritage, rich history, and the horrors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre demonstrate the need to teach social justice and tolerance within our communities. The Holocaust provides a lens to explore the parallels between our local history and the experiences of oppressed people a world away. With testimony from Holocaust Survivors, advice from experienced Holocaust educators, and other guest speakers, as well as field trips, we will think critically about the curriculum and experiences we design for our students to teach social justice and human rights.

Field trips include visiting a local synagogue, the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art, the Greenwood Cultural Center, and the John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park.

Click here to view our flyer!


This seminar is offered at no cost to educators. A valid credit card is required for a good faith deposit of $100. Your credit card will only be charged if you cancel less than 2 weeks before the seminar begins or withdraw without notice.

Please contact our Satellite Seminar coordinator, Wendy Zagray Warren, at for more information.






This program is funded in part by a grant from Oklahoma Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of Oklahoma Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities. 



  • Dr. Shanedra Nowell

    Dr. Shanedra Nowell is an Associate Professor of Secondary Social Studies Education at Oklahoma State University. She taught middle and high school social studies and journalism before moving into higher education. As part of her work at Oklahoma State, she serves as program coordinator for Secondary Education and as co-director of the Oklahoma State University Writing Project. Her publications include “Holocaust Education as a Path to Prepare Preservice Social Studies Teachers to be Social Justice Educators” in the Journal of Social Studies Research and “The 1921 Tulsa Race Riot and its Legacy: Experiencing Place as Text” for the Yale National Initiative. Shanedra attended the 2018 TOLI Summer Seminar in New York City and also serves on the Holocaust Education Council for the Tulsa Jewish Federation.

  • Dr. Sherry Been

    Dr. Sherry Been is an Associate Professor of Elementary Education at Northeastern State University.  She has taught public school, university courses, and professional development courses over the past 20 years.  Her public school teaching experience was primarily in Early Childhood Education as a teacher of Pre-K and Kindergarten students.  Her research interests include early literacy, children’s literature, elementary teaching, teacher professional identity, Holocaust education, and teacher advocacy. Sherry attended the 2018 TOLI Summer Seminar in New York City and the 2008 Oklahoma State University Writing Project Summer Institute.


For more information about The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights (TOLI), please contact

TOLI is located at 58 East 79th Street in Manhattan. (get directions)