Skip to Content

‘Neglected Oklahoma’ book release parties / Save the date for budget summit

by | October 20th, 2017 | Posted in Poverty & Opportunity, Upcoming Events | Comments (0)

We’re excited to announce the release of a new book from Oklahoma Policy Institute! Neglected Oklahoma: Voices from the Margins is a collection of nineteen essays written for the OK Policy Blog over four years by Oklahoma City writer and social justice advocate Camille Landry. Each tells the story of an individual or family struggling with the kinds of troubles that pile up for those on the margins of our society. The essays are newly annotated by OK Policy staff with facts and data that give context to the personal stories.

Join us for the OKC release party on Nov. 7th, 6:30pm, at Full Circle Bookstore (RSVP here), or the Tulsa release party on Nov. 29th, 6:30pm, at Bound for Glory Books (RSVP here). You will hear remarks from Camille Landry, enjoy snacks, mingle with OK Policy staff, and be able to purchase a signed copy. If you can’t make it to either event, you can also purchase a copy online here.

Continue Reading »

Upcoming Event: The Atlantic and Reveal hosting OKC discussion of ‘The Experience of Women and Children Behind Bars’

by | September 13th, 2017 | Posted in Criminal Justice, Upcoming Events | Comments (0)

The Atlantic magazine, in collaboration with Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting, is hosting a discussion with state and national criminal justice leaders about female incarceration in Oklahoma.

You can register for the event here.

From the organizers:

For decades, Oklahoma has led the nation in the rate at which it incarcerates women. Why?

As the state grapples with an emerging political consensus around criminal justice reform, The Atlantic will seek to understand the experiences of women affected by the state’s justice system. What are the underlying reasons — legal, political, social, emotional — behind their incarceration? What are the impacts on children, families, communities and the women themselves? And what might proposed reforms mean for women in particular?

When: Wednesday September 20, 2017, 1:00pm – 5:00pm

Where: Will Rogers Theatre, 4322 N. Western Avenue, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73118


  • Ziva Branstetter, Senior Editor, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting
  • Governor Mary Fallin
  • David Fritze, Executive Editor, Oklahoma Watch
  • Sheila Harbert, Chief Community Outreach Officer, Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma
  • Allison Herrera, Multimedia Reporter and Social Media Editor, Public Radio International
  • Steve Kunzweiler, District Attorney, Tulsa County
  • D’Marria Monday, National Council of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls
  • Laura Pitman, Director of Population, Programs and Strategic Planning, Oklahoma Department of Corrections
  • Malika Saada Saar, Senior Counsel, Civil and Human Rights, Google
  • Susan Sharp, Presidential Professor Emerita of Sociology, University of Oklahoma
  • Kris Steele, Executive Director, The Education and Employment Ministry
  • Alison Stewart, Contributing Editor, The Atlantic
  • Mimi Tarrasch, Executive Senior Program Director, Women in Recovery


Interested in disability advocacy? Apply for Partners in Policymaking (Guest post: Amy Smith)

by | June 15th, 2017 | Posted in Children and Families, Upcoming Events | Comments (1)

Amy Smith is a graduate student in Disability Studies, a proud graduate of both Partners in Policymaking and the OK Policy Summer Policy Institute, and is currently a research intern at the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy.  She lives in Ada with her husband and two of her four children who haven’t flown the coop yet.

2015 Partners in Policymaking class

In one of the few bright spots in an otherwise frustrating Legislative session, advocates for any number of organizations and causes were increasingly visible at the Capitol and statewide. Teams including Together Oklahoma and Let’s Fix This have mobilized advocates through grassroots coalitions and informational resources while groups such as the Oklahoma Education Association and Oklahoma Public Employees Association make noise at the Capitol. Similarly, disability advocates have become more visible through rallies and helping to pass legislation such as the ABLE Act and the Autism Insurance Reform Act.

Many of those disability advocates, myself included, came to the Capitol via Partners in Policymaking, an international program that teaches adults with disabilities, their family members, and the professionals who work with them the skills to become advocates who promote systems change. In Oklahoma, this nine-month program is operated by the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council. Partners students meet one weekend a month to complete a slate of classes on topics including advocacy and grassroots organizing, special education law, sexuality and relationships, guardianship and alternatives, the state and federal legislative process, serving on boards, leadership development, employment, assistive technology, and navigating state and federal service systems.

Continue Reading »

Upcoming Event: Education in Oklahoma panel discussion at USAO

by | January 18th, 2017 | Posted in Upcoming Events | Comments (0)

The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s Nita R. Giles Public Policy Program and the Oklahoma Policy Institute present Education in Oklahoma, a panel discussion examining feasible solutions to problems facing the Oklahoma education system.

When: Jan. 24 at 7 p.m.

Where: University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, Student Center Ballroom, Chickasha, OK


  • Phyllis Hudecki, former Oklahoma Secretary of Education, executive director, Oklahoma Business and Education Coalition
  • David Perryman, Oklahoma State Representative
  • Mickey Hepner, dean, College of Business, University of Central Oklahoma
  • Joe Siano, superintendent, Norman Public Schools
  • Megan Benn, consultant

Moderator: Gene Perry, policy director, Oklahoma Policy Institute

The Nita R. Giles Public Policy Program is the only undergraduate program of its kind in Oklahoma and one of only a few nationally. The program is specifically focused on Oklahoma, producing graduates who have the skills and passion to help our state solve problems and ensure a sustainable future. The program arms students with the range of skills, knowledge and experiences, in and out of the classroom, which will enable them to contribute to policymaking at all levels of society.

Join us for the 2017 State Budget Summit

by | December 13th, 2016 | Posted in Budget, OK Policy, Upcoming Events | Comments (0)

As Oklahoma’s 2017 legislative session approaches, the combination of continued budget shortfalls at the state level and a new national Administration and Congress committed to far-reaching changes to critical programs have created an unprecedented level of uncertainty and apprehension. OK Policy’s 4th Annual State Budget Summit, which will be held on Thursday, January 26th in Oklahoma City, will bring together all those with an interest in state policy issues for a day of thoughtful discussion and exchange of ideas aimed at understanding the challenges we now face and charting a course for a more prosperous future.

The special early-bird registration price of just $75 is available through January 5th. Click here to register. The cost as of January 6th is $90.

Continue Reading »

Upcoming Event: Sleeping Giant author on how the ‘new working class’ is transforming America

by | August 11th, 2016 | Posted in Blog, Economy, OK Policy, Upcoming Events | Comments (0)

sleeping giant2There was a time when America’s working class was seen as the backbone of the economy with considerable political, economic, and moral authority. In recent decades, the working class has transformed as far more female and racially diverse workers have been employed by the restaurant, retail, health care, and other service industries. At the same time, this new working class has been marginalized, if not ignored, by politicians and pundits.

As Tamara Draut makes clear in an important and timely new book, Sleeping Giant: How the New Working Class Will Transform America, this is changing, swiftly and dramatically. As the November election draws near, Tamara Draut will be visiting Oklahoma to discuss her book at a pair of public events in Tulsa and Oklahoma City:

Continue Reading »

Upcoming Event: Free public lecture discusses infant and toddler welfare

On Tuesday, May 10, from noon to 1pm, a free public presentation sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Office of Planning, Research and Statistics and the University of Oklahoma Center for Public Management will examine the child welfare system. The event, titled “Making the Invisible Visible: The Real Cost of Child Welfare for Infants and Toddlers in Oklahoma,” will be held at the Oklahoma History Center (800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73105).

This session will examine the real cost of child welfare—both for families and our society as a whole—when the early mental health needs of infants and toddlers are not considered and prioritized from a promotion-prevention lens. Challenges and gaps within the child welfare system will be addressed as well as strategies to mitigate these challenges across the early childhood system of care. The lecture is free and open to the public. Click here to register.

Continue Reading »

Upcoming Event: Practice & Policy lecture explores new study on Oklahoma’s affordable housing

by | March 30th, 2016 | Posted in Upcoming Events | Comments (0)

On Thursday, April 21, from noon to 1pm, a free public presentation will discuss a new  comprehensive statewide affordable housing needs assessment for Oklahoma. The event, titled “Oklahoma’s Affordable Housing Study: The Demand and Cost of Housing, Homelessness, Fair Housing, and Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazards”, will be at the Oklahoma History Center (800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73105).

The Oklahoma Housing Needs Assessment is a statewide study that analyzes the affordable housing needs of moderate to low income households for each county and the state as a whole. The study examines housing needs by income and population subsets, homelessness, disaster resiliency, fair housing, residential lead-based paint hazards, and forecasts of future housing demand. The Housing Needs Assessment can be found here. The lecture is free and open to the public. Click here to register.

Continue Reading »

Upcoming Event: Free public lecture to discuss suicide prevention

by | March 10th, 2016 | Posted in Upcoming Events | Comments (0)
Savannah Kalman

Savannah Kalman

On March 23, Savannah Kalman of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) will give a free, public lecture on suicide prevention in Oklahoma. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Oklahomans ages 10-35. Oklahoma’s rate of death by suicide for 25-64 year olds is 24.9 per 100,000 residents, almost double the national suicide rate of 12.7 per 100,000. Kalman will speak about what Oklahoma is doing to reduce deaths and attempts of suicide. Participants will leave knowing more about the scope of suicide in Oklahoma and many ways to get involved in preventing suicide as an individual and as part of an organization.

Continue Reading »

Upcoming Event: ‘Dream On’ Film Screening

OK Policy and the OSU Forum of Geography Graduate Students will host a screening of the new documentary Dream On at OSU-Stillwater on Tuesday, January 19th at 6:30pm. In an epic road trip, political comedian John Fugelsang retraces the journey of Alexis de Tocqueville to investigate the perilous state of the American Dream after decades of rising income inequality and declining economic mobility.

The screening will be in Room 108 of the Noble Research Center.  A panel discussion featuring Mana Tahaie (Director of Mission Impact, YWCA Tulsa) and Lawrence Ware (Lecturer and Diversity Coordinator, OSU) will follow.

The event is free and open to the public. You can RSVP on Facebook here and download a flyer for the event here. See a trailer for the film below:

Continue Reading »