Together: Looking Back, Moving Forward

November 2, 1920: Election day in Ocoee, Florida.

Two African American men tried unsuccessfully to vote. One was lynched, the other escaped. The town was burned by a white mob. Over the next three days, from six to over thirty lost their lives. This story will be told.

Skin on the Rope

By: Valada Flewellyn
January 28, 2020

We all have skin on the rope
Whether a neck on the rope
Or a hand on the rope
We all have skin on the rope
The pain of that connection
Grips us, entangles us
Compels us to examine
Our history, then construct
Tomorrow to manifest the
Wounds that need
More than a band-aid
Wounds that warrant more
Than a cursory examination
We must dissect the
Fibers of our history
Inspect our suspect
Moral Consciousness
Which allows sin to fester
As we turn our heads
Away from the atrocities
That grab our children
Drowning them in the muck
Of our making
Leaving them unprepared
Unprotected but infected
Generation after generation
From our refusal to acknowledge
How we have Failed
Our children…All

We ALL have skin on the rope.

Echoes of the Enslaved

by Valada Flewellyn, Poet/Author/Storyteller


Interview with Bill Cowles, Supervisor of Elections
ATJ Member Charley Williams recently interviewed Orange County Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles about...
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Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer delivers a bag of soil to EJI
Buddy Dyer travels to Montgomery, Alabama, to show Orlando’s support for EJI’s work. The bag of soil...
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ATJ members travel to Montgomery for EJI museum openings
At least 15 ATJ members attended the openings of EJI’s National Museum for Peace and Justice and the...
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Our Work, In Partnership with Equal Justice Initiative

1920 Ocoee Massacre


Commemorative Soil Collections

Historical Markers

Lynching of Arthur Henry

July Perry


Educational Forums

Top Accomplishments

Fall 2015
ATJ beginning
Developed a storyline for the 1920 Ocoee Massacre

In Fall 2015, a diverse group of Central Florida community members organized under the name Truth and Justice Project (TJP) to bring the 1920 Ocoee Voting Day Massacre to the attention of the community. In the summer of 2019, the group reorganized under the name Alliance for Truth and Justice (ATJ).

Kristin Congdon contacts EJI

After forming a group of six friends, Kristin Congdon contacts EJI to explore placing the first marker in Orange County, Florida.

Requested an exhibition on the Ocoee Massacre

Enlisted the support of 47 community members to request an exhibition on the Ocoee Massacre at the Orange County Regional History Center (OCRHC)

Coordinated EJI scholarships

Coordinated EJI scholarships in the amount of $5,000 for Boone, Evans, Jones, and Ocoee high schools

Collected soil at lynching sites

Collected soil at lynching sites in September, October, and November 2018.

Educate the public on the Ocoee Massacre and its continuing history

Partnered with Valencia State College’s Peace and Justice Institute in eight community forums (funded by the Florida Humanities Council) to educate the public on the Ocoee Massacre and its continuing history

July 11, 2018
Discuss future directions to further race relations in our region
Partnered with Valencia State College’s Peace and Justice Institute in a July 11, 2018 culminating event to discuss future directions to further race relations in our region, eventually engaging over 700 people in our 2018 series
June 19, 2019
July Perry historical marker

EJI Marker Honoring July Perry unveiled in Heritage Square, Downtown Orlando

November 8, 2020
City of Ocoee placed an EJI historical marker in their downtown

City of Ocoee placed an EJI marker in their  in November 2020 marking the 100th year anniversary of the Ocoee Massacre.

November 6, 2020
Sub Label
City of Ocoee: 100 Year Remembrance

The commemoration, “A Day of Remembrance, 100 years after the Ocoee Massacre,”  ended with a formal letter of apology presented to descendants of the massacre and a candlelight procession to the unveiling of a memorial marker at Oakland and Lakeshore Drive.

Get Involved

Join ATJ

If you are interested in joining ATJ, please send us an email. We encourage everyone on our team to be an active member.

Getting Started

Coming soon!

A blueprint to provide guidance for folks in other towns who want to do similar work as ATJ, but aren’t sure where to begin.

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