Here are a few more places that you can go to read about Oklahoman Hannah Atkins who died June 17, 2010. She was such a smart, gracious woman and brave, honest public servant. I have only the warmest memories of working with her. I am so sad that she is gone. My thanks to Diane Blank with the League of Women Voters of Norman, OK who provided the links below:
I love my ZOMM. It was a little pricey but NOTHING compared to replacing a lost iPhone. And with my ZOMM, I never get more than 30 feet away from it without it letting me know. Now The New York Times has given it a nice review and you can read the review here. This product was invented by Laurie Penix and her husband - who live in Tulsa; you can follow Laurie on Twitter (@theZOMM).
Yesterday was the Oklahoma Women's Coalition Annual Meeting and Issues Forum. We met at Francis Tuttle Technology Center in Oklahoma City (Building 7) which was beautiful; I highly recommend this facility for events. Ned's catered and the food was perfect. We had a great turnout of extraordinary Oklahoma women leaders from across Oklahoma. We began with a quick business meeting - elected new officers and board for 2010-2011. (I've stepping down as Chair but will stay on the board and chair the Leadership Development Committee,) We did special recognitions for Faye Henson's service as Treasurer, Quin Tran Dykstra's wonderful leadership as chair of the Communications Committee. And had a lovely award for Representative Kris Steele for his leadership sponsoring House Bill 2998 which creates a program that diverts non violence, low risk women offenders away from prison into an alternative facility where they can receive drug treatment, job raining, etc.
And then we had three excellent panels during which you could hear a pin drop (so I think people were interested)! The first panel was "Legislative Update: What Happened This Session (That Impacts Oklahoma Women and Girls)?" Oklahoma State Senator Susan Paddack (pictured here with CEO of YWCA OKC Jan Peery (left) and Executive Director of Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma Karen Morgan (right) talked about the 2010 Oklahoma legislative session and offered tips on advocating, etc. while Jan Gilmore Loftis (left in second image), the Oklahoma Women's Coalition Administrator, talked about bills impacting women in the session just ended. Our Advocacy Committee (chaired by Jan Peery) and board of directors elected to be conservative this year and only officially support two bills and one budget initiative - all of which passed.
The second panel was entitled "Connecting the Dots Between Education, Poverty and Incarceration." I moderated and opened with statistics on women and poverty in Oklahoma. Erin Taylor, Academic Project Coordinator at the Oklahoma State Regents for higher Education described Project SMART (Single Mothers Academic Resource Team) which she directs. Debbie Boyer with the Division of Female Offender Operations, Oklahoma Department of Corrections gave a great talk on characteristics of incarcerated women in Oklahoma.
Our final panel was on "The State of Domestic Violence in Oklahoma." Jan Peery moderated and made opening remarks that set the tone. Jackie Steyn, LPC, Chief Programs and Compliance Officer at the YWCA of OKC and Andrea Hamor Edmondson, Administrative Program Officer with the Injury Prevention Service, Oklahoma State Department of Health (and the Coordinator of Rape Prevention Education Program) spoke. All three presentations were riveting.
Donna Lawrence (right in final image), incoming Coalition Chair, closed the program by sharing ways Oklahomans can get involved in the Coalition. I received the Coalition's first Pioneer Woman Award (see picture) - pretty sweet, huh?!?
Prudence Little died on the 22nd day of May, 2010 at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. I had the great honor of participating in a few activities with this remarkable woman and am deeply saddened at her passing. Pru attended Wellesley College and graduated with honors in economics in 1965. She then attended the University of Oklahoma College of Llw and graduated first in the class of 1968. She had a stellar legal career and contributed greatly to numerous Oklahoma programs and I urge you to honor her contributions by taking a moment to read her obituary (Click here to view Prudence Little's Obituary in The Oklahoman). Equally noteworthy is that she did it all with grace and kindness and patience and wisdom. Add to that the fact that she spent the past 35 "dealing with" cancer -- advanced melanoma (diagnosed in 1975), advanced breast cancer diagnosed in (1998), ovarian cancer (diagnosed in 2004), and advanced melanoma cancer again (diagnosed 6 months ago). I can't even begin to comprehend how to cope with that burden yet Pru dealt with it extraordinary grace and courage. I wish I'd known her better; I envy those who did; and I grieve her passing. I am making a donation to the Oklahoma Women's Coalition today in her memory. Who do you know who deserves to be remembered for the way they touched your life or the lives of Oklahomans? Take a moment to honor their life.
Hannah Atkins was the first black woman elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives. She was a truly remarkable woman and public official - filled with grace and poise and smart as a whip! Oklahoma State Representative Anastasia Pittman is quoted in today's Oklahoman article about Hannah that "She set the standard for how to represent one's constituents, how to lead. She also had poise and grace and was overall a very classy and remarkable woman and leader.” Atkins served in the Oklahoma Legislature 12 years. She later served as assistant director for aging services at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. Under Gov. Henry Bellmon, she served as state Secretary of Social Services, Secretary of Human Resources, and Secretary of State. She was appointed by President Jimmy Carter as a delegate to the 35th General Assembly of the United Nations and went on to serve as Commissioner to the U.N. Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization from 1979 to 1982. Below are just a few of the many sights that sing praises to this remarkable woman:
WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 8, 2010 – Oklahoma City businesswoman, Terry Neese, will be honored at the 2010 National Association of Women Business Owners’ conference on June 10 in Washington, DC, with the Gillian Rudd Business Leadership Award.
Historically, the award recognizes a woman business owner who has made a significant contribution to the status and visibility of women-owned firms and to the empowerment of women entrepreneurs both nationally and internationally.
NAWBO leaders describe Neese as the perfect fit for the award for her blended entrepreneurial zeal and a sense of stepping up to do what is right for the greater good.
“Terry is the epitome of a business leader who has dedicated her professional career on the bedrock belief that when women are able to participate equally and fully in business, greater economic stability and peace ensues,” states the NAWBO Web site.
Neese, a serial entrepreneur, has been in business for more than 30 years, and most recently founded the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women, a 501c3 that aims to empower women worldwide economically, socially and politically. With its PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS program, the Institute provides long-term business and leadership training to women entrepreneurs from Afghanistan and Rwanda.
Neese, past national president of NAWBO, considers this award to be an ultimate honor, since Rudd personally inspired her to go beyond business and get involved in public policy.
“Gillian Rudd was my mentor,” Neese said. “Her work on the HR5050 legislation is what first broke the glass ceiling for women in business in the ’80s. Without her work, I truly can’t say I’d be where I am today.”
About The Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women:
The Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women is a 501(c)3 nonprofit empowering women to grow their businesses, pursue greater entrepreneurial ventures and become more active public policy advocates. The Institute accomplishes this mission by focusing on education, mentorship and coaching women in the United States and abroad who are seeking to acquire entrepreneurial skills to help start and grow a business.
The Ntu Art Association of Oklahoma recently inducted six into the Oklahoma African-American Hall of Fame including Nancy Randolph-Davis, Lilliantyne Williams-Fields and (posthumously) Emma Lee Jones-Freeman. Randolph-Davis was the first black enrollee at Oklahoma State University. Williams-Fields has served more than 23 years as a biological sciences educator, serving on two national committees for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The late Jones-Freeman was a veteran educator who won a lawsuit against the Oklahoma City School Board, which resulted in equal pay for black teachers in Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma Bar Association’s Lawyers Helping Lawyers Assistance Program Committee (LHL) is hosting a series of monthly meetings entitled “Women Helping Women” for all female attorneys in the OKC Metro and beyond, at whatever stage of life or practice.
These free meetings will be led by women on the LHL Committee and are intended to provide an intimate setting for the group leaders and participants to ask questions, provide support, and share information with fellow women of the Bar. Meeting dates and topics are June 24 (The Loneliness of law), July 22 (Keeping Depression and Anxiety Away), August 26 (Finding Your Balance), and September 23 (The Best Plan for Me). All meetings are 5:30pm - 7pm. Details and registration information is available at the Women Helping Women page.
Questions? Contact Donita Bourns Douglas, Director of Educational Programs, Oklahoma Bar Association
1901 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73152
Email: donitad at okbar.org
Oklahoma City businesswoman Kay Stout will be on Blog Talk Radio tomorrow, Tuesday June 8, at 8:00pm Central Time on the "Behind The Mike Show" -- www.behindthemike.info.
The topic of discussion is “Get in the right frame of mind to move ahead, find a job, and get on with your life. Kay and Mike call it “Ideas for a Challenging Economy.” You can call in to the show Toll free from the USA and Canada @ 866-417-4359; Internationally: 646-716-8609. There’s also a live chat room. Mark your calendar and join them.