Friday, March 14, 2008

Jeanne Kirkpatrick Award Presented

Read remarks by Paula J. Dobriansky, Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs upon receiving the first Jeanne Kirkpatrick Award-->

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ruth Brown and Oklahoma Black History

One year ago today, a statue of Miss Ruth Brown was unveiled at the Bartlesville Public Library. In 1950, Ruth W. Brown, librarian at the Bartlesville Public Library, was dismissed from her job after thirty years of exemplary service. This was during the McCarthy era and the reason given was that she had circulated subversive materials. Actually Brown was fired because she was active in a group affiliated with the Congress of Racial Equality. On her own time, she had accompanied two African American friends to the local drug store and asked to be served.

You can read more about the effort to memorialize Miss Brown on the Bartlesville Women's Network blog here and also here. (Also check out the Bartlesville Women's Network website here.)

Besides the B'ville Women's Network, this memorial came about through the work of author and Oklahoma library legend Louise S. Robbins. The first woman elected to the Ada City Council (where she also served as mayor), Robbins has been honored with numerous awards for her articles and books dealing with the history of librarians and intellectual freedom in the United States. Her best known work is The Dismissal of Miss Ruth Brown: Civil Rights, Censorship, and the American Library (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2000). One review of Robbins book gives more history about Ruth Brown's life here.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Oklahoma Authors Recognized

The 18th Annual Book Awards yesterday honored a number of Oklahoma writers. Special awards went to David Dary and our dear friend Danney Goble. Wish you were still with us danney! To read about the honorees or find some good books to read, read the article here -->

Maribeth Snapp Profiled in Sunday Oklahoman

The Oklahoman today has a nice story on Oklahoma Corporation Commission Administrative Law Judge Maribeth Snapp here:

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Courtney Paris is Big 12 Player of the Year (again!)

Congrats, Courtney! Read story here:

Donna Shirley Profiled by CNN

For Women's History Month, CNN Student News has prepared "Profiles in Women's History" that includes Oklahoman Donna Shirley: "As a teenager in a small Oklahoma town, Donna Shirley dreamed of exploring Mars and took an intense interest in flying airplanes. Before she was out of her teens, she was flying solo and earning her pilot's licenses. Shirley entered college in the 1950s to study aerospace engineering at a time when engineering schools were still a male stronghold. She was successful, earning a bachelor's degree from the University of Oklahoma and a master's degree from the University of Southern California. Shirley spent 32 years at NASA's jet propulsion lab, the lead U.S. center for robotic exploration of the solar system, where Shirley managed the Mars exploration program. In 1997, the world watched as two of her projects - the Mars Pathfinder and the Sojourner Microrover - landed on Mars. Two months later, the Mars Global Surveyor went into orbit around the red planet. The projects that Shirley worked on became some of NASA's greatest successes."

Friday, March 07, 2008

Catheryn Koss & The Senior Law Resource Center in OKC

I met Catheryn Koss when she was with World Neighbors (she co-authored with Peter Gubbels From the Roots Up: Strengthening Organizational Capacity through Guided Self-Assessment (see image left) a how-to guide that helps community groups recognize their own potential, identify critical issues for program development, and decide for themselves what actions to take. Catheryn taught the gressroots organizing workshop at N.E.W. Leadership several times but took off for law school.

When she graduated from OCU Law in 2005, she founded the Senior Law Resource Center, a non-profit organization providing legal information and services to Oklahoma elders and caregivers. At the Center, Catheryn and other lawyers offer assistance on a sliding scale based on ability to pay. You don't have to been old - just have a "senior" issue needing to be addressed. And you don't have to be needy - they handle all the standard law issues we need as we approach retirement like wills and trusts.

But they are also experts on financial exploitation, elder abuse and neglect, incapacity and end-of-life planning, hospice and palliative care, assisted living and nursing homes, Medicare, Social Security and retirement. Since women have a tendency to outlive men in our society, this is a wonderful resource for older woman. Check out their website here. And here is a piece Catheryn wrote for lawyers on advanced directives for health care you might want to read.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Oklahoma Women's Legislative Coalition Day at the Capitol - March 5, 2008

The Oklahoma Women's Legislative Coalition invites you to a Day at the State Capitol on Wednesday, March 5th. Hear experts discuss "Abuse of women across the ages ~ from childhood through old age" (9:30 am -10:10 am); "Immigration and House Bill 1804: It's Impact on women and children" (10:15-10:55 am); and "Female incarceration in Oklahoma: Why such a punishment mentality?" (11-11:40).

Enjoy a box lunch and discuss what you think are key issues facing Oklahoma women and girls in 2008. Visit the exhibit tables before hearing what was decided over lunch. Then get briefed on bills in the 2008 Oklahoma Legislature that address women and girls before being dismissed at 2:15 pm to visit your State Senator and Representative before heading for home.

Registration is $30 which includes lunch and a registration packet; materials and lunch cannot be guarenteed for participants registering the day of the event. Click here to download the registration form. Send check and completed form to OWLC, c/o Arlie Hampton, PO Box 7132, Lawton, OK 73506. If you have any questions about 2008 Women's Legislative Day, contact Jacqueline Achong (telephone 580-536-6364).

Oklahoma Victory Dolls

Did you know that Oklahoma has a women's roller derby team - the Oklahoma Victory Dolls? Read about them here: and visit their website here: According to team member kathleen Thomas, they partner with the YWCA (whose mission is "eliminating racism; empowering women") because "Their goals really resonated with us."

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Women's Health Movement Pioneer Barbara Seaman Dead at 72

Barbara Seaman was a co-founder of the National Women's Health Network. Early on she challenged the assumption that hormone replacement therapy and early (1960s) oral contraceptives were safe. (The birth control pills I took as a newly wed in 1966 contained 10 times the amount of estrogen today's pills contain!) She also helped create the concept of patients' rights, informed consent and warning labels on drugs. Not a bad legacy, huh? Read an obit by clicking here and also here. And here is her New York Times obituary.