Inaugural UNAOKC Young Professional Happy Hour

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Come join your local United Nations Association chapter on Monday, April 24th at 5:30 PM at The Union at Sosa for our first of many young professional events! Each happy hour will briefly have speakers and advocacy actions that relation to a certain international cause.

This month’s event will be catered to the UN Foundation campaign “Shot at Life”, since that week is world immunization week! So come out, get a drink, and make some new friends while making a change!

“Organizing Women”

panel

Enjoy Our Women’s Day Program in Oklahoma City on Saturday, March 4th

The annual United Nations Association of Oklahoma City Women’s Day Fundraiser will be a panel discussion on movement building during difficult times called “Organizing Women.” It will be:
Saturday, March 4th — 1pm
Raindrop Turkish House
4444 N Classen Blvd
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73118
Our distinguished panel will include:
Sarah Adams-Cornell … Human rights activist, champion of indigenous peoples and cultures, co-founder of Matriarch;
Tamya Cox … Regional director of Public Policy and Organizing for Planned Parenthood, Great Plains;
Dr. Maria del Guadalupe Davidson … co-director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Center for Social Justice at the University of Oklahoma;
And will be moderated by:
Dr. Rebecca Cruise … Assistant Dean, College of International Studies, University of Oklahoma.
Please join us for light refreshments, a silent auction, and an engaging panel discussion followed by a question and answer period.

Tickets on Sale Now. $10 / $5
Buy your tickets now on Eventbrite …

 

… Proceeds will benefit your Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association of the USA.

unw-logo

 

Meeting the Needs of the World’s Women

In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. In doing so, UN Member States took an historic step in accelerating the Organization’s goals on gender equality and the empowerment of women.
Over many decades, the UN has made significant progress in advancing gender equality, including through landmark agreements such as the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Gender equality is not only a basic human right, but its achievement has enormous socio-economic ramifications. Empowering women fuels thriving economies, spurring productivity and growth.
Grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the UN Charter, UN Women, among other issues, works for the: elimination of discrimination against women and girls; empowerment of women; and achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security.
– See more at:

Rex D. Friend

“Lawyers refer human and civil rights cases to Rex. I have seen him in the trenches, community activities for 30 years. Pro-bono work for the poor is his stock-in-trade.”
–Wilfredo SantosRivera

Rex Friend is active in Oklahoma’s interfaith community, he defends the rights of immigrants, and he speaks for the rights of prisoners and others. He will be honored as one of the 2016 winners of the Oklahoma Human Rights Award.

After growing up on a cattle ranch in rural northwest Oklahoma, Rex Friend attended Northwestern Oklahoma State University, where he received his B.A. in Sociology in 1975. He then began at the University of Oklahoma, which he received his M.A. in Sociology in 1980. After working as a social worker at Children’s Hospital for several years, Rex entered law school. He received his J.D. in 1983 from OU.

Seeing clients from various religious and several nations is standard practice for Rex, as he practices Immigration Law in Oklahoma City. He has also represented many stigmatized populations: gays and lesbians, prisoners, the disabled, and persons with AIDS.

Mr. Friend served six years on the Executive Committee of the Central Region of the American Friends Service Committee (a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world). He serves on the board of the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, the Peace House, the Oklahoma Conference of Churches, and several non-profits that further his values of improving life for our marginalized brothers and sisters.

Rex’s profession and lifestyle represent his Quaker values, including that all people are of great worth and deserving of equal treatment.

To the greatest extent possible, Rex approaches issues from a preventive, problem solving perspective, focused on root causes. He relies on the power of dialogue and respect to build bridges with potential “opponents.” This commitment to non-adversarial relationships reflects the Quaker beliefs of non-violence and respecting and maintaining the dignity of all people.

When asked about the pivotal influences that resulted in the nature of his practice being one of service, Rex states, “As a boy growing up in a rural, sparsely populated, northwest, Freedom, Oklahoma, my family, my community, and church impressed upon me that whatever talents I might have, I should develop and use for the common good.

You’re invited to attend the presentation of the 2016 Human Rights Awards on Saturday, December 10th, in the House Chamber of the Oklahoma State Capitol. The program will begin at 10am. It will be emcee’d by former State Representative Seneca Scott. There is no charge to attend. Following the awards program, you are invited to enjoy a Free Speech Forum in the Senate Assembly Room from 12 Noon to 2pm.

Every year, the Oklahoma Human Rights Awards are co-sponsored by the Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association and the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance.

Previous winners of the award include educators, physicians, students, and community volunteers from many different communities and all walks of life. They are united by their enduring commitment to the values and principles expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For more information about the awards program, please contact Wilfredo Santosrivera, 405-631-3027.

Father Tim Luschen

“He is most known for his work… to educate
and empower Spanish speakers about
their rights in this state.”

Nominated by Sundra Flansburg

A leader in civic engagement, Father Timothy Luschen is one of the 2016 winners of the Oklahoma Human Rights Award.

Father Luschen, currently pastor at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, made the decision to apply and attend seminary when he was in his third year of college at the University of Central Oklahoma. He was ordained in 1988, and since that time he has served at a number of Catholic parishes in Oklahoma. From early in his ministry he has played a leadership role in the Archdiocese in Hispanic ministry, and he is very dedicated to pastoral care in his parish.

Father Luschen was one of the central figures in Oklahoma City in founding VOICE – Voices Organized in Civic Engagement – and continues to play a leadership role as an officer on the Board of the VOICE Education Fund. He is also a talented artist in the little spare time that he has.

Sundra Flansburg writes:

I believe Father Luschen well deserves an honor like the Human Rights Award. He works tirelessly in Oklahoma City and in the state to live his values. He works compassionately and consistently to better involve and work with populations who face multiple barriers to inclusion.

He is most known for his work with Spanish-speaking people – and was one of the VOICE leaders who was most dedicated in efforts to stop the local abuses of Hispanics, and work to educate and empower Spanish speakers about their rights in this state. I worked with him closely following the 2013 tornadoes when we were collecting funds to help undocumented families. He arranged for two nuns who were familiar with Moore to help us do outreach and get to families. He continues to serve as a critical member of our Standing on the Side of Love education scholarships for undocumented Oklahoma students.

I have the highest regard for his value and his work, and appreciate the leadership he shows every day in calling all of us to our higher selves.

You’re invited to attend the presentation of the 2016 Human Rights Awards on Saturday, December 10th, in the House Chamber of the Oklahoma State Capitol. The program will begin at 10am. It will be emcee’d by former State Representative Seneca Scott. There is no charge to attend. Following the awards program, you are invited to enjoy a Free Speech Forum in the Senate Assembly Room from 12 Noon to 2pm.
Every year, the Oklahoma Human Rights Awards are co-sponsored by the Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association and the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance.
Previous winners of the award include educators, physicians, students, and community volunteers from many different communities and all walks of life. They are united by their enduring commitment to the values and principles expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
For more information about the awards program, please contact Wilfredo Santosrivera, 405-631-3027.

Miguel Baez

Miguel Baez is a Corporal in the Oklahoma City Fire Department.

A strong advocate for helping others in need….
With great capacity for collaboration….
He instills courage and hope in every individual he meets.

Nominated by Otilia Fuentes 

Miguel Baez is a human rights hero. On December 10th, he will receive the Oklahoma Human Rights Award — along with other champions of human rights in our state.

Miguel was born and raised in Tampico, Mexico. He received his Bachelor degree in International Business from the Universidad de Tamaulipas (University of Tamaulipas) in 2002.

Miguel was selected by OKC.biz for
its “40 Under 40” Class of 2016

Baez’s career has provided him leadership opportunities in various industries, including engineering, architectural, and restaurant. A strong advocate for helping others in need, Baez became focused on finding a career path that would allow him to serve the people of Oklahoma and honor his Hispanic heritage. By becoming an OKC Firefighter, Baez meets the needs of our citizens each and every day.

Being both bilingual and a native of Mexico, Baez is a unique asset to the OKC Fire Department in his ability to directly relate to the Hispanic population’s cultural beliefs. He shares his story of achievement with elementary schools, civic groups, and non-profit organizations.

Miguel instills courage and hope in every individual he meets with his story. He says: “Believing in yourself is the number one way to success, and only you can pave your future. It’s an honor to serve those in need and a blessing to be a positive influence on others.”

From his nomination:

It is with great pleasure to nominate Mr. Miguel Baez for the Human Rights Award in recognition of his outstanding leadership and tireless efforts to serve the Hispanic Community and the whole City of Oklahoma City. Mr. Baez is an amazing person who works continuously to help those in need, especially the children in our community through his occupation as a corporal with the Oklahoma City Fire Department. Miguel has strong leadership and initiative-taking skills while, at the same time, he shows great capacity to learn in order to do a better job while doing his volunteerism in the community and even teaching. He is articulate in both English and Spanish, and he is an effective communicator who demonstrates an unusual ability to make connections with people from all ethnic groups, regardless of age or level of cognitive development.

Miguel has my highest recommendation.

You’re invited to attend the presentation of the 2016 Human Rights Awards on Saturday, December 10th, in the House Chamber of the Oklahoma State Capitol. The program will begin at 10am. It will be emcee’d by former State Representative Seneca Scott. There is no charge to attend. Following the awards program, you are invited to enjoy a Free Speech Forum in the Senate Assembly Room from 12 Noon to 2pm.
Every year, the Oklahoma Human Rights Awards are co-sponsored by the Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association and the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance.
Previous winners of the award include educators, physicians, students, and community volunteers from many different communities and all walks of life. They are united by their enduring commitment to the values and principles expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
For more information about the awards program, please contact Wilfredo Santosrivera, 405-631-3027.

Robert M. Goldman

Photo Credit: News9.com

“Everyone has the right to a standard of living
adequate for the health and well-being of himself
and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care….”
–Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(Article 25)

Robert Goldman has worked with the Red Andrews Christmas Dinner for approximately 34 years. As the chairman of the Red Andrews Christmas Dinner Foundation, Goldman has contributed to supporting the basic rights of thousands of distressed Oklahomans. Because of his leadership and his personal generosity, he is being recognized as a winner of the Oklahoma Human Rights Award.

The Red Andrews Dinner is an Oklahoma City Christmas Day tradition dating to 1947.  The dinner provides warm meals and toys to thousands of citizens each year.
(NewsOK.com … http://newsok.com/article/5461889)

Approximately 4 years ago, the traditional dinner was in financial trouble. The event was going to be disbanded. Robert Goldman stepped in with other people to keep it going. They created the Red Andrews Christmas Dinner Foundation. For the last 4 years he has been the chairman for this foundation. In conjunction with the dinner and the toy drive, the Foundation collects winter coats for attendees in need at the dinner.

The Red Andrews Christmas Dinner
feeds thousands of people every year.
Photo Credit: NewsOK.com

In conjunction with a grant received by the Apartment Association of Central Oklahoma, many boxes of books were purchased from the Friends of the Library sale. These cases of books were donated to approximately 7 Oklahoma City elementary schools, Dove Academy, and the Boys & Girls Club of Oklahoma City.

Mr. Goldman purchased school supplies in August for Martin Luther King Elementary School.

In 2016, he received the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Community Service Award.

Robert participate in Leah’s Basket gift drive through the Apartment Association of Central Oklahoma. Leah’s Basket creates gift baskets full of fun things for the children at OU Children’s hospital.

You’re invited to attend the presentation of the 2016 Human Rights Awards on Saturday, December 10th, in the House Chamber of the Oklahoma State Capitol. The program will begin at 10am. It will be emcee’d by former State Representative Seneca Scott. There is no charge to attend. Following the awards program, you are invited to enjoy a Free Speech Forum in the Senate Assembly Room from 12 Noon to 2pm.

Every year, the Oklahoma Human Rights Awards are co-sponsored by the Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association and the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance.

Previous winners of the award include educators, physicians, students, and community volunteers from many different communities and all walks of life. They are united by their enduring commitment to the values and principles expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For more information about the awards program, please contact Wilfredo Santosrivera, 405-631-3027.

“Motherhood and childhood are entitled to
special care and assistance. All children,
whether born in or out of wedlock,
shall enjoy the same social protection.….”

–Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(Article 25)

The Multicultural Education Institute

Regina Lopez, instructor, and April Haulman, Ph.D., professor, help to manage
and plan the Multicultural Education Institute, which is sponsored each
year by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at UCO.

The work of MEI is important in today’s world where we face challenges such as racism, bigotry, prejudice, hate crimes, etc.

For more than 30 years, the Multicultural Education Institute at the University of Central Oklahoma has united educators in the Oklahoma City metro area to share the latest strategies and practices that help improve educating our increasingly diverse communities. We are proud to recognize the Institute as one of the 2016 winners of the Oklahoma Human Rights award.

MEI is committed to the recognition of excellence in multicultural education. Each year the Multicultural Awards Committee selects a recipient for the Teacher of the Year, Citizen of the Year, Paraprofessional of the Year Awards as well as teacher incentive grant award winners. MEI also offers professional development in multicultural and multilingual education to educators from across the state of Oklahoma.

The MEI brings together current and future teachers, paraprofessionals, bilingual professionals and community members from the Oklahoma City metro area who work in education to discuss practices and strategies aimed at helping improve educating the increasingly diverse population. (Source: “32nd Annual Multicultural Education Institute,” The Vista – February 23, 2015)

“Teachers often receive the blame for underachieving schools that they do not deserve,” said April Haulman, Ph.D., of the English as a second language master’s program. “We wanted to honor the role they play in creating a better society and focus on that.”

The MEI conference is sponsored each year by the College of Education and Professional Studies at the UCO. For many years, MEI has been directed by Dr. Regina Lopez and Professor April Haulman.

You’re invited to attend the presentation of the 2016 Human Rights Awards on Saturday, December 10th, in the House Chamber of the Oklahoma State Capitol. The program will begin at 10am. It will be emcee’d by former State Representative Seneca Scott. There is no charge to attend. Following the awards program, you are invited to enjoy a Free Speech Forum in the Senate Assembly Room from 12 Noon to 2pm.

Every year, the Oklahoma Human Rights Awards are co-sponsored by the Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association and the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance.

Previous winners of the award include educators, physicians, students, and community volunteers from many different communities and all walks of life. They are united by their enduring commitment to the values and principles expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For more information about the awards program, please contact Wilfredo Santosrivera, 405-631-3027.

Dr. Lindsey Churchill

“Human Rights are for everyone —
no matter who you are or whom
you love.”
— The United Nations Free & Equal campaign

The University of Central Oklahoma boasts two new programs designed to supplement gender and sexuality studies on campus. Known collectively as“The Center,” the programs were designed and launched under the leadership of Dr. Lindsey Churchill. She will be recognized on December 10th at the Oklahoma State Capitol — along with other winners of the 2016 Oklahoma Human Rights award.

Free & Equal is a United Nations
campaign for lesbian, gay, bisexual,
and transgender equality

Dr. Churchill arrived at the University of Central Oklahoma in 2012. Since her arrival she has worked for change for women and the LGBTQ+ community. In 2015 she helped found the Center which includes the Women’s Research Center and BGLTQ+ Student Center at UCO. Dr. Churchill currently directs the Center.

The Center has two arms that work independently and/or collaboratively, to engage and advance women and the BGLTQ+ community at the University of Central Oklahoma, the greater Oklahoma City metropolitan region. In 2015 she also created the Gender and Sexuality Studies minor at UCO.

Dr. Churchill directs over 25 students who work on research projects about gender, sexuality, and the community. Some of these projects include a transgender clothing exchange and a documentary about the history of lesbian/feminist activists in OK. Dr. Churchill also helped to secure the donation of over 4000  (many very rare) books about gender and sexuality for UCO. This was the largest book donation in UCO history. Thanks to this donation the Center will have its own library that will be open to the community in 2017.

On September 26-28th of 2016 Dr. Churchill organized the Inaugural International Gender and Sexuality Studies Conference. This conference featured nearly 100 presenters from 7 different countries and 30 universities.

You’re invited to attend the presentation of the 2016 Human Rights Awards on Saturday, December 10th, in the House Chamber of the Oklahoma State Capitol. The program will begin at 10am. It will be emcee’d by former State Representative Seneca Scott. There is no charge to attend. Following the awards program, you are invited to enjoy a Free Speech Forum in the Senate Assembly Room from 12 Noon to 2pm.
Every year, the Oklahoma Human Rights Awards are co-sponsored by the Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association and the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance.
Previous winners of the award include educators, physicians, students, and community volunteers from many different communities and all walks of life. They are united by their enduring commitment to the values and principles expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
For more information about the awards program, please contact Wilfredo Santosrivera, 405-631-3027.

2016 Human Rights Winners Announced

We recognize some of the many human rights heroes who live among us.

There is plenty of evidence that human rights are under attack where we live. All you have to do is turn on the television news. Fear, bigotry, and hatred are a volatile mixture. We worry about the future of our nation.

Yet, there is other evidence to examine — hopeful signs that human rights are alive and well. Right here in Oklahoma, we see that the dignity of the individual person is being honored. Religious freedom is being protected. The rights of all people are being defended. We are building communities where every man, woman, and child may find equal justice, equal opportunity, and equal dignity without discrimination.

Where is our evidence?

We find it in the people of our great state. In every corner of Oklahoma — in places close to home, in the world of the individual person — we recognize the human rights heroes who live among us. They are the champions of human rights where we live.

They defend the weak. They teach justice. They inspire us by their example to recognize our own rights and to uphold the rights of others.

These are our Oklahoma Human Rights Award Winners for 2016:

Miguel Baez

Oklahoma City

Sara Zaynab Bana

Midwest City

David Brinker, MD

Oklahoma City

Dr. Lindsey Churchill

Edmond

Priya Desai, MSW

Oklahoma City

The Dialogue Institute of Oklahoma

OKC & Tulsa

Moises Echeverria

Tulsa

Rex D. Friend

Oklahoma City

Robert M. Goldman

Oklahoma City

Tom Guild

Edmond, OK

Dr. Nyla Ali Khan

Norman

Father Tim Luschen

Oklahoma City

Roberto Mendoza

Oklahoma City

Multicultural Education Institute

Edmond

OKC Artists for Justice

Oklahoma City

Allen Parleir & Elia Woods

Oklahoma City

Sache Primeaux-Shaw

Oklahoma City

Garland Pruitt

Choctaw, OK

Andrew Sartain, Earth Rebirth

Norman

Seneca Scott

Tulsa

Marjan Seirafi-Pour 

Norman

Catalina Serrano

Oklahoma City

Mana Tahaie

Tulsa

Angelica Villalobos Solis

Oklahoma City

The Gordon and Pauline Wahpepah Family

Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma

John T. Walters

Oklahoma City

Richard Ray Whitman

Oklahoma City

You’re invited to attend the presentation of the 2016 Human Rights Awards on Saturday, December 10th, in the House Chamber of the Oklahoma State Capitol. The program will begin at 10am. It will be emcee’d by former State Representative Seneca Scott. There is no charge to attend. Following the awards program, you are invited to enjoy a Free Speech Forum in the Senate Assembly Room from 12 Noon to 2pm.
Every year, the Oklahoma Human Rights Awards are co-sponsored by the Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association and the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance.
Previous winners of the award include educators, physicians, students, and community volunteers from many different communities and all walks of life. They are united by their enduring commitment to the values and principles expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
For more information about the awards program, please contact Wilfredo Santosrivera, 405-631-3027.

Andrew Sartain, Earth Rebirth

Educating children, families
and communities on
sustainable living practices

We are pleased to announce that Andrew Sartain has been selected as one of the 2016 winners of the Oklahoma Human Rights Award. Andrew is recognized for his support of education as it relates to the sustainable development of our global community.

Andrew is the Founder of Earth Rebirth (EB), a nonprofit whose focuses are divided into short-term and long-term goals for growth. In the short-term, EB is determined to educating children, families and communities on sustainable living practices, environmental actions, technological breakthroughs and adequate paths for social evolution. Currently they are doing this through four main programs: Garden Your Own Growth, Taking H2Ownership, Homemade Sustainability, and Rural Community Development.

EB’s long-term goals target deeper research and investment into high potential ventures that incorporate environmental sustainability with economic rationality. Ventures include research and investment in alternative energy – solar, wind, biofuel, geothermal, hydro; as well as global communications, transportation, community infrastructure, and media production.

EB has been honored with several awards for its commitment to sustainable development, including the 2014 OK Recycling nonprofit of the Year, 2015 Environmental Excellence Winner, and 2016 Small Business Recycling Award – Norman Chamber of Commerce.

Earth Rebirth’s long-term goals target deeper research and investment into high potential ventures that incorporate environmental sustainability with economic rationality. Ventures include research and investment in alternative energy – solar, wind, biofuel, geothermal, hydro; as well as global communications, transportation, community infrastructure, and media production.

You’re invited to attend the presentation of the 2016 Human Rights Awards on Saturday, December 10th, in the House Chamber of the Oklahoma State Capitol. The program will begin at 10am. It will be emcee’d by former State Representative Seneca Scott. There is no charge to attend. Following the awards program, you are invited to enjoy a Free Speech Forum in the Senate Assembly Room from 12 Noon to 2pm.
Every year, the Oklahoma Human Rights Awards are co-sponsored by the Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association and the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance.
Previous winners of the award include educators, physicians, students, and community volunteers from many different communities and all walks of life. They are united by their enduring commitment to the values and principles expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
For more information about the awards program, please contact Wilfredo Santosrivera, 405-631-3027.

“We resolve, between now and 2030, to end poverty and hunger everywhere; to combat inequalities within and among countries; to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies; to protect human rights and promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; and to ensure the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources.”

–“Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”

Resolution A/RES/70/1 of the United Nations General Assembly
September 25, 2015

OKC Artists for Justice

“Everyone has the right to life,
liberty and security of person.”
–Article 3 of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights

Nominated by Priya Desai

Oklahoma City Artists for Justice have served as fierce advocates for people who have faced domestic violence and sexual assault. They will be recognized on December 10th at the Oklahoma State Capitol — along with other winners of the 2016 Oklahoma Human Rights award.

Their work began covering the Daniel Holztclaw case, and advocated for the victims who came forward and spoke about the crimes committed against them. In addition to that, they are now working in the NE OKC Community to bring attention to the many injustices women face in Oklahoma.

They are tireless advocates for women, and especially marginalized women of color. Through their efforts, I believe, they have been defenders of women’s human rights. They educate the community about issues affecting women as well as having a social justice presence at other community events. They are aware of what is going on in our community and are always there in support. It gives me great pleasure to bring light to the work they do and nominate them for this prestigious award.

You’re invited to attend the presentation of the 2016 Human Rights Awards on Saturday, December 10th, in the House Chamber of the Oklahoma State Capitol. The program will begin at 10am. It will be emcee’d by former State Representative Seneca Scott. There is no charge to attend. Following the awards program, you are invited to enjoy a Free Speech Forum in the Senate Assembly Room from 12 Noon to 2pm.
Every year, the Oklahoma Human Rights Awards are co-sponsored by the Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association and the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance.
Previous winners of the award include educators, physicians, students, and community volunteers from many different communities and all walks of life. They are united by their enduring commitment to the values and principles expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
For more information about the awards program, please contact Wilfredo Santosrivera, 405-631-3027.

Seneca Scott

(AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

A champion of economic development,
health, education, and the
dignity and rights of all people.

Seneca Scott served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives for 8 years, representing the citizens of District 72 (Owasso, Sperry, Tulsa, Turley). We are pleased to announce that he has been selected as one of the 2016 winners of the Oklahoma Human Rights Award.

Seneca Scott is a fifth-generation Oklahoman, born in Enid. He holds a B.A. in History / Native American Studies from the University of Oklahoma.

From 2009 to 2016, Seneca served the citizens of District 72 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. While in the Legislature, he was proud to co-chair the Native American Caucus. He served on the Natural Resources, Appropriations / Budget, and Energy Committees.

A leader in many community activities, Seneca has served on the board of directors for the Oklahoma Sustainability Network, the Kendall-Whittier Task Force, the Turley Community Association, and the Springdale Economic Development Council. His memberships include the North Tulsa Rotary Club, the Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry’s Committee Against Racism, the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, and the Choctaw Nation.

In 2014, Seneca Scott was the recipient of the Opio Toure Courageous Legislator Award (presented by the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty).

Additional info about Seneca Scott:

While a representative in the Oklahoma Legislature, Seneca authored several bills that directly impacted Indian Education and Indian students. All minority students are entitled to a good public education.

He championed a bill to continue the Oklahoma Advisory Council for Indian Education which recommends ways to help Indian students achieve a good public education. He also worked on the Tribal Notification bill — designed to provide notification to a tribe or nation and assistance whenever an American Indian student (tribal member) is sent to a state juvenile facility.

Seneca started a Food Desert Task Force. This was a very diverse group that worked on solutions to provide alternatives to people that don’t have grocery stores near their residence. He has been supportive of community gardens, food trucks with fresh produce to the under-served people, and a variety of alternatives. All people, no matter where they live, should have a reasonable access to food stores or gardens.

Seneca believes in providing good health care to people.  As budget cuts were being discussed, he worked with different groups to try to prevent drastic cuts.

He believes in a good Oklahoma Public Education System.  He listens to educators and responds with strong support.

You’re invited to attend the presentation of the 2016 Human Rights Awards on Saturday, December 10th, in the House Chamber of the Oklahoma State Capitol. The program will begin at 10am. It will be emcee’d by former State Representative Seneca Scott. There is no charge to attend. Following the awards program, you are invited to enjoy a Free Speech Forum in the Senate Assembly Room from 12 Noon to 2pm.

Every year, the Oklahoma Human Rights Awards are co-sponsored by the Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association and the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance.

Previous winners of the award include educators, physicians, students, and community volunteers from many different communities and all walks of life. They are united by their enduring commitment to the values and principles expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For more information about the awards program, please contact Wilfredo Santosrivera, 405-631-3027.

Moises Echeverria

Photo Credit: MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World

Achieving respect and understanding
for all people through education,
advocacy and dialogue.

Moises Echeverria knows about being an outsider. He was 13 when his family moved to Tulsa from Monterrey, Mexico. He spoke no English and knew no one outside his immediate family. Within a few years, he found himself in Tulsa’s own “Tower of Babel” — East Central High School. Kids from all sorts of ethnic and social backgrounds go to East Central, and Echeverria was right in the middle of it.

Today, in 2016, we are pleased to announce that Moises has been selected as one of the 2016 winners of the Oklahoma Human Rights Award.

The 31-year-old Echeverria is the President / CEO for the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice, and active in a number of community organizations. Echeverria worked his way through school at Tulsa Community College and Oklahoma State University-Tulsa. He is close to achieving U.S. citizenship. Now he helps others fit into a society that he knows from firsthand experience both welcomes and scorns outsiders.

OCCJ’s mission — and Echeverria’s — is to cool the rhetoric through programs that foster cross-cultural understanding and dialogue.

You’re invited to attend the presentation of the 2016 Human Rights Awards on Saturday, December 10th, in the House Chamber of the Oklahoma State Capitol. The program will begin at 10am. It will be emcee’d by former State Representative Seneca Scott. There is no charge to attend. Following the awards program, you are invited to enjoy a Free Speech Forum in the Senate Assembly Room from 12 Noon to 2pm.

Every year, the Oklahoma Human Rights Awards are co-sponsored by the Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association and the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance.

Previous winners of the award include educators, physicians, students, and community volunteers from many different communities and all walks of life. They are united by their enduring commitment to the values and principles expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For more information about the awards program, please contact Wilfredo Santosrivera, 405-631-3027.

Sara Zaynab Bana

Photo Credit: Oklahoma Activist

“Violence is not a natural mode for people. We can love.

To have love and compassion in your life makes you a more

whole and complete person. It also makes the world a more beautiful place.

“We have to respect one another.”
–Sara Zaynab Bana
(“Local groups hope to end violence by educating teens

in the Oklahoma Gazette – June 15, 2016)

Sara Bana was born on September 10, 1985, in Tehran, Iran. She is a child survivor of the war (Iran-Iraq War, 1980 – 1988) and immigrated to the United States in 1996. She has been politically active since her senior year of high school in 2004.

Sara Bana and other members of the E.V.E. Coalition
met with OKC Police Chief Bill Citty to discuss the
use of body cameras by Oklahoma City police officers.

In her senior year of high school, she became aware of the apathy that exists among young Americans regarding their Democracy and Government. As part of her Senior Project, she wrote a research paper regarding the state of democracy in America. She submitted her paper encouraging young Americans to invest and engage in our Democracy. She planned, organized, and implemented a political forum for high school students who were soon to be voters.

Different high schools transported their Junior and Senior students to the forum. The Oklahoma state chairs of the Democratic, Libertarian, and Republican parties were participants in the educational forum that was moderated by Sara and two other high school students. After the forum, knowing it would be a while before she would have the right to vote as an American citizen, she continued to work on political campaigns from different parties.

Sara spent her college years studying liberal arts with a focus on philosophy and political science. Throughout her college years and since then, she has focused her efforts on helping local and national organizations work toward peace, education, liberty, fundraising, plans of action, mobilization, management, and outreach.

In 2011, her work as a community organizer turned into a not-for-profit agency: Civic Services Community Advocacy (CSCA). CSCA is a non-partisan public advocacy agency committed to creating access to equality and justice for all. The agency handles varied case management activities; organizes community projects / initiatives; advocates on behalf of our clients / public, and educates and mobilizes the general public towards democratic means to achieve positive progress. When it is in the best interests of the general public which we serve, we collaborate with government agencies, community leaders, attorneys, law makers, local business community organizations, and other entities. At CSCA the focus is on different needs of the individuals that we serve on varying levels so that our clients are equipped with the different tools necessary for success. The different communities that we serve include: LGBT community; individuals with disabilities, including those struggling with addiction; the homeless; ex-convicts, including sex offenders; immigrants; women and children; and those on the run from violence; and minorities.

In 2013, at a collaborative meeting of activists regarding the homicide of Maria Gonzales, a case managed by CSCA, the Ending Violence Everywhere (E.V.E.) coalition was founded. Since then, Ms. Bana has had the honor and privilege of serving as an active co-founder of the E.V.E. coalition in partnership with Dr. Dwain Pellebon and Milton Combs. E.V.E. is a citizen coalition demanding change in the culture of violence by promoting education, violence prevention, treatment, and intervention. E.V.E. also focuses on conflict resolution and enhancing trust between law enforcement and the community.

Sara Bana has contributed her time and energy to many organizations that work on issues related to human rights, including: MLK Prayer Breakfast Committee; OK Close Up Steering Committee; E.V.E. Coalition; NAACP; PACT Coalition (vice chair); Civic Service Community Advocacy; Amnesty International; Midwest City Council Task Force on Alternatives to Crime, Punishment and Rehabilitation; Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (Executive Board Member); Think Twice OK (Campaign Manager); Project Red Bird.

The public is invited to attend the presentation of the 2016 Human Rights Awards on Saturday, December 10th, in the House Chamber of the Oklahoma State Capitol. The program will begin at 10am. It will be emcee’d by former State Representative Seneca Scott. There is no charge to attend. Following the awards program, you are invited to enjoy a Free Speech Forum in the Senate Assembly Room from 12 Noon to 2pm.

Every year, the Oklahoma Human Rights Awards are co-sponsored by the Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association and the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance.

Previous winners of the award include educators, physicians, students, and community volunteers from many different communities and all walks of life. They are united by their enduring commitment to the values and principles expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For more information about the awards program, please contact Wilfredo Santosrivera, 405-631-3027.

Dr. Nyla Ali Khan

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

“Women’s groups can… pave the way

for sustainable peace, universal

human rights, and security….”

Dr. Nyla Ali Khan serves on the Advisory Council of the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women. She knows well the power of her pen. The writings and the books of this University of Oklahoma professor and granddaughter of a former Kashmiri prime minister are making headlines in both India and Pakistan.

Dr. Khan is the author of four critically acclaimed books:

The Fiction of Nationality in an Era of Transnationalism, in which she critiques the nostalgic support of subversive elements by the affluent diaspora from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

Islam, Women, and Violence in Kashmir: Between India and Pakistan examines the seminal spiritual and political role of women in Kashmir, while also highlighting the plight of Kashmir generally as a gnarled bone of contention between India and Pakistan.

A major anthology, The Parchment of Kashmir: History, Society, and Polity, develops an understanding of the region’s culture, resilience and fate as a political pawn.

Photo: Shejar.com

Her fourth book, The Life of a Kashmiri Woman: Dialectic of Resistance and Accommodation, is on her maternal grandmother, Begum Akbar Jehan Abdullah. It was released in June 2014.

Dr. Khan’s goal is to engage in reflective action as an educator working with diverse cultural and social groups questioning the exclusivity of cultural nationalism, the erosion of cultural syncretism, the ever-increasing dominance of religious fundamentalism, and the irrational resistance to cultural and linguistic differences.

She prefers not simply to live in her grandfather’s shadow but to “stand up for myself and be taken seriously express my anger without being labeled an ‘Islamic militant’ legitimately question things I don’t understand,” as she stated in a 2010 interview related to the release of her second book.

Nyla lives, breathes and exudes human rights through her writing.

In a recent article, Dr. Khan compared the situation of women in Oklahoma with women in Kashmir. She wrote:

“Not just in Kashmir, but in Oklahoma as well, women can play an important role in establishing a more inclusive democracy and new forums for citizen cooperation. Female leaders can lead the way by offering new ideas, building broad-based political coalitions, and working to bridge organizational divides.“In this way, women’s groups can thus pave the way for sustainable peace, universal human rights, and security from violent threats of all kinds.” 

(See the article, “Women in Oklahoma and Kashmir: A Comparative Study,” at the Oklahoma Observer website … https://okobserver.net/women-in-oklahoma-and-kashmir-a-comparative-study/)

You’re invited to attend the presentation of the 2016 Human Rights Awards on Saturday, December 10th, in the House Chamber of the Oklahoma State Capitol. The program will begin at 10am. It will be emcee’d by former State Representative Seneca Scott. There is no charge to attend. Following the awards program, you are invited to enjoy a Free Speech Forum in the Senate Assembly Room from 12 Noon to 2pm.

Every year, the Oklahoma Human Rights Awards are co-sponsored by the Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association and the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance.

Previous winners of the award include educators, physicians, students, and community volunteers from many different communities and all walks of life. They are united by their enduring commitment to the values and principles expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For more information about the awards program, please contact Wilfredo Santosrivera, 405-631-3027.