by Darla Shelden, City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY – Recently, Allie Shinn, Executive Director of Freedom Oklahoma announced that she will be stepping from that position on May 25.
On Friday Shinn released the following statement by email to Freedom Oklahoma members and on Facebook:
“On March 25th, I celebrated my two year work anniversary with Freedom Oklahoma. Today, I’m writing to tell you that my two year anniversary will be my last.
The last two years have been two of the most incredible of my life. I, like so many of us, spent the first 22 years of my time on this earth hiding a key part of who I am. When I did come out as a lesbian, LGBTQ2S+ Oklahomans offered me the most beautiful, honest, and heartfelt homecoming I have ever known.
Having the opportunity to work with and on behalf of this beautiful family has been the most gratifying, healing experience of my life. Thank you for trusting me. Thank you for holding me accountable. Thank you for showing me what it means to love more fully. I am better today because of each of you.
Over the last two years we’ve accomplished so much together. We’ve passed pro-equality measures in municipalities across Oklahoma. We’ve blocked dozens of attacks on our communities at the Legislature. We’ve changed cultures and challenged schools and organizations to be better.
We’ve launched a name and gender marker legal clinic and programs to support young people. We’ve organized, we’ve marched, we’ve built partnerships, we’ve worked to live more fully into our values. We’ve mourned and we’ve celebrated. We’ve dreamed bigger, asked for more, and taken giant steps toward building the world that we need. And of course, through it all, we’ve loved each other really, really well.
I’m proud of our work at Freedom Oklahoma, though I know there is so much more to do.
Not a single bit of what we’ve accomplished would be possible without you. Freedom Oklahoma does not belong to the people who work there, but to each of us who hold space in our hearts for this beautiful, vibrant, flourishing community. I cannot wait to see what world changing things you all will do next.
Be on the lookout for a posting to fill the Executive Director position soon—and if you’re wondering if you should apply, you should. There’s no better work in the world.
To the world’s smartest, scrappiest, most courageous staff, the gracious and dedicated Board of Directors, our community partners, those who so generously fund our work, the policy makers who have prioritized fighting for us, the allies who stand in the breach with us every day, and to each one of you, thank you is not enough.
It has been the absolute honor of a lifetime to do this work with you. I know more fully than ever before that with you I am safe, and with you, I am home.”
Founded in 2015, Freedom Oklahoma is a statewide political advocacy organization, working at the Legislature and in municipalities for greater equality for LGBTQ Oklahomans.
Statement from the Freedom Oklahoma Executive Board:
“The Board of Directors at Freedom Oklahoma are beyond grateful for Allie’s leadership over the last two years and are sad to see her leave. Allie has dramatically transformed the organization and we are so excited to see where we go next. Freedom Oklahoma is stronger than it has ever been because of the ways Allie and the staff have tirelessly poured themselves into this work. We know that our new Executive Director will continue to build upon the work Allie has led and that the organization will continue to soar. Thank you, Allie, for everything. You will always have a place in our hearts at Freedom Oklahoma. We wish you nothing but the best and brightest future.”
Shinn was unavailable for comment as to what her next career challenge will be.
For more information about Freedom Oklahoma, visit freedomoklahoma.org.