Tulsa's Young Professionals Discuss Race, Politics

They gathered on this night of debate to take part in a discussion titled "decoding the Language of Race in Politics."

"I think the topic of race has become more of a discussion since we have an African American in the White House," said Erin Guimaraes.

And that discussion has particular relevance in the panhandle state given the results of a recent survey.

"And they state that 65% of Oklahomans feel that there's still discrimination within Oklahoma," she said.

A feeling which can easily travel across state lines.

"What message are we sending to companies looking to move to Oklahoma?" asked Shane Fernandez.

Shane Fernandez, making the connection between Oklahoma's willingness to accept diversity and the economy.

"If we have a company that's wanting to move here and they have a diverse workforce, yet, we are sending messages politically that are saying you know what, race is not important to us and neither is diversity and inclusion, we've just sunk our ship," he said.

How to keep from following the fate of the titanic?

"To share, to listen, to understand," said Sam House, encouraged by the groups discussion.

"If we can grow together I think that a lot of the problems we face right now, I think that a lot of the problems we face right now, won't be problems that we have to encounter down into the future," he said.