by Patrick B. McGugian
Lydia Gill Polley of Oklahoma City will receive the Oklahoma Conference of Churches (OCC) Advocacy Award as part of the organization’s “Day at the Legislature” on Monday, February 29 held at the State Capitol.
The award will be presented during the luncheon which takes place at St. Paul’s Cathedral, 127 N.W. 7th Street, in downtown Oklahoma City.
Lydia is the former chairman of the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (OK-CADP), and remains active with the group.
Born Lydia Pfrimmer in Arkansas, she came to Crescent, Oklahoma, with her parents at the age of four, and says, “I’ve been an Okie ever since.”
Her formal education in music included attendance at the University of Oklahoma. She earned a degree in adult education from Oklahoma City University.
During a long career as an educator, she worked in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Indiana, teaching in other states and in the nation of Costa Rica.
She spent many years teaching “weatherization” skills and other practical programs.
The workshops for which she served as facilitator drew “repeat participants.”
The trainings were described in literature as “the most rewarding you’ve even been a part of, because she creatively involves all participants in a way that will reward them with new insights, enhanced skills and renewed enthusiasm.”
Her professional work included time in programs sponsored by federal energy funds, as an associate director at the YWCA, and with the Agency for Christian Cooperative Ministry.
Lydia told The City Sentinel that in retirement she has “loved working for peace and justice causes.” She confessed she never grows tired of “standing on street corners, holding signs for peace and good causes.”
In addition, to her many professional and volunteer affiliations, Lydia is the mother of four grown children. She has nine grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.
She remains active in support of favorite causes.
Lydia draws great joy from involving young people in the democratic process. Last week, she joined others to escort Muslims as they entered the state Capitol to participate in a legislative awareness day.
On Sunday (February 28) she attended the Bernie Sanders for President rally held at the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City. In an interview with The City Sentinel, Lydia said she was thrilled to see thousands of young people among those in attendance: “It excites me so much. I decided to count the people walking right by me and I counted hundreds who were young, and eight older couples. That gives me hope for the future.”