The 1920 Ocoee Massacre and Beyond: Paths to Truth and Reconciliation

Project Partner:
Valencia College
Contract Period:
September 2017 – September 2018
Amount Awarded:
$5,000
Region Served:
Region 4 - East Central Florida

With the assistance of a $5,000 Community Project Grant from the Florida Humanities Council, the Peace and Justice Institute held a series of forums entitled, “1920 Ocoee and Beyond: Paths to Truth and Reconciliation.” Eight events took place between January and May 2018 at community centers, a high school and college campuses in Ocoee, Kissimmee, Orlando, Winter Park, and Sanford, Florida. The forums sought to educate people about the 1920 Ocoee Massacre and through dialogue, panel discussion, and the screening of the award-winning documentary, “Ocoee: Legacy of the Election Day Massacre,” which includes poignant interviews with the descendants of the lynching victim Jules Perry and descendants of the lynching mob.

Community dialogue consisted of conversation about racial injustice, voting rights and economics, facilitated by Peace and Justice Institute director Rachel Allen and Josie Onifade of the Bridge the Gap Coalition. Local humanities scholars, historians and activists served on the panels including Francina Boykin from the Democracy Forum; Dr. Kristin Congdon, University of Central Florida Professor Emerita; Dr. Harry Coverston, Professor of Humanities at Valencia College; Dr. Heather Bryson, Professor of History at Valencia College, Curtis Michaelson of the Democracy Forum, Trent Tomengo, Professor of Humanities at Seminole State College, and Fairolyn Livingston, historian from the Hannibal Square Heritage Center. The events increased knowledge about the local history of racial terror, and invited attendees to consider our individual and collective response to this history moving forward. Many attendees were inspired to learn more and participate in other community activities focused on the work of peace and justice in Central Florida.

Valencia College Logo

Partner Spotlight

Partner: Valencia College (Orlando, FL)

Project Director: Rachel Allen

About the Partner Organization: Founded in 2007, the Valencia College Peace and Justice Institute (PJI) promotes peace and justice for all. Their mission is to make a difference by intentionally engaging in practices and principles that explore, advocate, and honor the dignity of self, others, and the earth.

“Valencia felt strongly supported by the leadership team at the Florida Humanities Council.”

— Project Director

“Valencia felt strongly supported by the leadership team at the Florida Humanities Council.”

— Project Director