graceGrace E. Franklin is a native of Oklahoma City. She is a published poet, playwright, actress and director. She began her love of the arts when she was a child with B.L.A.C. Inc. After graduating from Millwood High School she attended Lincoln University in Jefferson City Missouri were she majored in English. While at Lincoln University she was a founder of the literary magazine Under One Sun. Her activism began with The Nubian Society. It was an organization that focused on educating the community about Black history and encouraging the Black community to be active and informed in politics. After returning to Oklahoma City she began hosting open mic poetry nights and performing across the country. She has been a featured artist in Atlanta, Dallas, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. She released her third book of poetry and CD “Up From Red Clay”. She has worked in music and arts programs at various schools including Edwards Elementary and Douglass High School. Ms. Franklin believes in pushing boundaries and continually learning. She was a member of Afro Carribeno, a performance group that studied and performed Afro-Cuban/Puerto Rican music and dance.
Ms. Franklin is one of the founders and currently serves as Executive Director of OKC Artists for Justice (OA4J). This organization was formed to insure that women of color have an equal opportunity to receive justice and national attention as they struggle with disproportionate rates of violence and sexual assault. She has written about race, gender and equality in various publications. She has been interviewed on TV One’s Roland Martin Now, Democracy Now, Al Jazeera and BBC America. She was a panelist at The Take Root Conference 2016: Red State Perspective on Reproductive Justice and discussed the regional complexities women of color in the south navigate in relation to race, religion and economics. She has discussed community organizing as a panelist for the Women of Color Network, Inc. (WOCN) Economic Policy & Leadership Southern Regional Forum and at the University of Oklahoma, Presidential Dream Course: Bodies that (Don’t) Matter. She has also discussed marginalized communities, police reforms and organizing at Columbia Law School and the African American Women in Law Conference. Ms. Franklin received the 2016 Impact Award from The Women Of Color Expo and The Woman of Action Award for the National Organization of Women (N.O.W). Ms. Franklin is committed to the spiritual, political and physical liberation of women of color through advocacy, community work and policy changes.