By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The Oklahoma Conference of Churches (OCC) invites the public to its 36th Annual Day at the Legislature on Monday, February 25, at the Oklahoma State Capitol, in Oklahoma City.
The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the 4th floor rotunda. Check in and registration begins at 8:30 a.m.
This year’s theme is “1st and 49th”, which will focus on Oklahoma’s Criminal Justice system, ranked 1st in the nation for incarceration rates, and the Public Education system, ranked 49th in the nation.
Following the keynote there will be a Criminal Justice panel discussion. Panelists will include David Prater, Oklahoma County District Attorney, Rep. Collin Walke (D-87), and Damion Shade, Criminal Justice Policy Analyst with the Oklahoma Policy Institute.
The day will also feature a Legislative Luncheon with Representatives and Senators from across the state which will allow participants the opportunity to engage with their leaders.
The afternoon will consist of various workshops to further engage the days’ topics. They will have the opportunity to hear about the current state of Education in Oklahoma with Trent Ratterree, Legislative and Political Organizing Specialist with the OEA and one of the organizers of the 2018 Teacher Walkout.
They can further engage Criminal Justice Reform with former State Rep. Cory Williams, and can learn about the basics of engaging in advocacy locally with Sabine Brown from the Oklahoma Policy Institute.
During the event, the Oklahoma Conference of Churches will recognize Kris Steele with the 2019 Advocacy Award, and Representative Cyndi Munson with the 2019 Legislative Courage Award, for their outstanding work serving the people of the State of Oklahoma.
The day will conclude with a closing address by the Rev. Shannon Fleck, the new Executive Director of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches.
Early bird registration is now available online for $40. After Feb. 1 at noon, registration will be $50. A donation of $10 will cover the luncheon.
“The Oklahoma Conference of Churches continues to be the most diverse conference of faith traditions and secular organizations in the state, and are proud to say we are growing and expanding in our membership,” Rev. Fleck stated. “We will continue the work of uniting people of all walks of life in the work of social justice, interfaith engagement, and emotional and spiritual care as we move forward into 2019.”
The Oklahoma Conference of Churches consists of 17 different Christian denominations from across the state, as well as Interfaith and Community organizations. Together, the conference engages in social justice ministry, interfaith ministry, and emotional spiritual care.
“The goal of the OCC Day at the Legislature is to educate and empower people of faith in the State of Oklahoma to engage in meaningful advocacy in their communities through the lens of their particular faith tradition,” said Fleck.