Traveling Without Moving: Transatlantic Fellow—Cohort—Creative
By Clarice Abdul-Bey, APJMM co-convenor

I remember it clearly, waking up in a hotel room in Tulsa, OK, feeling unrested. I guess I didn’t connect my spirit feeling tired from listening and being in the midst of all of the generations, who know too well, and others not enough, but eager to stand with their elders in solidarity for truth justice, equity and transformation. The centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 was deemed a day of mourning and I felt all of it. 

As I sat at the hotel desk I began to daydream about our outings into the Greenwood District and how I felt transported every time I entered a space of remembrance. After a few minutes, I checked my email and to my delight and amazement, I was offered a fellowship with Building a Diverse and Inclusive Culture of Remembrance (DAICOR).

Back Story
A few weeks prior to our trip to Tulsa to commemorate the centennial of the 1921 Race Massacre, Dr. Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm sent an email letting our partnering organizations know that this fellowship was extended and we should apply. My first inclination was that I wouldn’t have time to do the essay questions and information required due to my focus on the John Carter memorial marker ceremony in a few weeks and our trip to Tulsa. I was quickly motivated by my colleague Donald Wood, who expressed “Clarice, I think you’d be perfect for it...” After looking over the information in detail, I became excited about the possibility of working with like minded individuals who wanted to transform our public spaces into more diverse, equitable and inclusive spaces of remembrance.  

Fast forward to me sifting through emails that morning at my hotel desk and finding the DAICOR letter of acceptance into the fellowship. I jumped up, danced a little said a word of thanksgiving and shared my joy with Kwami and Lorne, who prior to my announcement looked at me oddly. Tuesday, June 22nd, was our 3rd official (zoom) meeting with cohorts from both Germany and throughout the US. I am thrilled and honored to be among such esteemed individuals, all scholars and leaders in their fields.  
Although, due to the pandemic we are unable to travel to Germany and see these monuments in person and meet with our German cohorts here in the US; there is a possibility for us to do some traveling in 2022. There is much to learn from our historical tragedies in Germany and in the US. The systems of oppression and war are interconnected. The teachings of these systems were shared and executed. The roots of these systems still exist and are seen in our everyday lives and the aesthetics of our communities. I am grateful for a transatlantic program that understands the importance of honoring cultural narratives and spaces of remembrance. I am also grateful for new opportunities to share globally and within my own community .