Oklahoma City (July 20, 2022) – The OKC Black Alumni Coalition, Inc. (OBAC) will launch their inaugural community building project, “The 2022 River Bowl Classic (RBC) of Oklahoma City,” on Saturday, August 6, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at RIVERSPORT OKC.
Brought to our community by OBAC in partnership with RIVERSPORT OKC, this inaugural event is the first of its kind and will feature competitive dragon boat racing and rowing events with alumni and student participants of the six (6) predominately black high schools in Oklahoma City: Frederick Douglass, Dunjee, John Marshall, Millwood, Northeast, and Star Spencer High Schools. The RBC is open to the public. RIVERSPORT OKC provides access to Olympic sport and outdoor recreation to residents and guests of OKC. Those interested in signing up for this historic event may do so while spots last by going to www.okcbac.com.
According to OBAC Executive Director and Co-Founder Shawntay Alexander, the RBC promotes the Coalition’s goal of digging “deeper into the macro-level work of community mobilization, advocacy, and placemaking.” Alexander, a mental health specialist, has practiced social work in the home, school, and community settings for over 11 years. She is a proud Star Spencer Bobcat.
The OKC Black Alumni Coalition (OBAC) started from a university course assignment. In the 2018-2019 academic school year, one of the largest and most urban public-school districts in Oklahoma underwent a swift school consolidation plan in response to an unrelenting decline in enrollment. Recognizing the threat to identity, sense of safety and belonging, and further academic disruption of black youth, five social work graduate students initiated a plan to mobilize alumni of six predominately black schools that spring.
OBAC’s goal was to help form a collective body that could interface with school administrations on a macro level to advocate for black youth in Oklahoma City. Upon completion of her graduate program, Alexander led the charge to continue building the coalition with the support of the other founders and alumni advisors. In the fall of 2021, the OKC Black Alumni Coalition was incorporated as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
OBAC Board Chair Reverend D'Andre Foster stresses that the “River Bowl Classic” is an exciting way to promote OBAC’s mission which is to create a thriving high school alumni network that will embrace, support, and be a conduit for black achievement in Oklahoma City.” Foster is an educator and Academy of Law & Public Safety Coordinator at Frederick A. Douglass High School. This proud Frederick A. Douglass High School graduate passionately believes “that academic achievement is an instrument that can be used to benefit our collective fight for Black liberation.”