Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jan 12, 2024 | Community

The words and deeds of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. changed a nation and inspired a generation—especially in Oklahoma City.

Stirred by the work of Dr. King, Oklahoma City teacher Clara Luper started a series of sit-ins at local restaurants and lunch counters in 1958. This six-year movement was the first of its kind in the United States and resulted in the desegregation of many of Oklahoma City’s eating establishments before the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In 2008, to help tell this story, Julia Clifford began working on the documentary Children of the Civil Rights. For Julia, it was a project she believes would not have been possible without the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. Thanks to a community activity fund, individuals were able to make charitable contributions that helped defray the film’s costs and allowed Julia to complete the documentary. The film was first screened on Feb. 1, 2015; to learn more, visit