By OICA CEO Joe Dorman
Our group is called the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, and we take that last word in our name very seriously. If it were not for the citizen-led organizations demanding more for our society and working to help certain segments have better opportunities, we would see fewer folks of all ages have a chance to achieve the American dream.
OICA often partners with other foundations, organizations and nonprofits to help their efforts, as the rising tide truly does lift all ships in the effort for prosperity. If more organizations worked together, not just on idealistic goals, but also in achieving workable collaborations, far more people would see the benefit of that work.
I want to encourage those who want to become more engaged to check out three upcoming conferences. Honestly, we can do a lot as organizations, but the real success comes when a multitude of people become united in the cause and show strength in numbers.
The first event is sponsored by the Potts Family Foundation. They are hosting the 2017 Oklahoma Early Childhood Coalition Business Summit at the Embassy Suites Oklahoma City Downtown/Medical Center on July 12, 2017.
This year’s summit will highlight the successes of the Oklahoma Early Childhood Coalition, with special emphasis on four areas of impact to families with children, birth to five. Those areas are:
• Pay for Success, as a public/private strategy for achieving measurable outcomes
• Connecting children’s physical and brain health
• Adverse childhood experiences and ways communities can build resilience
• A two-generation approach to reducing poverty and improving education and work outcomes.
Anyone wishing to attend can register through this Event Brite link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2017-oklahoma-early-childhood-coalition-business-summit-tickets-33907928527
The next forum I would suggest is hosted by the Oklahoma Academy. Their annual Town Hall discusses a different topic each year. For 2017, the issue will be voting in Oklahoma and ways we can improve the system and see an increase in voter turnout. I am firmly convinced if we have more voters going to the polls and those voters are informed on the issues, we will see better results from the entire process, especially for the children of our state.
The 2017 Academy Town Hall will be held in Durant on October 15-18. You can read more about the conference and download the application at this address: https://indd.adobe.com/view/20ed2a08-e86b-4116-bd73-e315b3a5cd88
Finally, I would like for you to save the date for OICA’s 2017 KIDS COUNT Fall Forum. This is the meeting where we have child advocates from across the state convene to discuss issues impacting the children of our state and brainstorm to find solutions. We will hold this event on November 2 at the Oklahoma State Capitol and we would like to see folks from across Oklahoma not only become more engaged in the process to advocate for kids, but also join us in learning more and about the issues. You can also download the 2017 OICA Advocacy Guide and our Legislative handbook at http://oica.org/advocactes-guide-legislative-policy-handbook/
Not only will these events help you be better equipped with the necessary knowledge on how to effectively advocate for kids, you will also meet like-minded advocates who share your passion. I look forward to seeing you at one, if not all, of these events!
The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy was established in 1983 by a group of citizens, to create a strong advocacy network that would provide a voice for the needs of children and youth in Oklahoma, particularly those in the state’s care and those growing up amid poverty, violence, abuse and neglect, disparities, or other situations that put their lives and future at risk.
Our mission statement: “Creating awareness, taking action and changing policy to improve the health, safety and well-being of Oklahoma’s children.“
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