Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Tomorrow is the day to induct 9 women into the Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame. Read about it here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Shirley Cox of Catholic Charities to be Honored

Catholic Charities is celebrating the achievements and accomplishments of Shirley Cox (Associate Director, Advocacy, Outreach, and Legal Services) with a reception on March 26 from 4 to 5:30 pm. She is leaving Catholic Charities to become Legal Services Developer at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. To attend, just RSVP (405.523.3000). A book of remembrances is being created for Shirley. If you wish to send a card or letter, mail it to Nancy Largent, 1501 North Classen Blvd, Oklahoma City, 73106 no later than March 23, 2007.

Brooke Murphy, President - Crowe & Dunlevy

The Journal Record ran a nice piece March 5th on Brooke Murphy, President of Crowe & Dunlevy - Oklahoma's biggest law firm.
I'd link to the article but The Journal Record restricts access to their Internet archives unless you are a paid subscriber who has registered for the service. Today I'm not even able to gain access -- and I'm (supposedly) "registered." Very frustrating... Sorry!

2007 Women's Legislative Day

I am late reporting that this conference on March 7 was outstanding! Kudos to the women's groups (see below) who put it together. Speakers included former State Senator Angela Monson on women's health issues, AAUW Regional Director Shirley Breeze on current women's equity issues, YWCA of Oklahoma City CEO Jan Perry (left) on current legislation for women and children, and much more. The non-partisan coalition that organizes this day each year in made up of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, American Association of University Women, the League of Women Voters of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Alliance of Girl Scout Councils, the Oklahoma Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, the YWCA of Oklahoma City and the YWCA of Tulsa. They'll host a day at the Capitol again in March of 2008; promise yourself that you'll attend. It is worth it!

Mary Jo Nelson (2)

Ann DeFrange and Steve Lackmeyer both had articles yesterday remembering journalist Mary Jo Nelson. They reminded me again why I admired her so much. In Ann's article (click here to read) she noted that "Mary Jo didn't behave in a very ladylike manner at all, and that's what made her a legendary reporter." (What is the famous quote? "Well behaved women rarely make history.") Steve (click here to read his article) reminds us Mary Jo fought to preserve the city's architectural past - something we should carry forward as a tribute to her.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Diana Smalley Named CEO of Mercy

Nebraska native Diana Smally has been named chief ecxecutive officer of the Mercy Health System of Oklahoma. Click to read article.

Norman Honors Kay Holladay, PFLAG Co-Founder

The Oklahoman has a nice article today about Kay Holladay who, with Jayne Hazelton, co-founded the Norman chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays - PFLAG. Kay has been a repeat presenter at Oklahoma's NEW Leadership training because she personifies fearless advocacy. She is pictured here with Sheryl Siddiqui (Tulsa Islamic Society, left), Penny Painter (Resonance, Tulsa) and the wonderful artist/activist Dana Tiger (Penny and Dana are on the right). The City of Norman honored Kay this year with their Human Rights Award. (Does Oklahoma City give out a human rights award?) Click here to read the article.

Rep Lisa Billy to Co-Chair Native American Caucus

Members of the Native American Caucus of the Oklahoma Legislature will be led by a bipartisan duo this year, officials announced today. State Rep. Lisa J. Billy (R-Purcell) and state Rep. Jerry McPeak (D-Warner) have been elected caucus co-chairs for the 51st Legislature.

The Native American Caucus of the Oklahoma Legislature, the first in state history, formed in 2006. The group selected officers this week, based on an organizational framework provided by the National Native American Caucus. In addition to naming Billy and McPeak co-chairs, the group also named the following officers:

* Secretary: state Rep. Anastasia Pittman (D-Oklahoma City)
* Spiritual Counselor: state Rep. Scott BigHorse (D-Pawhuska)
* Advisory Team: BigHorse, state Rep. Shane Jett (R-Tecumseh), state Rep. Ken Luttrell (D-Ponca City), and state Rep. Paul Wesselhöft (R-Moore).

The nonpartisan, 17-member Native American Caucus formed last year to educate the House membership about Native American issues and develop closer relationships with leaders of the state's 39 tribes. The group also holds information luncheons sponsored by various tribes to allow tribal leaders to meet and mingle with state lawmakers.

Source: House of Reps Public Information Office

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Oklahoman Produces Women's History Month Materials

Check your copy of The Oklahoma starting Monday, March 26th. Each day that week, the newspaper will feature a different suggested history lesson on Oklahoma women. The primary target for this initiative is the students attending the approximately 950 schools in Oklahoma who are participating in this Women's History Month project. March 26 through 30, those students will receive their own copy of The Oklahoman plus a 16-page booklet featuring information on a wide range of famous Oklahoma women. Putting this booklet involved deciding which women to feature. Who would YOU have picked? (When the booklet is released, I'll tell you who we included!)

Oklahoma Reporter Mary Jo Nelson Dies

Newspaper reporter Mary Jo Nelson died last Thursday at 80. During her 47-year career, she wrote for both The Oklahoman and the Oklahoma City Times and was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame in 1992. Nelson was the first female with The Oklahoman and Times to cover federal courts, the first woman to work at the Capitol Bureau at the State Capitol, and on and on and on. I only met her once when she interviewed me for an article but I liked her very much and greatly admired both her writing and her all-around moxie. Read The Oklahoman article about her here. Rest in peace, MJ.

By the way, this is exactly why I created my Notable Oklahoma Women page. This woman had her work published every day for years and years yet when I Google her - almost nothing. She deserves better. When I find a good bio and better picture than the one I stole from OPUBCO, I'll add her to my Oklahoma Women Pioneers page.

Wanda Jo Peltier Stapleton's New Book = Vowels: Patterns and Sounds

Wanda Jo Stapleton -- who we senior ladies remember as Wanda Jo Peltier when she was actively working to pass the Equal Rights Amendment in Oklahoma (a thoroughly thankless task) and later when she served in the Oklahoma Legislature for 10 years (Democrat - South Oklahoma City) -- has authored a book entitled Vowels: Patterns and Sounds. You can read more about it by clicking here. Teachers - check it out!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Remember Baby Katrina Gomez

Three-month old Katrina Gomez died March 4, 2007. Her adoptive father, Gerardo Roldon Cardenas, age 39, is being charged with her death.

While Cardenas was babysitting Katrina in their home in Guymon, OK, he grabbed the baby and threw her on the bed causing her head to bounce off the mattress at least 2 times and then with an open hand struck the baby across the face very hard. The autopsy revealed multiple contusions of the face and forehead, subscalplular, subdural and epidural hemorrhages, fractures of the anterior cranial fossa, pronounced cerebral edema, subdural hemorrhade around spinal cord, clinical history of retinal hemorrhages, hemorrage within extrinis muscles of eye, cause of death, abusive head trauma in the manner of homicide.

According to what he told police, he never meant for the child to be the victim of his anger and he was just mad. He had had an argument with his wife at noon, before she left to go work. Cardenas wife, Ismailia and 2 other children are not cooperating with the police in this case according to Detectives.

A detective reported that Cardenas made the statement while he was being escorted to a police unit, "This country kills four million babies a year in abortions and you make a big deal about this. I don't understand it."

Source. Email from Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

It Is National Women's History Month

In 1981, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution establishing National Women's History Week. The week was chosen to coincide with International Women's Day - which is March 8. In 1987, Congress expanded the week to a month. Every year since, Congress has passed a resolution for Women's History Month in March, and the U.S. president has issued a proclamation.
The theme of this year's National Women's History Month is "Generations of Women Moving History Forward." For event and programs please please click on the following link:
For educational resources on women's history, please visit the Department of Education's website at
For facts and statistics related to Women's History Month, please visit the Census Bureau's "Facts for Features" webpage on this topic.