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OSU-Tulsa center partners with Everyday Democracy

President Pamela Fry, right, signs the memorandum of understanding making OSU-Tulsa an anchor partner for Everyday Democracy with Nelda English, Dr. Tami Moore, Dr. Mike Stout and Patrick Grayshaw. Martha McCoy, executive director of Everyday Democracy, is on screen as part of the virtual signing.

 

Partnership strengthens efforts to promote community dialogues

The Center for Public Life at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa is the latest anchor partner for Everyday Democracy, a national organization that supports dialogue and community change to advance a more authentic, equitable and participatory democracy. The anchor agreement was formalized in a virtual signing on Oct. 8 between OSU-Tulsa President Pamela Fry and Everyday Democracy Executive Director Martha McCoy.

The anchor partnership agreement will strengthen the Center for Public Life's work in Tulsa and Stillwater through technical assistance, capacity building and sharing of best practices and lessons learned.

"We are very excited to be joining the Everyday Democracy Anchor Network as the eighth partner institution," Fry said. "As a public, metropolitan urban-serving research university, OSU-Tulsa is committed to collaboration, engagement and facilitating transformational change in our community.”

The Center for Public Life at OSU-Tulsa is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that helps engage communities in discussions of important public issues. Dr. Michael Stout, George Kaiser Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Family and Community Policy, and Dr. Tami Moore, associate professor of higher education and student affairs, in the OSU Colleges of Education, Health and Aviation and Human Sciences, serve as co-directors.

Dialogue to action

The center's initiatives include Community Voices for Change, which used Everyday Democracy's dialogue-to-action model to facilitate discussions among community members and helped them develop action plans to address the root causes of health disparities in North Tulsa. The initiative was developed in partnership with the North Tulsa Community Coalition as part of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship.

Cowboys Coming Together, another center program, used the same dialogue-to-action model to foster discussions about challenging topics among students on OSU's Stillwater campus.

“Everyday Democracy has been a tremendous partner/resource in our work, providing materials, training and resources as well as important connections with others doing this work across the country," Stout said. 

Moore thanked members of the Center for Public Life's Community Advisory Board and emphasized the importance of community participation in the center's work.

A nationwide network

In addition to OSU-Tulsa, Everyday Democracy Anchor Partners include extensions in North Dakota and Montana, New Hampshire Listens, West Virginia Center for Civic Life, InterFaith Works of Central New York, Housing Partnership of West Palm Beach, Florida and Project Ujima in Ohio.

“We are thrilled that Everyday Democracy now has eight anchors in various regions of the country,” McCoy said. “We are excited at the ways these partners are building and sustaining civic infrastructure in their states and regions. Everyday Democracy supports anchor partners as they support communities in their region with training and coaching. Working together, we can expand, diversify and nurture leadership for participatory democracy with a racial equity lens.”

Read the anchor partnership announcement by Everyday Democracy on their website.

President Pamela Fry, center, with Patrick Grayshaw, left, Dr. Tami Moore, Dr. Mike Stout and Rachel Millea from the Center for Public Life at OSU-Tulsa.
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Media Contact: Jamie Edford | 918-594-8024 | jamie.m.edford@okstate.edu