Tulsa: The Fire and the Forgotten
TCA Panelist Bios
DeNeen L. Brown
Journalist, producer and reporter
DeNeen L. Brown is an award-winning staff writer at The Washington Post. Brown has covered night police, education, courts, politics and culture. She has written about the Black middle class, poverty, the homeless, arts and gentrification. As a foreign correspondent, Brown traveled throughout the Arctic to write about climate change and indigenous populations. In Tulsa: The Fire and the Forgotten, Brown interviews Tulsa natives and descendants of Greenwood residents and reports on the city’s decision to look for the mass graves from the 1921 massacre, probing the experience of the descendants and their families and how it has affected their lives in today’s America.
In 2007, Brown won first place in the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) magazine investigative category for a story in The Post magazine called “To Catch a Killer,” unraveling a woman’s quest to find her sons’ killers. In 2006, Brown’s story entitled “Mr. Wonderful” won first place and the Best-in-the-Show Award for daily writing from the Virginia Press Association. The story also won first place in the 2006 Excellence-In-Feature-Writing Contest for Narrative Features from the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors.
Brown won the 1999 award for non-deadline writing by the American Society of Newspaper Editors. She received the award for five narratives, including a profile of a school superintendent and a narrative called “The Accused,” about two young boys wrongly accused of murder in Chicago. That narrative also won the 1999 Salute to Excellence first-place feature award from NABJ. She has won the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association awards for education reporting, public service and team series, and received a 2005 NABJ Salute to Excellence third-place award for “Tight Corner,” a feature using dialogue to capture life in a D.C. corner store.
Brown is an associate professor in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland and was a Washington Post Media Fellow at Duke University.
Rep. Regina Goodwin
Oklahoma State Representative – Tulsa House District 73 and descendent interviewed in film
Rep. Regina Goodwin, a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, grew up on historic Greenwood Ave. After graduating from Booker T. Washington High School in 1980, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Kansas and completed master’s coursework at Columbia College in Chicago. Goodwin, a faithful member of North Peoria Church of Christ, grew up in a loving and community-oriented family. Her grandparents, Jeanne and Ed Goodwin, Sr., and parents, Alquita and Ed Goodwin, Jr., instilled the philosophy that “Service is the rent we pay for our room and board on Earth.”
In 2015, Goodwin was elected to serve as Oklahoma State Representative – Tulsa House District 73. Guided by “The Power of We,” she fights to improve public education, economic development, housing and health care. Community policing and criminal justice reform are also critical areas of concern. Goodwin was the principal House author of bills now signed into law. H.B. 1357, the Caregiver Support Act, broadens resources and respite vouchers for caregivers. She helped secure nearly $1 million in respite funding. H.B. 3393, the Anti-Shackling Law, bans the shackling of pregnant incarcerated women during labor and delivery. Additionally, it allows a family member, friend, clergy or doula to be present during childbirth. H.B. 2253 clarifies felon voting rights. Goodwin’s legislative efforts helped lead to the development of a Black Wall Street Commemorative License Plate with proceeds used to fund the Tulsa Juneteenth Festival. She called for a HUD investigation resulting in improved housing for senior citizens.
Goodwin currently serves as Assistant Minority Floor Leader and the Chair of the Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus. Her genuine service to the community springs from deep roots in Tulsa. She is the grateful recipient of numerous community service honors, including The Guardian Award, presented by the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women; AARP’s State and National Caregiver Awards; Women of Color Expo’s Woman of the Year Award; and YWCA Tulsa’s 100 Women of Moxie Award.
Greg Robinson II
Activist and descendant interviewed in the film
The son of an activist and an accountant, Greg Robinson II attacks injustice with passion and precision. Like his late father, Greg Robinson, Sr., Robinson is unafraid to speak up for the oppressed and underserved. However, it is his mother, Debra Kawee Goff Robinson, whose strength and selflessness, despite her physical limitations, who inspires his work the most.
A proud Tulsa, Oklahoma, native, Robinson is a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School, where relationships with teachers and mentors like Dr. Anthony Marshall pushed him to cultivate his capacity to create change. At Booker T., he assisted in founding The Men Of Power Organization, a student-led, male enrichment program that today operates across Tulsa Public Schools.
In 2013, Robinson earned a Bachelor of Science in history from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). While at UAPB, under the tutelage of Director of Student Involvement Michael Washington, he worked to increase access to cultural and intellectual enrichment opportunities through leadership in the Student Government Association and the Gamma Sigma Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. With Washington as a mentor, Robinson and a group of like-minded friends founded the Black Male Achievers (BMA). He served as the organization’s first president from 2009 to 2010, during which BMA was honored as the Campus Organization of the Year.
Robinson’s time at UAPB was interrupted when he was hired as an organizer for President Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential re-election campaign. After cutting his teeth in High Point, North Carolina, working for Obama 2012, he sharpened his organizing and community-building skills as an organizer across the country at local, state and national levels. Most recently, Robinson spent the 2016 election cycle managing hundreds of staff and leading campaigns in Davenport, Iowa; Montgomery, Alabama; St. Louis; Michigan; Oklahoma; and Florida during Hillary Clinton’s historic presidential bid.
Following the killing of Terence Crutcher, Robinson could no longer justify fighting injustice across the country while his hometown struggled to rid itself of the problematic mindsets that continue to create generational trauma and distrust among Tulsans. Upon his return home in 2016, he joined the Met Cares Foundation (Met Cares, MCF) as a founding staff member, serving as Director of Family and Community Ownership. In 2017, he worked alongside Founding Principal Kojo Asamoa-Caesar to open Met Cares’ first school, Greenwood Leadership Academy (GLA), a neighborhood elementary school in partnership with Tulsa Public Schools.
Robinson crafted the Met Cares civic engagement approach by building and overseeing a nearly $1 million grassroots organizing strategy from the ground up. Out of this effort, he launched the Parent & Community Action Team (PCAT) and Resilience University to train other dedicated Tulsans on how to interpret data, hold community listening sessions, research solutions and interact with public officials to address critical issues facing Tulsa. In addition to his work with MCF, Robinson is a committed volunteer and mentor at Tulsa McLain High School and currently serves as lead organizer for Demanding a Just Tulsa. He also serves as a board member for several organizations in Tulsa, including A Way Home For Tulsa, The Historic Greenwood District Main Street Program, The Terence Crutcher Foundation, The Greater Tulsa African American Affairs Commission, The 1921 Race Massacre Mass Graves Commission and Black Wall Street Chamber of Commerce.
Producer; interviewer; human rights investigator; founder, Human Rights Center, U.C. Berkeley School of Law
Eric Stover is the Faculty Director of the Human Rights Center and Adjunct Professor of Law and Public Health, University of California at Berkeley. Stover has built the Human Rights Center into a premier interdisciplinary research and policy center that is highly regarded nationally and internationally. He is a pioneer in utilizing empirical research methods to address emerging issues in human rights and international humanitarian law.
Before coming to Berkeley in 1996, Stover served as the Executive Director of Physicians for Human Rights and the Director of the Science and Human Rights Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has served on several forensic missions to investigate mass graves as an “Expert on Mission” to the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. In the early 1990s, Stover conducted the first research on the social and medical consequences of land mines in Cambodia and other post-war countries. His research helped launch the International Campaign to Ban Land Mines, which received the Nobel Prize in 1997. He has published six books, including The Witnesses: War Crimes and the Promises of Justice in The Hague and The Breaking of Bodies and Minds: Torture, Psychiatric Abuse, and the Health Professions. He is a member of the editorial boards of the International Journal of Transitional Justice and Human Rights Quarterly and a board member of the Crimes of War Project.
Producer and director
Jonathan Silvers has reported on conflict, human rights and international justice for three decades. At the helm of Saybrook Productions, he has reported from over 40 countries, producing Emmy Award-winning investigative reports and documentaries for PBS, BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC and other major broadcast news organizations. His reportage and photojournalism have appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The New Republic, The Independent, The New Statesman and The Times of London Sunday Magazine.
Lesley Norman is an experienced production executive who has worked for over 30 years in production, editorial, outreach, engagement, and grant and fundraising management. She is Executive Producer, National Programming, WNET. Her most recent executive producer credits for WNET include Boss: The Black Experience in Business, GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II and God Knows Where I Am.
Prior to her work at WNET, she served as the Senior Producer for the Peabody Award-winning PBS series 180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School. She was Executive Director of Filmmakers Collaborative, and Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of JumpStart Productions. While at JumpStart, she was the Executive in Charge of the award-winning PBS series NOW.
Norman also served as Vice President and Production Executive of David Grubin Productions and worked on award-winning productions such as The Secret Life of the Brain, Napoleon and Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided. She has worked at WGBH, Blackside Productions and as an independent producer.
Norman has received numerous honors for creative achievement, including three Emmy Awards for her work on NOW and the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Overseas Press Club for her senior producing role on the film Child Brides, Stolen Lives.