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$1 million donation to benefit the three known, living survivors of the massacre

Business for Good’s philanthropy scope knows no bounds, with its latest efforts focused on the Tulsa Race Massacre’s survivors. The massacre, which occurred in 1921, targeted the affluent African American community known as the Greenwood District. The Tulsa Historical Society states the massacre was one of the most significant events in Tulsa’s history. “Twenty-four hours after the violence erupted, it ceased. In its wake, 35 city blocks lay in charred ruins, more than 800 people were treated for injuries and contemporary reports of deaths began at 36. Historians now believe as many as 300 people may have died.” For decades, survivors have been involved in litigation seeking reparations. CNN has been covering this story (click here for a recent news article.)

On Wednesday, May 18, Business for Good’s Ed and Lisa Mitzen and the team will travel to Tulsa Oklahoma for a private meet and greet with the three known, remaining survivors: 101-year-old Hughes Van Ellis (101 years old), Viola Fletcher (107 years old) and Lessie Benningfield Randle (107 years old.) At 1:00 p.m. BFG will present a $1 million check to the survivors; Oklahoma State Legislator Regina Goodwin has been assisting BFG in coordinating the visit.

“One of Business for Good’s philanthropic principles is to combat social injustice,” said BFG co-founder Ed Mitzen. “This donation from BFG acknowledges the Tulsa Race Massacre survivors’ plight and will assist with the financial burdens of the survivors’ relatives. I am very proud to be traveling to Tulsa to deliver this donation in-person.”

“This is a moment that means a lot to BFG,” added co-founder Lisa Mitzen. “Impact giving is part of our mission. This donation has the means to be largely impactful for the survivors and their families for a long time to come. We are grateful to have this opportunity.”

Media details
• CNN will be in Tulsa for the check presentation this Wednesday.
• Albany media is welcome to contact affiliates in Tulsa if any plan to cover the event.
• A press release from BFG will be sent out following the check presentation accompanied by photos.

Wednesday, May 18:
• 12:25 p.m. Greenwood Cultural Center: Ed & Lisa Mitzen and the Business for Good staff attends a private meet and greet with survivors
• 1:00 – 1:45 p.m. Press Conference/Check Presentation by Business for Good (this will include a 15 min. Q&A)
• CNN will provide additional coverage, featuring the Business for Good team interviews, between 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

About Business for Good™

With values rooted in equity, access, opportunity, and prosperity, Business for Good has advanced the model of traditional venture philanthropy to Do Good and Give Back to communities in the Greater Capital Region of Albany. Formed in 2020, BFG seeks to give back to move forward and is rooted in the core principle of “for good, not gain.” Its efforts were recognized on a national level with a 2022 Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Honorable Mention, which recognizes pioneering teams that are playing an important role in the betterment of the world through intentional philanthropy. Comprised of a mission-focused team, Business for Good™ believes no challenge is insurmountable through hard and thoughtful work. With a goal to provide businesses and organizations with sustained support, BFG invests in people for the long term and in every way. Business for Good: building better businesses, stronger communities, and a more equitable world. To learn more, visit www.bfg.org
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