Accomplishments

ATJ quickly became an EJI Community Remembrance Partner. We educated the public about Orange County’s lynching history, collected soil on lynching sites, provided scholarships to youth in underserved high schools, and created EJI markers for lynching victims.

2016 – 2018
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).

2016 – 2018
Developed a bibliography for the 1920 Ocoee Massacre
2017
Enlisted the support of 47 community members

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

2017/18
Partnered with Valencia State College’s Peace and Justice Institute
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
2018
Secured an exhibition on the Ocoee Massacre
2018
Collected soil at lynching sites

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

2018/2019
Featured in four Orlando Sentinel articles

Featured in four 2018 Orlando Sentinel articles by Steve Hudak: Nov 6/Election Day "Ceremony marks sacrifice of Perry, black voter rights" Local and State, Page Bl 

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/orange-county/os-ne-july-perry-lynching-dirt-20181105-story.html

2019
Engaged in five radio shows

Engaged in five radio shows, including one with the Wise Guys and March/April 2019 shows on WMFE with members of the Memphis-based Lynching Sites Project: WMFE-Intersection (March 12, 2019; interviews with John Ashworth and Dr. Margaret Vandiver from Memphis and Joy Dickinson from TJP) and WMFE-Friends (March 26, 2019; interviews with Dr. Timothy Huebner and John Reyer from Memphis and Harry Coverston from TJP)

2019
Coordinated EJI scholarships

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

2019
Secured a commitment from the City of Ocoee

Secured a commitment from the City of Ocoee to place an EJI marker in their downtown with a ceremony in November 2020 marking the 100th year anniversary of the Ocoee Massacre

2019
Confirmed the July Perry marker unveiling date

Confirmed the July Perry marker unveiling date for Friday, June 21, 2019 with the City of Orlando and EJI along with a community-wide Bryan Stevenson address with final approvals in process

2020
Created a series of video clips

Presented the program "Together: Looking Back, Moving Forward" in Ocoee on November 6, 2020 complete with an interfaith service.

2020
Presented "Together: Looking Back, Moving Forward"
Created a series of video clips on the theme, "Together: Looking Back, Moving Forward"

 Alliance for Truth and Justice Orange County, FL 

Accomplishments as of March 2021

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).

  • Developed a storyline for the 1920 Ocoee Massacre
  • Developed a bibliography for the 1920 Ocoee Massacre
  • Established vision and mission statements along with guiding principles for the Task Force
  • Engaged in five radio shows, including one with the Wise Guys and March/April 2019 shows on WMFE with members of the Memphis-based Lynching Sites Project: WMFE –Intersection (March 12, 2019; interviews with John Ashworth and Dr. Margaret Vandiver from Memphis and Joy Dickinson from TJP) and WMFE-Friends (March 26, 2019; interviews with Dr. Timothy Huebner and John Reyer from Memphis and Harry Coverston from TJP)
  • Engaged twenty TJP members in the EJI Montgomery conference and opening of their museums
  • Enlisted the support of 47 community members to request an exhibition on the Ocoee Massacre at the Orange County Regional History Center (OCRHC)
  • Partnered with OCRHC on the exhibition Yesterday This Was Home: The Ocoee Massacre of 1920. It won an award from the American Association for State and Local History in Progress Awards.
  • Raised over $5,000 on a GoFundMe site for TJP work
  • Partnered with the Farmworkers Association of Florida as our fiscal agent
  • Coordinated EJI scholarships in the amount of $5,000 for Boone, Evans, Jones, and Ocoee high schools
  • Collected soil at lynching sites in September, October, and November 2018.
  • Publicized our soil collection with a Willie J. Allen Jr. photograph of our work in EJI’s 2019 calendar
  • 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
  • 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
  • Documented our work with professional photographers and filmmakers
  • Secured a commitment from the City of Ocoee to place an EJI marker in their downtown with a ceremony in November 2020 marking the 100th year anniversary of the Ocoee Massacre
  • Confirmed the July Perry marker unveiling date for Friday, June 21 with the City of Orlando and EJI along with a community-wide Bryan Stevenson address with final approvals in process
  • Engaged in ongoing research about Arthur Henry and Melvin Womack lynchings in Oakland as well as research on Apopka’s Whipping Post
  • Proposed a city-wide collaboration of arts groups that will address lynchings and race relations in 2020 (coordinated by Pam Schwartz of OCRHC)
  • Partnered with Valencia State College’s Peace and Justice Institute on their September 25, 2018 Daryl Davis presentation
  • Participated in panel discussions with the 2018 Global Peace Film Festival
  • Met with Groveland’s City Manager Mike Hein on ways to partner/share information in his quest to memorialize the Groveland Four
  • Met with Executive Director John Ashworth and chief researcher Dr. Margaret Vandiver of The Lynching Sites Project of Memphis (October 21, 2018) that led to a fundraising event, a panel discussion and screening of The Yard, at First Unitarian Church in Orlando on March 7, 2019.
  • Partnered with the League of Women Voters/Orange County for the February 13, 2019 Hot Topics presentation/discussion on the 1920 Ocoee Massacre
  • Explored prototypes for bringing key elements of the Brooklyn Museum’s Legacy of Lynching exhibition to OCRHC in 2020
  • Supported Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer with the transport of soil from our July Perry soil collection for his visit to EJI/Montgomery
  • Collaborated with UCF RICHES program to provide documentation on Ocoee
  • Designed/produced TJP logo, letterhead, and business cards for distribution
  • Designed/produced a print brochure on TJP’s vision, mission, and goals
  • Developing short digital stories with UCF history students
  • Working with RICHES and OCRHC on oral histories of surviving family members of the Ocoee Massacre
  • Presenting partner in the film screening of Icabod Flewellen: Father of the African American Museum on September 22, 2019 in Orlando.
  • Developed a website on the Ocoee Massacre at: ocoeemassacre.com
  • Created a series of video clips on the theme, “Together: Looking Back, Moving Forward” with EYESEEIMAGES
  • Presented the program “Together: Looking Back, Moving Forward” in Ocoee on November 6, 2020 complete with an interfaith service.
  • Made an official request to the Orlando Museum of Art to consider applying for a Mellon Foundation grant (Monuments Program/pool of $250) to underwrite an Ocoee memorial monument to be commissioned by sculpturer Brian Owens. Over 40 community leaders, including Orlando Commissioner Patty Sheehan and former Orange County Mayor Linda Chapin, signed our letter.
  • Began due diligence on the Mizell family history as it would relate to a Witness Stone Project for our community documenting past (and largely unknown) slave ownership history.
  • Welcomed these new community partners: Iota Phi Theta Fraternity (Orlando Chapter), UCF RICHES Program, and the First Unitarian Church of Orlando. (These partnerships are added to our other partnerships: Equal Justice Initiative (EJI): Peace and Justice Institute, Valencia State College (PJI); Hannibal Square Heritage Center, and Bridge the Gap Coalition)
  • Engaged in a radio show to promote the July 21, 2019 July Perry marker ceremony: https://video.wucftv.org/video/bullying-in-the-tsa-the-ocoee- massacre-      and-bike-safety-ybjkh1/
  • Featured in four 2018 Orlando Sentinel articles by Steve Hudak: Nov 6/Election Day “Ceremony marks sacrifice of Perry, black voter rights” Local and State, Page B1      

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/orange/os-ne-july-perry-lynching-dirt-20181105-story.html

Nov 20/”Dawn of a New Day” – (Announcement: Ocoee City Hall Proclamation) – Front Page, A1

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/orange/os-ne-ocoee-massacre-proclamation-20181115-story.html

 Nov 22/ “Ocoee renounces racist past, promises harmony and justice” – Local and State, B1

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/orange/os-ne-ocoee-proclamation-reaction-20181121-story.html

April 9, 2019/”Ocoee attack marker planned”—Front Page, A1

            https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/orange-county/os-ne-lynchings-orange-     county-20190510-arwsbysx7rakzcbududdpkhb6a-story.html

            May 10, 2019/”Groveland Four defendant Samuel Shepherd, four other Central     Florida victims of racial terror commemorated on new monument at national lynching memorial”—Front Page, A1

  • Partnered with Rich Frishman Photography and his Ghosts of Segregation project to document the landscape of central Florida’s history of segregation.
  • Partnered with Avatar and other organizations to fundraise for changing our regions the landscape of our memorials and monuments.

 

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