Meet our 2019 PowHer Microgrant and Community Care Spotlight award winners on March 2, 2019

UNA-OKC is excited to introduce you to our 2019 PowHer Microgrant and Community Care Spotlight award winners who will be briefly speaking on their projects during our International Women’s Day celebration on March 2, 2019.

Our adult PowHer Microgrant winner is Camille Landry of Nappy Roots Books. Camille is the owner and operator of Nappy Roots Books, a Black-owned and operated community bookstore on the northeast side of Oklahoma City.

camille landry

Her project is related to The Sankofa Young Leaders Club, a tutoring and academic enrichment program. Sankofa, which means “Look back and remember” in the Woloff language of West Africa, introduces children to African and African American history and culture as the gateway through which they learn traditional academic subjects. They provide remedial and enrichment instruction in reading and language arts, mathematics, logic, research skills, computers, science, history, drumming and other subjects for children in grades 1-12. Younger children join in for story time and drumming. Their instructional model embraces a creative, child-centered approach where learning occurs in peer groups, through play and hands-on work. They also offer walk-in homework help every day the bookstore is open (Tuesday-Saturday).

They have a capacity of 25 students and a team of dedicated volunteers. On the average Saturday we serve about a dozen students. Most children drop in sporadically. Lack of transportation and the uncertainties associated with poverty are major obstacles to children’s regular attendance, both at Sankofa and in their schools. Nappy Roots Books will be granted $250.00 toward their project.

Our youth PowHer Microgrant winner is Jackii Luna. She is a junior at Southmoore High School, is passionate about access to education and strives to become an educator in a state that needs dedicated teachers. She hopes to study Elementary Education at the University of Oklahoma after graduating high school in 2020. Jackii discovered her passion for education while attending U.S. Grant High School her sophomore year. After witnessing the passion and impact her teachers had on students’ lives and futures, Jackii knew she wanted to become an educator. Jackii realized that she wanted to impact the lives of future students, just as her teachers have impacted her life.

Jackii Luna

Her project is related to the ACT Now Club which works to improve ACT scores for south side Oklahoma City Students. The University of Oklahoma’s average ACT score for an incoming freshman is a 23 – 29. However, the average ACT score of a student at US Grant School (USG) is a 15.1. How is college accessible for USG students if they are not scoring high enough on the ACT to be considered a competitive applicant? ACT Now is a club that will help address this problem. ACT Now is an academic club designed to help southside Oklahoma City high school students prepare for the ACT test. Being a future first-generation college student, she hopes to uplift her community and push her peers to pursue a higher education, just like she is. By helping them study for the ACT, she believes she can assist students, just like her, accomplish their goals and dreams of going to college. Coming from a Latinx household, she know how it feels to be told and conditioned to be content with being a housewife and mother, simply because she is a woman. She wants to prove that regardless of  gender, social economic background, and race, you can succeed. With dedication, with motivation, and with education.  She will be granted $250.00 toward her project.

Our Community Care Spotlight Award goes to Emma Butler and Christy Horn of The Hair Care Initiative, a diversity conscious resource for foster and adopted youth and their caregivers. Our mission is to connect Oklahoma’s foster and adopted youth and their caregivers with hairstylists specializing in ethnic hair. We aim to provide workshops, hair care kits, and a network of stylists in their area to empower both the child and the caregivers when approaching the child’s hair and skin needs. By addressing a need that many have overlooked, we are promoting understanding and confidence. A neat by product of The Hair Initiative is giving local businesses owned by people of color more clientele and exposure! At The Hair Initiative we believe every child deserves the dignity to feel confident and we want to ensure their caregivers have the support to make that happen. The Hair initiative will be granted $150.00 from UNA-OKC toward their project. Learn more about their work at, on Facebook, and on Instagram.

Meet Emma Butler.

Emma Butler

She is a native of central Oklahoma, is Founder and Executive Director of The Hair Initiative. She is also a legal assistant at Dunlap Codding where she assists Intellectual Property Attorneys in the prosecution of patents, trademarks, and copyrights. She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University where she earned a degree in Political Science and was an active member of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Emma is a Court Appointed Special Advocate, Post Adjudication Review Board Member, Boys & Girls Club of Oklahoma County Jr. Committee Member, a YWCA Allies Committee Member, and a member of Leadership Oklahoma City’s LOYAL Class XIV. She is past member and Secretary for The Central Oklahoma Association of Legal Assistants. With a passion for the community, she has also volunteered for The City Rescue Mission, Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Sister B.J.’s Pantry, and Gateway Independent Living. An avid documentary-watcher and true crime buff, Emma enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cooking, volunteering, trying out new restaurants, and cheering on the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Meet Christy Horn.

Christy Horn

She is Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Hair Initiative who works with Oklahoma foster children and their caregivers to connect them with resources to empower both the child and caregiver towards their specific hair needs. Christy is an alumna from the University of Central Oklahoma where she earned a degree in Sociology. After being with the Department of Human Services Child Welfare division for over five years, Christy has observed the dire need to further educate and support individuals about the beauty/hygiene necessity for our foster children. Christy has worked vigorously on spreading the word and breaking the silence to help improve the quality of life for our children in care. Christy has a vast knowledge of the child welfare system and effects of childhood trauma. She has served on the Post Adjudicatory Board for two years where she met Emma. Christy is a Tulsa native who enjoys spending time with her two dogs and husband of almost three years.

Join us March 2, 2019!


Come and meet these incredible changemakers and learn more about them at UNA-OKC and Raindrop Turkish House International Women’s Day program on Saturday, March 2, 2019 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here for $10.00. Also learn more about our panelist here.

Silent auction items, snacks, and refreshments will be available.

If a scholarship is needed please email us at If you’re able to donate, please do, as we will use it to cover individuals who want to attend but require financial assistance. UNA OKC is dedicated to accessibility for all and no one will be turned away.

People can also pay cash/card at the door the day of the event.

We hope to see you there!



Join us for our 2019 International Women’s Day Program on March 2, 2019


Women’s Day is celebrated globally on March 8th every year in honor of their incredible contributions to global society. This day also pays tribute to the influencing role of women around the world to secure women’s rights and build more equitable societies. This day also commemorates the voices of many women that go unheard and who continue to fight for securing their rights and realizing their full potential.

The theme for International Women’s Day 2019, which will take place on 8 March, is “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”. UNA-OKC will be hosting a panel event on Saturday, March 2, 2019 from 2:00-4:00 pm in partnership with Raindrop Turkish House Oklahoma City.

This year’s theme will focus on innovative ways in which we can advance gender equality and the empowerment of women, particularly in the areas of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure.

We are so excited this event. Here is who we have speaking on our panel this year.

Moderator: Maurianna Adams, M.P.A., Outreach Director, Take Control Initiative

Maurianna Adams Photo

Maurianna Adams, MPA //Education and Outreach Director, Take Control Initiative\\
With many constructs in the world, let’s be constructors of community by developing self-advocacy, promoting multicultural connectedness and reforming institutional service.

Maurianna Adams bridges relationships between organization, community and systems, as Take Control Initiative’s (TCI) Education and Outreach Director. Prior to joining TCI, Maurianna studied business management, sociology and political science at the University of Oklahoma and received a masters in public administration. With over 9 years of public service, she has worked with grandparents raising grandchildren; justice-involved parents; former foster care youth; individuals experiencing mental health challenges and homelessness; and public health officials.

Raised in Oklahoma, she has witnessed the spirit of entrepreneurship revitalize the State, however economic and social disparities continue to exist. This led her to co-create and currently serve as President of Community Alliance of Oklahoma. Adams has been featured News 9 and has articles published in The Journal Record, The Oklahoman and with various news outlets.

Panelist 1: Representative Emily Virgin, Democratic House Minority Leader, will be speaking on social protection systems and women’s political representation.

Representative Emily Virign Photo

Emily was born and raised in Norman, Oklahoma and attended the University of Oklahoma. While in college, Emily worked as an equipment manager for the OU football team. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Oklahoma in 2009 with a degree in political science and a minor in criminology. Emily was also selected as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She began law school at OU in the Fall of 2009 and was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in November of 2010. She graduated with distinction from OU Law in 2013 and was also a member of the Oklahoma Law Review. In the Oklahoma Legislature, she is the House Minority Leader. She serves on the Judiciary, Higher Education, Public Safety, and Appropriations & Budget committees in the House of Representatives. She is also a board member of several non-profit organizations in Norman, including the Thunderbird Clubhouse, Norman Arts Council, and Bridges.

Panelist 2: Vanessa Morrison, BlackSpace Oklahoma, will be speaking on community development and sustainable infrastructure.

VLM Headshot 2019

Vanessa Morrison is a social planner and crisis response professional who is dedicated to empowering and supporting communities. After receiving her master’s degree in Regional City Planning from the University of Oklahoma’s College of Architecture, Vanessa’s professional and academic opportunities have allowed her to design and lead approaches to address injustices in communities, coordinate engagement opportunities for marginalized groups, speak on several media platforms including National Public Radio’s StoryCorps initiative, domestically and internationally consult planning related projects, collaborate on planning initiatives, and activate both spatial and social environments. She is also experienced in developing and implementing engagement strategies that reach into multi-faceted communities, including: trauma exposed youth, survivors of violence, business spaces, advocacy groups, state and local governments, and religious communities. Her robust education and experience in community engagement, planning, and crisis management give her unique and valuable insight to initiate and sustain change. She was also last year’s Adult PowHer Microgrant Winner for 2018.

Panelist 3: Kelli McNeal, Fetal and Infant Mortality Review, Maternal and Child Health Outreach Project Supervisor, will be speaking about access to public services.

km photo


Kelli McNeal is the Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) and Maternal and Child Health Outreach Project Supervisor at the Oklahoma City-County Health Department.

Kelli’s maternal and child health career began when she took a position at the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) after receiving a BA in Psychology from the University of Central Oklahoma. Throughout her 11 years at OICA she directed a multi-year national foundation grant program, Covering Kids & Families, providing Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program to pregnant women and children. Later, she became the Communication and Marketing Director for the agency. During this time Kelli also served on multiple boards including the Oklahoma Health Care Authority’s Medical Advisory Council, the Oklahoma Lead Poisoning Prevention Advisory Board, and Chair of the Oklahoma Turning Point Council. After leaving her position at OICA, Kelli went into the for-profit world and finally returned to her passion of working on maternal and child health issues through the Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Project at the Oklahoma City County Health Department.

We are very excited about this dynamic and engaging panel with these incredible women. Will you join us this year? Purchase tickets here. Tickets are $10.00.

Silent auction items, snacks, and refreshments will be available.

If a scholarship is needed please email us at If you’re able to donate, please do, as we will use it to cover individuals who want to attend but require financial assistance. UNA OKC is dedicated to accessibility for all and no one will be turned away.

People can also pay cash/card at the door the day of the event.

We hope to see you there!