Dr. Carl Downing and Debbie Hogue-Downing

Debbie Hogue-Downing speaking to the Oklahoma City Council.

Dr. Carl Downing and Debbie Hogue-Downing

Rentiesville / Oklahoma City

Nominated by Wilfredo Santos-Rivera

Dr. Carl Downing died in 2014, following a long career as an educator, community leader, and advocate.

Dr. Carl Downing

Carl was a member of the old Oklahoma Human Rights Commission. He was the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including: the Oklahoma Education Association’s Kate Frank Award for rendering courageous and significant service to advancing teacher welfare rights and professionalism, the NEA Leo Reano Award for leadership and profoundly impacting education for American Indian and Alaskan Native students, and the Making Mathematics Work for Minorities Award from the National Academy of Science.

As a professor at UCO, Carl followed his passion of contributing to education, especially advocating the education of Indian children. Selected by the NEA, Carl represented the United States as a guest of the Japanese teaching union.

A firm believer in charitable and community service, Carl directed the Feed the Hungry Program, a collaborative project with Leland Clegg and NW Christian churches. In addition, he volunteered for the Clegg Mobile Meals Program, was president of the Clegg Men’s Breakfast Program, and served as a Tornado Relief volunteer. Carl also enjoyed his service at the Oklahoma History Center, the Oklahoma Democratic Party, and the Mental Health Association Board.

Debbie Hogue-Downing

Debbie Hogue-Downing is a human rights champion in her own right. 

She is a retired educator who, for many years, was active in the National Education Association (NEA). For example, Debbie served on the NEA Minority Affairs Committee, working for the inclusion of justice for all minorities. She was also active in Women’s Rights issues. She traveled across Oklahoma and the USA  on behalf of NEA and the Oklahoma Education Association as part of the Women’s Leadership Cadre empowering women.

Debbie writes, “I was a very active member of the NEA American Indian / Alaska Native Caucus —  including being chair for several years.  We advocated to change the mascot of the Washington football team and also to encourage book companies to tell the real story about Native Americans.”

She also contributed as a volunteer to the Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday committee (organizers of the annual MLK Day parade and celebration in Oklahoma City).

Presently, Debbie serves as the President of the Federation of Democratic Women. She also serves on the Advisory Council to the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women.

Earlier this year, when the Oklahoma City Council was considering a proposal to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Debbie spoke eloquently in favor of the measure.

On December 10th, the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance will honor human rights heroes from around our great state. A recognition program will take place at the State Capitol. Debbie Hogue-Downing will be among those to be recognized, along with her late husband. More information about the program can be found here: “Celebrate Human Rights.”

See a video of Debbie speaking in favor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, here …

Read Carl Downing’s obituary at: http://legacy.newsok.com/obituaries/oklahoman/obituary.aspx?pid=171039627#sthash.3sVJYh34.dpuf

“It is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.”
–From the Preamble to the 

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