一言不合就

A blog of the Greater Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association of the USAThe name of this blog is taken from the preamble of the Charter of the United Nations (1945): "We the Peoples of the United Nations, Determined... to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small...."

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Richard Ray Whitman

Richard Ray Whitman in a shot from the film “Winter in the Blood.” 

Artist
Actor
Activist


Richard Ray Whitman grew up in Gypsy, Oklahoma, and attended Bristow High School. For college, he attended the Institute of American Indian Arts and the California Institute of the Arts.

Whitman is highly regarded as an artist and an actor. His creative visual art has been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the U.S., and his photography has been used in textbooks and historical compilations. His filmography is documented on his website.

He is also an activist for human rights. In 1973, he participated in the People’s Struggle at Wounded Knee and created art during the struggle. His camera and film were confiscated when he was arrested at Wounded Knee. They were never returned. Whitman later told the Oklahoma Gazette, “It became a serious joke that my first collectors were the FBI.”  

Wilhelm Murg, who wrote about Whitman in a recent edition of the Gazette, notes that Whitman’s greatest legacy may be a series of photographs he created in the 1970’s and 1980’s – the Street Chiefs project, about Indian men who were homeless in Oklahoma City.

Whitman reflected on the Street Chiefs series in an interview with Larry Abbott:

“I don't know if I could be compared to those photographers from the Depression Era. I would say the main distinction between them and myself is that I'm not a visitor to my experience and I don't see my people as merely subject matter. I didn't arrive on the street and make the images and leave. 
An image from the
Street Chiefs series.
“When I first saw a street chief, I was on my way to Santa Fe to the Institute of American Indian Art in 1968. I had a brief layover at the bus station in Oklahoma City and it was my first experience of seeing a highly visible number of Indians on Skid Row there. It was very shocking to me to see Indians in that setting, on sidewalks and in front of the high-rises, just a high proportion of brown bodies. 
“That image stuck in my mind. Three or four years later, I came back to Oklahoma City and began to take photographs. I never knew what my intent was, but I ended up hanging out on the streets myself there for about a year, which was 1973. I had just returned from South Dakota, from Wounded Knee, in 1973, and I had been packing a camera for a number of years. It was my intention to document what was happening there. 
“I think even though I was an Indian there was still a lot of mistrust and suspicion of me carrying a camera. Of course, it was the climate of the times, too. A lot of profiteers, a lot of agent provocateurs, were around then, you know, so there was suspicion within the ranks. 
“In all the years with the Street Chiefs many times I had to stand beside the work and explain it to non-Indian curators and even the viewers. In some instances the work is misread. I didn't want the work to be considered in the context of the recent phenomenon and concern about homelessness in the '80's and '90's, homelessness in Philadelphia or New York or whatever major metro area you want to name, but to bring out the idea that America is based upon and built upon displacement, displacement of indigenous people, the host people of this country. 
“I focused on Oklahoma. Oklahoma became the dumping grounds for many of the tribes who stood in the way of progress. Indians were taken out of the East Coast, the Southeast, and west of the Mississippi. I wanted to consider the Street Chiefs in that context, not just recent homeless issues. 
“The context was the removal of Indians, always pushing them off their land.  
"I gained a lot from the people I photographed. Some of the people in those images are deceased. It was a very moving experience for me there. I met many of my own relatives. I never went there with a telephoto lens, and I didn't leave when I finished shooting. It was a part of my experience. The photographs bring up the contradiction of being landless in your own land.”
Source: “A Time of Visions: Interviews By Larry Abbott”
http://www.britesites.com/native_artist_interviews/rwhitman.htm
 

Richard Ray Whitman
receiving the Oklahoma
Human Rights Award
earlier this month. 
Richard has enjoyed a long career as an artist and photographer, showing his work at museums and galleries worldwide, including exhibits at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and La Biennale di Venezia in Italy.

He has also worked as an Artist in Residence with the Oklahoma Arts Council, teaching art in public and alternative schools. He taught art through the Indian Youth Council and the youth at risk program at the Native American Center in Oklahoma City, and has worked with youthful offenders, teaching art as rehabilitative therapy as a visiting artist in several state corrections institutions.

Richard is a member of the Yuchi Tribe, enrolled with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. He is the father of five children and now has eleven grandchildren.

For his lifetime of achievements – including his support for human rights as expressed in his teaching, art, and acting – Richard Ray Whitman is recognized as one of the 2016 winners of the Oklahoma Human Rights Award.

Article 27
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Roberto Mendoza

“Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.”
--Article 20
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Roberto Mendoza is a cinematographer, photographer (still) and producer in Oklahoma City.

On Facebook, he describes himself as a “Filmmaker, artist, grandfather, r'evolutionary, thinker, activist.”

Roberto is from Tulsa, a member of the Muskogee (Creek) Nation. Presently, he lives in Oklahoma City after spending several years in California. He is a screenwriter and videographer who has worked on several film projects.

Roberto is being recognized as a winner of the 2016 Oklahoma Human Rights Award because of his passionate support for human rights – especially the rights of indigenous people.

In November, Roberto was among several thousand people who traveled to Standing Rock, North Dakota, to support the Sioux and indigenous values.

Upon returning to Oklahoma City, he helped to organize a protest against the North Dakota Access Pipeline, which threatens the tribe's water supply. A demonstration was held at the Skydance Bridge in downtown OKC.

In an extended interview with KOCO News, Mendoza offered his thoughts on the motives of the people who demonstrate to protect clean water:

“My weapons are my words, my writings, and my values. Many people have strong values around land, water, and air. They are standing up for their values and trying to protect, and that kind of gets people on a gut level.” 

The interview can be found on the MSN.com website, here:

http://www.msn.com/en-za/entertainment/celebrity/thousands-travel-to-north-dakota-to-stand-with-protectors/vp-AAknr87 

We are proud to salute Roberto Mendoza for illustrating the importance of human rights where we live.

The Oklahoma Human Rights Awards are co-sponsored each year by the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance and the Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association. 

Previous winners of the award include educators, physicians, students, and community volunteers from many different communities and all walks of life. They are united by their enduring commitment to the values and principles expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.





















A complete list of 2016 Human Rights Award winners.

Allen Parleir & Elia Woods

Photo Credit: Turtle Rock Farm

Lia and Allen believe
that food security is
a basic human right.


Nominated by Gonzalo Guaman

“Think Globally, Act Locally” is more than a bumper sticker to Allen and Lia. It is the way they live on a daily basis. They have spent thirty years not just growing food, but growing community through growing food, and bringing front yard gardens, urban farming, and community gardening into the mainstream in Oklahoma City.

We are proud to recognize Allen and Lia among the 2016 winners of the Oklahoma Human Rights Award.

Two decades ago, Lia and Allen, along with Brian Hearn, co-founded the Central Park Community Gardens. Starting with several vacant lots on NW 31st and Shartel, they bio-remediated the soil to make it safe for planting vegetables, and they began working with neighbors and local school children and youth to plant a community green space with vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruit trees.

Ten years ago, Allen started the environmental youth group “Closer To Earth” which focuses on teenagers doing community service required by the schools or courts, teaching them about landscaping, organic gardening, zero-landfill events, and environmental advocacy.

http://closertoearth.org/
Six years ago, Lia started organizing for an urban farm in the neighborhood. As more people joined in the effort, CommonWealth Urban Farms grew into existence. CommonWealth is a catalyst for intentional, healthful community development through gardening. CommonWealth offers workshops and service / learning events on gardening, composting and urban farming.

Closer To Earth and CommonWealth volunteers are also responsible for picking up and composting several tons of food waste every week from Whole Foods, diverting it from the landfill and turning it into a valuable resource.

www.eliawoods.com
Lia and Allen have woven their efforts to create social justice through these three sister organizations, attracting countless volunteers who join in to learn specific skills of food self-reliance as well as the more tangible benefits of life lived within community.

Lia and Allen believe that food security is a basic human right, and our community becomes stronger and more resilient as we learn to grow more of our food together. Every person has the right to live in a safe, vibrant, diverse community. Sustainable gardening brings neighbors outside where people of different backgrounds can connect in the common language of food. It increases biological diversity, promotes physical and social health, and creates an atmosphere of abundance and sharing.

The Oklahoma Human Rights Awards are co-sponsored each year by the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance and the Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association. 

Previous winners of the award include educators, physicians, students, and community volunteers from many different communities and all walks of life. They are united by their enduring commitment to the values and principles expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.





















A complete list of 2016 Human Rights Award winners.







Catalina Serrano

Catalina Serrano serves as the Hispanic representative
of her local chapter of the NAACP. 

For her work empowering women, especially victims of domestic violence, and for her advocacy on behalf of families with autistic children, Caty Serrano is recognized as one of our 2016 Human Rights Award winners. 


Catalina (Caty) Serrano was born in Mexico City. After high school, she pursued a course of study in education in college.

In December 2001, after entry into the United States and marrying, she fled a situation of domestic violence by living in a shelter for battered women in El Paso, Texas. In March 2002, she won a scholarship to study for her American GED in the University of Texas, El Paso (UTEP).

In August of 2002, Catalina moved to Oklahoma City, where she lives to this day.

Catalina has always wanted to help and serve people who are victims of abuse. Since 2004, she has become increasingly interested in the programs and benefits that this county offers to any people who are victims of abuse.

Because of their legal status or the status of their family, female immigrants are often too scared to go these programs and take this aid. Catalina has volunteered for several wonderful organizations such as the YWCA, the Skyline Urban Ministry, Love OKC, Habitat for Humanity, and EduCare. On two occasions, Catalina has helped present classes on domestic violence and sexual violence offered by the YWCA.

In July 2011, she was invited to help establish the “First Congress of Latina Women” together with two more female survivors of domestic violence under the LCDA (Latino Community Development Agency). That conference took place with great success in March, 2012.

On December 5th of the same year, Catalina decided to start her own foundation, the ForMuLaOk (Forum of Latin Woman in Oklahoma). The purpose is to assist any member of the community in crisis. They assist with translators in the court, advice for the Victims Protective Order (VPO), counseling and mentoring with different agencies, and assistance with food and clothing. In 2012, together with its committee and a team of volunteers, ForMuLaOK celebrated the International Day of Women in March and designated October as “Month of non-violence against women or gender-based violence.”

Last year, in February, the foundation presented a series of classes called “You Decide!” The seven-session classes have the sole objective of empowering women to make better decisions in their lives. The community embraced these events.

All of this has not been easy. Catalina is the mother of 5 children – ages of 25, 16, 9, 8, and 6. The youngest child was diagnosed at the age of 3 with autism. Since 2015, Catalina – together with her husband Ariel Salazar – have been parent mentors for other families with children who have been diagnosed with autism.

Catalina was appointed in March, 2016, as the Hispanic representative of the NAACP. In August, she was appointed by AUCD (Association of University Centers on Disabilities) as an ambassador for a new nutrition program for everyone focused on families with disabled children.

The Oklahoma Human Rights Awards are co-sponsored each year by the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance and the Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association. 

Previous winners of the award include educators, physicians, students, and community volunteers from many different communities and all walks of life. They are united by their enduring commitment to the values and principles expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.






















Friday, December 9, 2016

Angelica Villalobos Solis

She is being honored as a winner of the 2016 Oklahoma Human Rights Award. 


The awards are presented annually by the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance and the Oklahoma City Chapter of the United Nations Association.

Angelica is a Mexican national who was brought to the United States at age 11. She is a DACA recipient and is an active community advocate in her local community for over 10 years.

As an advocate, she has been recognized for her leadership and passion for helping others. But as an activist, she has been recognized for her social justice activism locally. Angelica is known for her outgoing personality, positive energy, enthusiasm, and leadership. She does not only advocate and organize among Latino immigrant communities. She knows that immigration and human rights, is not just a Latino issue and that it affects many different communities.

Nominated by Ana C. Herrera: 

Angelica I Villalobos Solis begin the fight for human and immigrant rights in 2006 when she joined the 2006 Rally, “A day without immigrants”. Her life was changed after the rally and she begin getting involved in organizations to fight for basic human rights and as she was a student at OSU-OKC started learning more about the constitution and the structure of the government institutions. And it was because of her newly acquired knowledge that started the spark the was just the beginning of her fight for basic human rights.

Angelica is a Mexican national that was brought to the united states at age 11. She is a DACA recipient and is an active community advocate in her local community for over 10 years. She is committed to build a multi-ethnic movement inclusive of all immigrants, people of color, members of LGBTQ, Muslims, women, religious organizations, minorities, people of different abilities and Allies; and Her ability to join other community leaders and bring awareness to each social cause is unique.

She has joined other community leaders to fight for the right of the disabled community alongside of Willis Washington, Jose Rivera and Teresa Tisdale. She is has also, been part of NeuroResource Outreach services, a physical rehabilitation clinic for people with disabilities. Then she joined the YMCA as a volunteer and helped coach several soccer teams for children ages 6 to 14 from 2012 through 2014. She is active member since 2014 of Make a Wish, helping children with terminal illnesses, with the process of giving them a wish.

In recent years, she has taken classes and training in immigration law to improve her knowledge of immigration law so that I can educate the Immigrant community about their immigration rights, both in Oklahoma and around the United States. She has traveled through the United States to represent our State in the fight for immigrants’ rights, she has been outside the Supreme Court in DC and the District Court in Brownsville TX.

She is a Lead Organizer of Dream Act Oklahoma, an organization that fights and advocates for the rights of immigrants. DAOK is also an affiliate of United We Dream. She is committed to build a multi-ethnic movement inclusive of all immigrant communities.

After the recent elections, Angelica's statement was:

“Immigrants, people of color, members of LGBTQ, Muslims, women, religious organizations, minorities, people of different abilities and Allies must unite and ensure that people feel connected and empowered in a moment that would otherwise break us. We are HERE TO STAY! Our communities are in a state of resilience and urgency. We will stand together and demand that our mayors and governors declare their cities & states as safe zones for all us. All people with love in our hearts are disappointed in the results of the election. Our message to our families & community is that we must stick together and protect each other.” 

She was one of the main organizers of the Rally Against Hate just a few weeks ago, and it was a beautiful moment of unity.

You're invited to attend the presentation of the 2016 Human Rights Awards on Saturday, December 10th, in the House Chamber of the Oklahoma State Capitol. The program will begin at 10am. It will be emcee'd by former State Representative Seneca Scott. There is no charge to attend. Following the awards program, you are invited to enjoy a Free Speech Forum in the Senate Assembly Room from 12 Noon to 2pm.

Every year, the Oklahoma Human Rights Awards are co-sponsored by the Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association and the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance.

Previous winners of the award include educators, physicians, students, and community volunteers from many different communities and all walks of life. They are united by their enduring commitment to the values and principles expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For more information about the awards program, please contact Wilfredo Santosrivera, 405-631-3027.

Sache Primeaux-Shaw

Empowering,
Involved,
An Advocate through her Words and Actions


Nominated by Priya Desai 

On December 10, 2016, Sache Primeaux-Shaw will be honored as one of the 2016 winners of the Oklahoma Human Rights Award.

Sache is very involved in her community. She manages to be present where injustices are occurring in the OKC Community and bringing voice and light to those issues. She is very involved in the non-profit and political sectors of the Oklahoma Community. She currently works as the Constituency Coordinator at Oklahomans For Criminal Justice Reform. She is also involved in Empowering Our Urban Girls, Ralph Ellison Foundation, and the Urban League.

Sache is a living example of advocating for human rights in her personal and professional life especially for members of the Northeast OKC Community. These members are often neglected or ignored. Sache's advocacy efforts for her community are unmatched in my opinion. She is a living, breathing example of what it means to be practicing and promoting human rights in her everyday life through words and action.

You're invited to attend the presentation of the 2016 Human Rights Awards on Saturday, December 10th, in the House Chamber of the Oklahoma State Capitol. The program will begin at 10am. It will be emcee'd by former State Representative Seneca Scott. There is no charge to attend. Following the awards program, you are invited to enjoy a Free Speech Forum in the Senate Assembly Room from 12 Noon to 2pm.

Every year, the Oklahoma Human Rights Awards are co-sponsored by the Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association and the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance.

Previous winners of the award include educators, physicians, students, and community volunteers from many different communities and all walks of life. They are united by their enduring commitment to the values and principles expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For more information about the awards program, please contact Wilfredo Santosrivera, 405-631-3027.

David Brinker, MD

Nominated by John T. Walters


Dr. David Brinker was born March 9, 1937, graduated from the University of Cincinnati in June 1966. He moved to Oklahoma in 1966 and graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Doctor of Ophthalmology and has lived in Oklahoma for over 50 years. He is one of the 2016 winners of the Oklahoma Human Rights Award.

David Brinker, MD
Brinker volunteered for an unpaid 3 months tour with the US State Department, in 1979, in Vietnam working as a civilian eye surgeon. He sponsored a family of Vietnamese to come to Oklahoma City after the fall of Vietnam.

He went on a yearly 2-week medical eye mission for over 25 years to 8 different countries -- providing free medicine, glasses and eye surgery. The countries were:

Dominican Republic, 4 missions;
Nicaragua, 6 missions;
Ecuador, 4 missions;
Mexico, 2 missions; and
El Salvador, 7 missions.

In 2003, Dr. Brinker went on a 2-week mission to build a church in a poor area of Cape Town, South Africa.

He organizes a yearly Sailing / fishing / dinner event for the Baptist Children's Home.

He has been a member of Rotary International for 22 years; Amnesty International for 5 years, NAACP for 2 years, and the Sierra Club for 50 years.

He has received commendations from the following: U.S. State Dept. for volunteer service in Vietnam, AMA Certificate of Humanitarian Service, Ophthalmological Society of Nicaragua, Government of Nicaragua, DIF of the Mexican Government, Foundation for the health of women in El Salvador, FUDUM, Latino Community Development Center (2 awards), Oklahoma City Peace House Human Rights Award, Skyline Urban Ministry (2 Awards), Governors' Commendation for practicing medicine for 50 years.

He saw patients for free for many years from the following agencies: Little Flowers Clinic, Latino Community Development Center, Skyline Urban Ministry.

You're invited to attend the presentation of the 2016 Human Rights Awards on Saturday, December 10th, in the House Chamber of the Oklahoma State Capitol. The program will begin at 10am. It will be emcee'd by former State Representative Seneca Scott. There is no charge to attend. Following the awards program, you are invited to enjoy a Free Speech Forum in the Senate Assembly Room from 12 Noon to 2pm.

Every year, the Oklahoma Human Rights Awards are co-sponsored by the Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association and the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance.

Previous winners of the award include educators, physicians, students, and community volunteers from many different communities and all walks of life. They are united by their enduring commitment to the values and principles expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For more information about the awards program, please contact Wilfredo Santosrivera, 405-631-3027.


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