Third Annual River Bowl Classic

Hosted by the Oklahoma City Black Alumni Coalition

Saturday, August 3, 2024 | 6:00p to 9:00p
Devon Boathouse

Display your school pride and connect with old friends at the Third Annual River Bowl Classic.  The River Bowl was founded by Shawntay Alexander to capture the spirit of the Soul Bowl- the classic football rivalry between Millwood and Douglass.  We celebrate Oklahoma City’s Black culture, as they vie for bragging rights on the water!


  • Alumni Rowing Races
  • Alumni Dragon Boat Races
  • Youth Kayaking
  • Food Trucks & Music


Teams practice for four months prior to the summer race.  For more information or to join a team, please contact OBAC. Crews have included alumni from OKC metro schools including.

  • Douglass
  • Dunjee
  • John Marshall
  • Millwood
  • Northeast Academy (NEA – now Classen School of Advanced Studies at Northeast Academy)
  • NW Classen
  • Southeast
  • Star Spencer

Dragon Boating

The River Bowl is recruiting alumni to participate in dragon boat races – no experience necessary! Dragon boating is an accessible and easy-to-learn paddlesport.  Registration info coming soon!

Youth Kayaking

We welcome children and grandchildren of alumni and all current students to participate in kayaking.


The River Bowl is a fun, Reunion-style community event that lifts up Black alumni and current students from several Oklahoma City schools. Rowing, dragon boating and kayaking offer effective, low-impact workouts.  The River Bowl Rowing League is providing access to watersports and creating a more diverse and inclusive rowing community.

According to USRowing the national governing body, only 13% of rowers nationally are people of color and only 2% identify as being Black. The Oklahoma City Black Alumni Coalition and the RIVERSPORT Foundation are addressing this inequity and establishing Oklahoma City as the leader in removing barriers and creating opportunities for participation. We are working together to remove the financial and historical obstacles surrounding watersports and create the largest Black rowing race in the country. Our hope is that the River Bowl will be an inspiration to other communities and be a model for innovative solutions to activating urban blue spaces.

“When I was recruiting for rowers, most said, ‘I don’t know how to swim.’ … So, it was really something that I’ve grown to appreciate from the very beginning, just understanding that people are taking chances. They’re believing in this idea that we can do something together, and we won’t leave each other behind.”

Shawntay Alexander, The Oklahoman