June 18, 2024

Community Partner Profile: Tulsa Native Dr. Lana Turner-Addison on Shaping North Tulsa’s Legacy

Dr. Lana Turner-Addison is a driving force behind the development and legacy of North Tulsa. A native Tulsan, she is a founding member of the North Tulsa Economic Development Initiative, currently serves as the Director of Pine Premier Child Care, and is an active member of the Kirkpatrick Heights-Greenwood Master Plan Advisory Group. Her impressive career also includes roles as the Human Rights Director for the City of Tulsa and a Tulsa Public Schools Board Member. Discover more about Dr. Turner-Addison’s unwavering commitment to the North Tulsa community in this month’s community partner spotlight. 

You’ve been working to build wealth and increase opportunities for North Tulsans for a long time. How does the Kirkpatrick Heights-Greenwood Master Plan fit into that effort? 

The Kirkpatrick Heights-Greenwood Master Plan is essential to our holistic efforts to advance economic growth, social equity, and community well-being in North Tulsa. Through thoughtful collaboration in implementing this plan, we aim to build a more prosperous and inclusive future for the Black community in Tulsa, honoring the heritage of the Greenwood district and paving the way to wealth for descendants of the families impacted by the Tulsa Race Massacre. Additionally, we are committed to identifying and implementing innovative strategies to promote intergenerational prosperity for Black Tulsans, thereby benefiting the broader Tulsa community as a whole.

There are 8 other members on the Kirkpatrick Heights-Greenwood Master Plan Advisory Committee. You’ve been working alongside them for a while now, first as a working group. What have you learned about your fellow committee members?

What I have learned about the members of the KHGMP working group and advisory committee is that they are a dedicated and talented group of individuals who bring a diverse range of skills and perspectives to the table. Their commitment to our shared goals and their expertise have significantly enhanced our collective efforts, making our collaboration productive and fulfilling. This fresh perspective for the KHGMP area in North Tulsa is centered on the community and ensures that the social and economic benefits of redevelopment are experienced by Black Tulsans.

Next up for the Advisory Committee is assisting in the facilitation and creation of the Community Development Corporation that will steward the 56 acres of land in the KHGMP area. What is your vision for that land? 

My vision for the 56 acres of land in the KHGMP area is to create a sustainable, inclusive, and vibrant community that prioritizes community involvement, cultural preservation, homeownership, entrepreneurship, economic empowerment, and resilience. By working in collaboration with the CDC and the local community, I am optimistic that we can develop a community that promotes a sense of pride among residents and serves as a model for sustainable community development. This envisioned community will offer Black residents authentic access to opportunities, instill a sense of pride, and provide a thriving environment where people can live, work, and play in harmony.

You’re the president of the North Tulsa Economic Development Initiative. In practical terms, what does NTEDI do to support residents of North Tulsa?  

The North Tulsa Economic Development Initiative (NTEDi) is devoted to aiding the residents of North Tulsa through the provision of practical assistance, resources, advocacy, and pathways for economic advancement, empowerment, and community progress. Our efforts are underpinned by a dedication to equity, inclusivity, and collaborative engagement, aimed at fostering a more prosperous and dynamic North Tulsa for all its inhabitants. NTEDi offers a platform for individuals to convene, deliberate, and enhance their understanding of how to tackle and surmount both real and perceived barriers. NTEDi is dedicated to enhancing the well-being and quality of life for individuals in economically disadvantaged communities in North Tulsa.

What do you like best about life in North Tulsa? 

I am a native Tulsan and a resident of North Tulsa. I enjoy connecting with the people and engaging with the community in North Tulsa through various avenues of connection.

Life in North Tulsa fills me with pride and inspiration, embodying a legacy that continues to shape a promising future for all its residents. North Tulsa boasts a rich history intricately intertwined with the African American heritage in Oklahoma. The legacy of the renowned Greenwood District, famously known as “Black Wall Street,” and the community’s unwavering resilience and spirit in overcoming historical adversities, serve as powerful testaments to the strength and tenacity of its residents. I feel incredibly fortunate to be a part of the vibrant life in North Tulsa.

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