Previous Diversity Learning Series Events
Mental Health Awareness - featuring DeLainna Percifield, Jerry Allan Gates & Katherine Wright Conner
Katherine Wright Conner, LCSW, IMHE®-I, is the site director for children’s services for CREOKS in Okmulgee, OK. She specializes in infant mental health and is an adoption competent therapist. Katherine has presented at the International Infant Toddler Conference, the Children’s Mental Health Symposium, and the Association for Play Therapy’s Educational Series. Katherine also provides consultation for the Oklahoma Child Care Warmline. Previously, Katherine was employed by CARD Early Head Start as a Home Based and Mentoring Specialist and a classroom educator.
How Communities Shape Us
The OSUIT Diversity & Inclusion Committee is proud to welcome T.W. Shannon for a discussion about "How Communities Shape Us."
T.W. Shannon is an accomplished leader with diverse experience in business, public service and community engagement. Today he leads one of the most unique banks in the country. As the CEO of Chickasaw Community Bank based in Oklahoma City, he leads a remarkably successful enterprise that is wholly owned by the Chickasaw Nation. Prior to his tenure as CEO of Chickasaw Community Bank, T.W. made history by becoming the youngest Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, as well as being the first Chickasaw and first African American to hold the post.
Before serving in the legislature, T.W. worked as one of five C-level officers in the role of Chief Administrative Officer at the Chickasaw Nation, which generated annual revenues of over $1 billion, and employed over 7,500 employees at the time. In his role with the Chickasaw Nation, he also led the support functions for the most financially successful tribe in the country and worked on governmental affairs on both a state and national level.
T.W. currently serves as a board member of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education in Washington DC. In addition to his position with CURE, T.W. is a member of the board of Trustees for Oklahoma City University; a Commissioner of the State of Oklahoma Transportation Commission; and a board member for the Civic Center Foundation, Leadership Oklahoma, Oklahoma Bankers Association, and Oklahoma Hall of Fame. T.W. has a Juris Doctor degree from Oklahoma City University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Cameron University. Additionally, he is a Harvard University IOP Fellow and an Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow.
T.W. has been married to his college sweetheart Devon (a college professor) for 18 years and they are the proud parents of Audrey Grace, and Tahrohon Wayne, II. He considers his family his greatest accomplishment and nothing is more important to him than his wife and children.
Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial
The OSUIT Diversity & Inclusion Committee proudly welcomed Phil Armstrong of Greenwood Rising and the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission for a discussion about the 1921 massacre.
A native of Ohio, Phil Armstrong has made Tulsa his home for more than 20 years. Armstrong has a varied background in the corporate sector and as an entrepreneur in the restaurant business and has been actively engaged in the community by serving on several non-profit boards, including the Barthelmes School for Music, Community Service Council, Reading Partners of Tulsa and as chairman of the board for the Greenwood Cultural Center.
Armstrong holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Akron.
Phil will work with the Commission, its subcommittees and key Greenwood District organizations to execute plans for the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre.
Tour of Tulsa's Greenwood District
Moises Echeverria serves as President and CEO of the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice, an organization dedicated to achieving respect and understanding for all people. He first became acquainted with OCCJ in 2002 as a program participant. He then served as a board member and volunteer, and subsequently as staff.
His passion for social justice, education, and giving back to the community is reflected on the service he has given to numerous organizations. He currently serves on the Tulsa City-County Library Commission as a Mayoral appointment. He also serves in the Oklahoma Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Leadership Oklahoma Board, Tulsa Honor Academy Board, and Tulsa Public Schools Community Advisory Committee. Echeverria is a graduate of Leadership Tulsa, Class 54 and Leadership Oklahoma, Class 32.
He has received multiple awards for his work in the community including the Russell Bennett Award by Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry, the Circle of Friends in Service Award by The Links Incorporated, Impacto Hispanic Young Professional of the Year Award by the Tulsa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and The Oklahoma Human Rights Award by the Oklahoma Human Rights Alliance. In 2018 Moises was recognized by Oklahoma Magazine as one of four Oklahomans of the Year.
Echeverria completed a Bachelor in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University and a Master in Human Relations from The University of Oklahoma.
The Impact of the Pandemic on Minority Communities
The OSUIT Diversity & Inclusion Committee welcomed Timothy Hicks, Dr. Teressa Hunter and Toby Jenkins for a speaker panel about the Impact of the Pandemic on Minority Communities.
This event took place on December 9 at 3 p.m. via Zoom.
Teressa Hunter, Ph.D., RN, serves as the Dean, School of Nursing and Health Professions (SoNHP) at Langston University. She earned her bachelor's degrees in biology and nursing at the University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Oklahoma; master's in nursing at the University of Oklahoma, OKC campus, and Ph.D. in nursing at Texas Woman's University. She provides oversight of three programs within the SoNHP, including nursing, healthcare administration, and public health. The nursing programs are located on the Langston and Tulsa campuses and at the UCSO in Ardmore.
Dr. Hunter's research includes Individual Interviews with African American Women
Regarding Condom Use: A Pilot Study, The Process used to Negotiate Condom Use
among African American Women: A Grounded Theory Study, and The Quest for HIV
Elimination: A Grounded Theory Study. She is also interested in academic success
strategies for minority nursing students and access to health care among minority
Dr. Hunter is a member of the National League for Nursing, Oklahoma Nurses
Association, Sigma Theta Tau, Inc., Upsilon Pi, Oklahoma City Black Nurses
Association, and the National Black Nurses Association. She also serves as a program
peer evaluator for the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. She is a
member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Beta Sigma Omega Chapter in OKC. She
is also a member of the Fairview Baptist Church, OKC, where she serves as the President
of the Nurses/Healthcare Ministry and the Co-chair of the Fishes and Loaves Ministry.
Dr. Hunter is married to Larry Hunter and has three children, Tameka Wright, Anwan
Hunter, and Whitney Hunter.
Timothy Hicks is Chief Operating Officer of Hospital Services at the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health. A native of Beggs, OK, Hicks earned his undergraduate degree from Northeastern State University and obtained his Master of Business Administration in Health Care Administration at Southern Nazarene University. He was recently named to Oklahoma Magazine’s 40 under 40.
Toby Jenkins, Executive Director of Oklahomans for Equality (OkEq) based in Tulsa. OkEq is Oklahoma’s oldest gay rights organization which works for social justice and full inclusion for Oklahoma’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) citizens and their allies. Jenkins served as a minister for 16 years and through the Tulsa County District Courts for 15 years.
"Systemic Racism" Speaker Panel featuring Bishop Frederick M. Brown, Ms. Jace Cuney DeCory, Terra Branson-Thomas and Dr. Lewis Brogdon
Live streamed via Zoom on Nov. 6, 2020.
Bishop Frederick M. Brown
Bishop Frederick M. Brown, Jr. of Charlotte, North Carolina is the founder and senior pastor of The Faith Center Church in Bluefield, West Virginia and Faith Center Church of Charlotte in Charlotte, North Caroline and the presiding bishop for the Communion of Covenant Ministries International.
Growing up in a Christian environment, great spiritual things in his life were inevitable. Bishop Brown's ministry began as a singer, musician and songwriter; then God began revealing the next dimension of his destiny which was to develop a five-fold ministry.
Brown gained his education from Marshall University, Huntington in West Virginia, Rhema Bible Training Center in Tulsa and Concord University, Athens in West Virginia.
His previous ministerial positions include associate minister for the Love Center Christian Fellowship in Tulsa, associate pastor for the Harvest Outreach Center in West Virginia, associate pastor for Souls Harbor Ministries in Virginia and director of the Full Gospel Bible Institute in Virginia.
He is happily married to Mrs. Aiesha Brown and a proud father to 13 month old twins Myles and Marek and his son Joshua, who is a recent graduate of Florida State University.
Ms. Jace Cuney DeCory
Ms. Jace Cuney DeCory (Lakota/Oceti Sakowin/Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe), Asst. Professor Emerita, American Indian Studies, Black Hills State University, Spearfish, South Dakota, retired in June 2017, after teaching American Indian Studies classes at BHSU for 33 years in the College of Liberal Arts.
DeCory continues to give cultural presentations and her interests lie in Lakota history, art, philosophy, American Indian women and cultural change. Her guiding forces are her two sons Jr. and Dawson and her grandchildren. DeCory enjoys beading baby moccasins for relatives and friends. She credits Lakota elders for providing guidance, prayers and support throughout her life. Mitakuye Oyasin (For All My Relations – We are all related)
DeCory is a proponent of healthy lifestyles for Indigenous people and has worked to develop health-related materials to inform and educate. She has given presentations at various health-related workshops, including the use of traditional tobacco (cansasa) in Lakota society for ceremony and prayer. She was instrumental in the development of a culture guide to assist folks working with American Indian people, entitled, Cultural Guide to American Indian Tribes in Montana and Wyoming, 2006, in her work a Project Export grant at BHSU.
Terra Branson-Thomas, a citizen of Muscogee (Creek) Nation, currently serves as the Secretary of the Nation & Commerce. The Secretary of the Nation & Commerce is an appointed and confirmed cabinet position responsible for the Nation’s economic development,intergovernmental relationships, and social welfare policy development.
Ms. Branson-Thomas has extensive experience in Indian policy and legislative history – particularly in the areas of Self-Governance and Self-Determination. She also a wealth of knowledge regarding tribal governments, non-profit organizations, federal grant writing and administration, strategic planning and program implementation. Her professional experiences include national tribal non-profit management, federal compacting and negotiations, federal and tribal legislative development, federal grant management and grassroots organizing.
Terra has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Native American Studies from Dartmouth College and a Masters of Public Policy from Georgetown University.
Dr. Lewis Brogdon
Dr. Brogdon serves as the Research Professor of Preaching and Black Church Studies at the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Simmons College of Kentucky. He has served in numerous positions in undergraduate and graduate institutions as a professor – Assistant Professor of New Testament and Black Church Studies at Louisville Seminary and Religion and Biblical Studies at Claflin University, and an Associate Professor of Christian Studies at Bluefield College. He also served those institutions as an administrator – the founding director of Louisville Seminary’s Black Church Studies Program, Provost at Simmons College of Kentucky, and Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Research at Bluefield College.
Brogdon is an accomplished writer. He is the author of several books such as A Companion to Philemon (Cascade 2018), The Spirituality of Black Preaching (Seymour Press 2016), The New Pentecostal Message? (Cascade 2015), Dying to Lead: The Disturbing Trend of Clergy Suicide (Seymour Press 2015), Hope on the Brink (Cascade 2013) and No Longer a Slave but a Brother (Scholars Press 2013). As a regular contributor to Christian Ethics Today and Black Politics Today, Brogdon authors numerous articles and book chapter essays for both academic and non-academic audiences.
Dr. Brogdon is also a public intellectual and sought-out preacher, lecturer, consultant, and panelist. Brogdon delivers lecture on Martin Luther King, Jr., the debate about reparations for African Americans, and recent protests about the death of George Floyd in colleges and for community organizations. He has developed academic courses on the study of Martin Luther King, Jr. for four educational institutions in Virginia and Kentucky. He has also lectured at Louisville Seminary, the Interdenominational Theological Center, Claflin University, and Radford University on nihilism in black America. Dr. Brogdon was the keynote speaker at a city-wide Martin Luther King dinner in Dayton OH, and received an invitation to the White House in 2014. Also, he is a special guest on Black Politics Today and presents workshops at major conferences like the Hampton Ministers Conference at Hampton University, the Global 21 Congress in Jerusalem, and the annual congress for the National Baptist Convention of America, International (NBCA). Brogdon is an ordained minister of twenty-seven years and has pastored churches in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio.Brogdon is an accomplished writer. He is the author of several books such as A Companion to Philemon (Cascade 2018), The Spirituality of Black Preaching (Seymour Press 2016), The New Pentecostal Message? (Cascade 2015), Dying to Lead: The Disturbing Trend of Clergy Suicide (Seymour Press 2015), Hope on the Brink (Cascade 2013) and No Longer a Slave but a Brother (Scholars Press 2013). As a regular contributor to Christian Ethics Today and Black Politics Today, Brogdon authors numerous articles and book chapter essays for both academic and non-academic audiences.
"Preferred Pronouns" with Dr. Christine Pappas
As part of its Diversity Learning Series in September, the OSUIT Diversity & Inclusion Committee welcomed Dr. Christine Pappas to talk about the use of preferred pronouns.
Dr. Christine Pappas is chair and professor of Political Science and Legal Studies
in the Department of Politics, Law, and Society at East Central University. She earned
her BA, MA and PhD at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her JD at the University
of Nebraska College of Law. She teaches Political Science Research Methods, Constitutional
Law, Women in Politics, Tribal Politics and other classes.
Pappas has been the faculty sponsor for ECU PRIDE since 2001, and her research examines how minority communities—including LGBTQQIAP+ people—gain rights in a democracy. Her specialty is US Supreme Court decision-making.
She is a licensed attorney and director of the Native American Legal Clinic at ECU, which serves the ECU community as well as the surrounding Native American population. The clinic is forming a specialty for legal name changes and changing gender markers on birth certificates. Pappas also serves as the chair of the City of Ada Advisory Committee on Multiculturalism.
Dr. Frias, vice president at L Brands, the parent company to Bath & Body Works and Victoria's Secret, spoke about the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.