By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The public is invited to attend the 35th Annual Day at the Legislature (DAL), hosted by the Oklahoma Conference of Churches, on Monday, February 26 beginning at 8:30 a.m. This year’s event will focus on the issue of equal justice.
Registration and opening will take place at the Oklahoma State Capitol fourth floor rotunda. Lunch and afternoon workshops will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, 127 N.W. 7th Street in downtown Oklahoma City.
Workshop topics for 2017 will include Muslims in Oklahoma, Alternatives to Incarceration, Immigration and White Privilege. The event will conclude at 4:45 p.m.
Keynote speakers will feature the Rev. Lawrence Ware, pastor of Christian education at the Prospect Missionary Baptist Church and the Rev. Lori Walke, Associate Minister of Mayflower Congregational United Church of Christ. Dr. George Henderson will be the closing speaker.
A member of the Choctaw Nation, Lawrence Ware is co-director of the Oklahoma State University’s Africana Studies Program and Teaching Assistant Professor and Diversity Coordinator in OSU’s Department of Philosophy.
Ware is a contributing writer to Slate Magazine, The New York Times and The Root. He has been a commentator on race and politics for the Huffington Post Live, NPR, and TV One. Lawrence has lectured across the country on issues ranging from race to economic policy. He organizes the Critical Conversations series, which hosts a number of events on campus related to race, gender, and religion.
Referred to on her website as the “High Heel Rev,” Lori Walke is a native Oklahoman who “preaches and teaches progressive Christianity with a Southern style.” Walke was a scholarship athlete for Oklahoma State University, where she received her undergraduate degree in Political Science and graduate degree in Health Care Administration. An advocate for social justice, she earned her juris doctorate from Oklahoma City University School of Law in 2009.
Walke earned her Masters of Divinity from Philips Theological Seminary and was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 2012. She is a member of the UCC’s Next Generation Leadership Initiative, a 20-year focus on energizing and sustaining younger, emerging UCC local church pastors.
Dr. George Henderson is a prominent race relations and civil rights scholar. Henderson is director of the University of Oklahoma’s Department of Human Relations Advanced Studies program and a former Dean of OU’s College of Liberal Studies. The Henderson Scholars Program and the Henderson-Tolson Cultural Center on the Norman campus bear his name.
“Come together with people of faith from across Oklahoma to learn about the legislative process and advocacy, meet state legislators, and learn strategies to be part of transformative and restorative justice,” said OCC executive director,the Rev. Dr. William Tabbernee. “Bring members of your congregation to this important day and help us build a more just Oklahoma.”
OCC is comprised of 16 denominations; 1500 local congregations; ecumenical, Interfaith, and community partners totaling more than half a million Oklahomans.
Each year OCC sponsors the Day at the Legislature in order to inform Oklahoma citizens about the legislative process and to create a learning environment for those who wish to better serve the state through responsible advocacy.
OCC’s Day of Legislation registration fee of $40 includes a catered lunch and all materials. For more information, visit okchurches.org or call 405-525-2928.