Turner Cooper was a former student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a teacher at KIPP Texas, and a leader in the Black community of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He passed away on December 14, 2022, at the age of 32, leaving behind a legacy of love, service, and excellence. His cause of death, however, remains unknown. No official statement or obituary has been released by his family or friends. This article is a tribute to his life and achievements, based on the information available from various sources.
A Passionate and Brilliant Student
Turner Cooper was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, where he attended Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center. He graduated from Morehouse College in 2012, where he majored in sociology and education. He was a Bonner Scholar, a program that provides scholarships and service opportunities to students who demonstrate financial need and a commitment to social justice. He was also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity for African American men.
After graduating from Morehouse, Turner Cooper joined City Year, an AmeriCorps program that places young adults in high-need schools to provide academic and social support to students. He served as a corps member and a team leader in Dallas and Boston, where he mentored and tutored hundreds of students. He also developed his leadership and organizational skills, and became involved in various community projects and initiatives.
In 2016, Turner Cooper enrolled in the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he pursued a master’s degree in learning and teaching. He was a part-time student, as he continued to work as a first-grade teacher at KIPP Texas, a network of public charter schools that serves low-income and minority students. He was passionate about teaching and learning, and sought to improve his practice and impact through his studies. He graduated from Harvard in 2022, with honors and distinction.
A Dedicated and Inspiring Teacher
Turner Cooper was a teacher at KIPP Texas for six years, where he taught first grade and kindergarten. He was known for his excellence and innovation in the classroom, where he created a positive and engaging learning environment for his students. He used various strategies and methods to meet the diverse needs and interests of his students, such as music, art, technology, and yoga. He also incorporated social and emotional learning, and cultural and historical awareness, into his curriculum. He was a role model and a mentor for his students, who loved and respected him.
Turner Cooper was also a leader and a collaborator among his colleagues, where he shared his knowledge and experience with other teachers. He was a founding member of the KIPP Texas Black Educators Collective, a group that supports and empowers Black educators within the organization. He also participated in several professional development and training programs, such as the KIPP School Leadership Program, the Relay Graduate School of Education, and the Teach For America Alumni Leadership Development Program. He was always eager to learn and grow as an educator, and to contribute to the improvement of the education system.
A Loving and Active Community Member
Turner Cooper was a beloved and respected member of the Black community of Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he moved in 2018. He was involved in various organizations and movements that aimed to uplift and empower Black people, especially in the context of the historical and ongoing oppression and violence they faced. He was a member of the Black Lives Matter chapter of Tulsa, where he participated in protests and rallies against police brutality and racial injustice. He was also a member of the Black Youth Project 100, a national organization of young Black activists and organizers who work for the liberation of all Black people.
Turner Cooper was also a supporter and a contributor to the Fire in Little Africa project, a musical and artistic initiative that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in American history. He helped organize and host events and workshops that celebrated and showcased the talent and creativity of Black artists in Tulsa. He also collaborated with some of the artists, such as Steph Simon and Dr. View, who were his close friends.
Turner Cooper was also a spiritual and wellness enthusiast, who practiced yoga and meditation regularly. He was a certified yoga instructor, who taught classes and workshops at various studios and venues in Tulsa. He also led meditation sessions and retreats, where he guided people to find peace and balance in their lives. He was a follower of Buddhism, and a student of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Zen master and peace activist. He was also interested in astrology, numerology, and other forms of spirituality and mysticism.
A Lasting Legacy and Inspiration
Turner Cooper’s cause of death is still a mystery, but his legacy is clear and undeniable. He touched and inspired countless people with his love, service, and excellence. He was a passionate and brilliant student, a dedicated and inspiring teacher, and a loving and active community member. He was a leader, a mentor, a friend, and a brother to many. He was a Morehouse man, an Alpha man, and a Bonner Scholar. He was a yogi, a meditator, and a seeker. He was a teacher, a learner, and a lover of life.
Turner Cooper’s family and friends continue to mourn and honor him, by remembering and celebrating his life and achievements. They also support and comfort each other, through their grief and their joy. They are grateful for the time and the love they shared with him, and they look forward to seeing him again someday. They are proud to be part of his legacy, and they hope to make him proud as well.