2018 Summer Policy Institute Agenda

OK Policy Summer Policy Institute Agenda 

July 29-August 1, 2018


All events are at the University of Tulsa, Allen Chapman Student Union unless otherwise noted.



Sunday, July 29th

Sunday, July 29th

*Group photos will be taken after final presentation

12:00 – 12:30 – University of Tulsa room and program check-in Allen Chapman Student Union, TU, 440 S. Gary Ave., Tulsa, OK 74104

1:00 – 1:30 – Welcome and Introductions – David Blatt (Executive Director, OK Policy), Shiloh Kantz (Director of Operations and Development, OK Policy) Great Hall A

1:30 – 2:00 – Activity with Houses – Great Hall A

Get to know your fellow SPI attendees and OK Policy staff in this fun, getting-to-know-you activity.

2:00 – 2:50 – Budget & Tax Overview – David Blatt (Executive Director, OK Policy) Great Hall A

In this presentation, OK Policy Director David Blatt will discuss the major components of Oklahoma’s tax system and state budget, and will review recent changes in the state fiscal landscape.

2:50 – 3:00 – Break

3:00 – 3:45 – Legislative Introduction – Bailey Perkins (Outreach and Legislative Director, OK Policy) Great Hall A

At the end of the day, politics is nothing but the process of who gets what, when, and how of the public’s resources and power. While political campaigns draw most of the non-stop media coverage, it is the mostly mundane, but extremely important legislative process where the bulk of the State’s resources and power are allocated.  This seminar will provide participants an overview understanding of the Oklahoma State Legislature process, timelines, and procedures.

3:45* – 5:15 – Check in with Houses followed by free time Great Hall A

5:15 – 6:30 – Dinner from Andolini’s Food Truck (Circle Cinema) 10 S. Lewis Ave., Tulsa, OK 74104

6:30 – 9:00 – “Bottom Dollars” (Circle Cinema)

“How would you like to work for two weeks, and come out with a $6 check?” That’s the reality for almost 250,000 Americans with disabilities who are paid below the minimum wage. This film exposes this exploitative system and offers solutions to end segregation and discrimination against workers with disabilities.

Discussion: “Bottom Dollars” (Circle Cinema) – Amy Smith, Disability Advocate/Board Member Oklahoma Disability Law Center



Monday, July 30th

8:15 – 9:00 – Breakfast Great Hall A

9:00 – 10:30 – Panel Discussion: Oklahoma’s Fiscal Challenges Great Hall A  

In this session, policy leaders and academic specialists will discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by a changing budgetary landscape at the local, state and federal levels.

Panelists: Anthony Francisco (Finance Director, City of Norman), Rep. Kevin Wallace (Chair, House Appropriations and Budget Committee, Oklahoma House of Representatives), Rep. Jason Dunnington (Member, House Appropriations and Budget Committee, Oklahoma House of Representatives), Dr. Cynthia Rogers (Professor of Economics, University of Oklahoma), Chuck Hoskin, Jr. (Secretary of State, Cherokee Nation)

Moderator: Bailey Perkins (Outreach and Legislative Director, OK Policy)

10:30 – 10:40 – Break          

10:40 – 12:00 – Panel Discussion: Oklahoma Campaigns and Elections Great Hall A

In this session, panelists will give their insight on the political landscape in Oklahoma and discuss the state of electoral competition and political participation.

Panelists: Nicole McAfee (Smart Justice Campaign Manager, ACLU Oklahoma), Cordon DeKock (Vice President of Political Affairs, State Chamber of Oklahoma), Neva Hill (President, Neva Hill & Company)

Moderator: Sabine Brown (Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator, OK Policy)

12:00 – 12:40pm – Lunch Great Hall A

12:40 – 2:15 – Round Table Discussion: Careers in Public Policy Great Hall A 

Running for office isn’t the only way to have a career in public policy. In small groups, students will have an opportunity to ask questions of policy professionals from a wide range of fields. Make sure you take a look at the policy professionals’ bios in advance. Time will allow for participants to participate in three small group discussions.

Participants: Rep. Cyndi Munson (Oklahoma House of Representatives), Ed Long (Principal and Founder, Cross Sector Innovations), Moises Echeverria (CEO, Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice), Tamya Cox (Lobbyist and Attorney), Courtney Cullison (Economic Security Policy Analyst, OK Policy), Bailey Perkins (Outreach and Legislative Director, OK Policy), Catherine Sweeney (State Government Reporter, Journal Record), Nick Doctor (Chief of Community Development and Policy, City of Tulsa)

2:15 – 2:25 – Break  

2:25 – 2:45 – Overview: Economic Security – Courtney Cullison (Policy Analyst, OK Policy) Great Hall A  

Despite ample natural resources and a strong sense of charity, Oklahoma is one of the poorer states in the nation – our poverty rate is consistently above the national average.  This presentation examines poverty in Oklahoma, focusing on the daily challenges of poverty and factors that hinder economic opportunity and long-term economic security.  Why can it seem nearly impossible for the economically disadvantaged to get ahead?

2:50 – 4:30 – Round Table Discussion: Economic Security Great Hall A 

Participants: Shelley Cadamy (Executive Director, Workforce Tulsa), Rep. Carol Bush (Oklahoma House of Representatives), Rep. Meloyde Blancett (Oklahoma House of Representatives), Suzette Chang (Director of Library Services, Guthrie Public Library), Jeff Jaynes (Executive Director, Restore Hope), Chris Bernard (Executive Director, Hunger Free Oklahoma), Elizabeth Edwards (Staff Attorney, Legal Aid of Oklahoma)

4:30 – 4:45 – Presentation: Black Wall Street: Remembering the Tulsa Race Massacre – DeVon Douglass (Chief Resilience Officer, Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Equity, City of Tulsa) Great Hall A

4:45 – Check in with Houses and Break for Evening Activities

5:55 – 6:45 – Tour of John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park and Greenwood Cultural Center 290-300 N Elgin Ave., Tulsa, OK 74120

Please arrive a few minutes before 6pm. Docents from the John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park will lead a tour and discussion of the exhibits in the museum.  

7:00 – 9:30 – Game Night – IDL Ballroom 230 E. 1st Street, Tulsa, OK 74103

We will host a casual evening of food, drinks, and games, and the chance to meet current elected officials, candidates running for legislative and statewide offices, SPI alumni, financial supporters, and other friends of OK Policy.




Tuesday, July 31st

*Group photos will be taken at the close of the Tuesday evening program

8:00 – 8:30 – Breakfast Great Hall A 

8:30 – 9:00 – Overview: Oklahoma’s Health Landscape – Carly Putnam (Policy Director, OK Policy) Great Hall A

What’s happening with health care in Oklahoma? In this overview, we’ll review health stats, talk about who has access to what kinds of care, discuss state and federal funding, and dive into what lies ahead for health care reform.

9:00 – 10:45 – Round Table Discussion: Health Care in Oklahoma Great Hall A

In this session, community leaders, policy experts, and health care providers will share and explain their perspectives on the health care safety net in Oklahoma, discussing challenges and opportunities in providing care; characteristics of those covered and those still in need of care; and the future of health care in Oklahoma.

Participants: Melissa Gower (Senior Advisor, Policy Analyst, Chickasaw Nation Division of Health), Jessica Hawkins (Senior Director of Prevention Services, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services), Erin Taylor (Disability Advocate, Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council), Jim McCarthy (CEO, Community Health Connection), Sen. Allison Ikley-Freeman (Oklahoma State Senate)

10:45 – 11:00 – Break          

11:00 – 12:15 – Breakout Sessions

• Race in Public Policy – Dr. Jason F. Kirksey (Vice President for Institutional Diversity and the Chief Diversity Officer at Oklahoma State University) Great Hall A

This session explores policy, past and present, affecting people of color in Oklahoma. Violence, bias and disenfranchisement continue to narrow life choices and frustrate economic advancement. Yet innovative equity movements, to expand access to opportunity for all Oklahomans and elevate our political consciousness, continue to move us forward.

• Infographics/Finding and Using Data – Gene Perry (Strategy and Communications Director, OK Policy) Great Hall B

How do we do what we do? In this session, OK Policy staff will share tips for where to find data, how to use it, and what to watch out for when researching public policy. We will also share tips and tools for visualizing your data as charts, maps, infographics, and more.

• Running for Office – Charity Marcus (CEO, Avenu PR), Michael Whelan (President, Camelot Consulting) Chouteau B

Have you ever thought about running for office, working on a campaign, or becoming a political consultant? Attendees will interact with two experienced political consultants who will share insight into what it takes to run a good campaign, the realities of managing a firm, and best practices when working on a campaign or running for office.

• Direct Lobbying – Bailey Perkins (Outreach and Legislative Director, OK Policy) Chouteau A

This session will examine the best practice for direct policy advocacy in Oklahoma and the best practices to advocate directly to a legislator. It will also look at the lobbying system as a whole. Participants will have opportunities to discuss methods and ask questions of the Oklahoma Policy lobbying staff.

12:15 – 1:00 – Lunch Great Hall A

1:00 – 1:30 – Overview: Criminal Justice – Ryan Gentzler (Director, Open Justice Oklahoma) Great Hall A

Oklahoma has surpassed Louisiana for the highest incarceration rate in the world, but reforms aimed at reducing incarceration have begun to take hold at both the state and local levels. This session will examine the challenges facing the criminal justice system and recent efforts at reform.

1:35 – 3:05 – Panel Discussion: Criminal Justice Reform Great Hall A

Criminal justice practitioners and advocates discuss the state of criminal justice policy and reform in Oklahoma. This panel will examine the justice system from several perspectives, identifying challenges and opportunities the state must face to improve public safety.

Panelists: Damita Price (Criminal Justice Reform Advocate), Jill Webb (Criminal Defense Attorney), Erik Grayless (Assistant District Attorney, Tulsa County), Kris Steele (Chair, Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform)

Moderator: Ryan Gentzler (Director, Open Justice Oklahoma)

3:05 – 3:15 – Break  

3:15 – 4:45 – Check in with Houses Great Hall A

This is an opportunity to check in with your SPI House members and answer questions from the question box.

4:45 – Break for the evening activities

6:30 – 9:00* – Dinner at McNellie’s Bond Event Center 608 E. 3rd Street, Tulsa, OK 74120

Panel: Public Leadership: Myths and Realities (Bond Event Center)

Several of Oklahoma’s most respected current and former leaders will share reflections and insights from their years in public service. They will focus on some of the ways that the reality of holding elected and appointed office and exercising leadership differ from popular myths, and will also reflect on some of the toughest challenges and proudest success of their careers. 

Panelists: Bill John Baker (Principal Chief, Cherokee Nation), Cindy Simon Rosenthal (Former Mayor, City of Norman), Judge David Lewis (Vice-Presiding Judge, Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals), Melissa McLawhorn Houston (Commissioner of Labor, State of Oklahoma)

Moderator: Ann-Clore Duncan (Board Member, OK Policy)




Wednesday, August 1st

8:00 – 8:45 – Breakfast Great Hall A

8:45 – 9:15 – Overview: Education Issues – Gene Perry (Strategy and Communications Director, OK Policy) Great Hall A 

Education policy has been the focus of some of the most contentious debates at the Capitol in recent years. This overview will discuss debates over such issues as education funding, high-stakes testing, and racial and economic inequities in education, and how these translate to what’s happening in the classroom.

9:20 – 10:50 – Round Table Discussion: Education Issues Great Hall A 

State leaders and education experts will discuss the state of public education in Oklahoma and how state, local, and national policies are affecting schools, educators, and students.

Panelists: Rob Miller (Superintendent, Bixby Public Schools), Alison Taylor (Oklahoma PTA President-Elect), Julien Guerrero, Jr. (Executive Director, American Indian Education, Oklahoma Department of Education), Alicia Priest (President, Oklahoma Education Association), Erin Velez (Program Manager, Center for Community School Strategies), Rep. Jadine Nollan (Chair, Higher Education and Career Tech Committee, Oklahoma House of Representatives)

10:50 – 11:00 – Break          

11:00 – 12:15 – Keynote African American Family History, Memory, and Migration after the Civil War – Kendra T. Field (Assistant Professor of History, Tufts University) Great Hall A

This talk narrates the westward migration of freedom’s first generation in the fifty years after emancipation. Drawing on archival research and family histories within and beyond Oklahoma, Field traces her own ancestors’ journey out of the South into Indian Territory, where they participated in the development of black and black Indian towns and settlements. When statehood, oil speculation, and Jim Crow segregation imperiled their lives and livelihoods, these formerly enslaved women and men again chose emigration, participating in a little-known back-to-Africa movement. Interweaving black, white, and Indian histories, their lives and choices deepen and widen the roots of the Great Migration, revealing the deeply transnational and multiracial dimensions of freedom’s first generation.

12:20 – 1:15 – Lunch Great Hall A

1:15 – 2:45 – Breakout Sessions #2

• Gender and Public Policy – Jan Wilson (Wellspring Associate Professor of History, The University of Tulsa) Great Hall A

The 2016 election and new vacancies on the US Supreme Court have thrown the future of the constitutionality of abortion in the US into doubt. This session will examine the legal framework behind the Roe V. Wade decision, as well as more recent shifts in law and policies both federally and in Oklahoma.

• Grassroots Advocacy – Sabine Brown (Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator, OK Policy) Chouteau A

This session will examine the need for grassroots advocacy in Oklahoma, the best practices to advocate via a grassroots network, and some of the challenges advocates face. Participants will have opportunities to discuss methods and ask questions of the Oklahoma Policy advocacy team.

• Social Media and Design – Jessica Vazquez (Communications Associate, OK Policy) Chouteau B

We have the data, now what? This session will explore how we use social media to engage our audience and shape public policy. From designing eye-catching graphics to curating relevant content, OK Policy’s Jessica Vazquez will share tips on how to craft a social media strategy that furthers your organization’s mission and goals.

• Food Security – Working Today, Hungry Tomorrow” Eileen Bradshaw (Executive Director, Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma) Great Hall B

This session will explore the myths and realities of who the food insecure in today’s America really are, and why it is happening. It will examine elements of the public-private partnership of food assistance, and why both partners are so critical to keeping food on the collective table.

2:45 – Check in with Houses Great Hall A 

3:00 – Wrap Up Activity, Alumni Engagement, Goodbyes, and Certificates Great Hall A

3:30 – Check-out of University of Tulsa Housing Chi Omega and Tri Delta Houses



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