Community feedback sought in FATE learning series

Collaborator: Brittany Harlow
Published: 06/07/2022, 9:24 PM
Edited: 06/08/2022, 12:09 AM

(TULSA, Okla.) Life in Oklahoma is hard for a lot of people. More than 600,000 Oklahomans are living in poverty, including more than 1 out of 5 children. 

The state hovers around the highest incarceration rate nationwide, with a female incarceration rate double the rest of the country. An estimated 58 percent of those women are mothers with minor children. 

Requests for substance abuse treatment are also on the rise. The number of Oklahomans seeking treatment per day increased 39 percent in 2019 compared to 2015. And that was pre-pandemic. 

How can people overcome this adversity? 

One way is through entrepreneurship, like She Brews Founder Rhonda Bear. Bear overcame substance abuse and a life of crime, then went on to launch a coffeehouse chain that provides employment to justice involved women.

But she didn't do it alone. 


This June and July, VNN and VNN Affiliate Big If True are holding a learning series called From Adversity To Entrepreneurship (FATE) to explore what is needed on the path of adversity to entrepreneurship, the community benefits of taking that path, and the barriers that stand in the way. 

One event will be held at She Brews in Tulsa on Saturday, June 18 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. 

The other will be held in Okmulgee on Saturday, July 16.

Topics of conversation will include stigmas surrounding drug addiction, myths about entrepreneurship, and job creation for justice-involved men and women. 

Free food and drinks will be available at both events, along with door prizes and resources for substance abuse treatment and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Community members are encouraged to take VNN's FATE surveys online to assist with series learning, whether they plan on attending the in-person events or not. 

Click here to take the General Community Survey. 

Click here to take the Addict/ Entrepreneur Survey. 

Contextual news pieces will be published throughout the series in addition to event learning, as both are necessary to better understand the adversity facing Oklahomans and how to overcome it.

VNN's FATE learning series is made possible thanks to funding from the Oklahoma Media Center in partnership with the Native American Journalists Association.

Series collaborators include She Brews Coffee House, 36 Degrees North, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Mvskoke Loan Fund, and the Muscogee Creek Nation Department of Health.  

Learn more about FATE here.  


Ann Marie Worthley
06/07/2022, 10:50 PM

Great story!