Most Recent Winners
The 2016 Carol Mason Student Activism Award Winner is the student organization, UCO-NOW!
The Take Root Steering Committee is proud to present the 2016 Carol Mason Student Activism Award to the student organization, UCO-NOW. UCO-NOW, UCO’s organization for gender equality, worked in the last year to fight for sexual health access on campus. After a forum about women’s issues in January 2015, UCO-NOW provided leadership that helped to remove a health provider from campus that did not support sexual health services. Currently there is a new health provider on campus that offers these services. Also, because of this activism, gender and sexuality issues moved to the forefront of the administration’s agenda. Throughout 2015, UCO-NOW, along with key faculty and staff members, worked to create the Center, which includes the Women’s Research Center and BGLTQ+ Student Center at UCO. It’s official opening will be in fall 2016.
The 2015 Spreading Roots Award Winner is Coya White Hat-Artichoker!
The Take Root Steering Committee is proud to present the 2016 Spreading Roots Award to Coya White Hat-Artichoker. Coya was born and raised on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota; she is a proud enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. She is a founding member of the First Nations Two Spirit Collective; they are a Collective working to building a stronger political presence for Two Spirit people within the national dialogue of queer rights. The First Nations Two Spirit Collective is also a member of the ROOTS Coalition, a coalition of 14 queer, people of color, lead organizations throughout the country. She currently resides in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
The 2016 Staying Rooted Award Winners are Sandy Ingraham and OKC Artists for Justice!
Sandy Ingraham has been working for reproductive justice for almost half a century. In the 1970s, as a cub social worker, she ran the Oklahoma Health Department’s teen pregnancy project, to help teenagers access contraception. In the 1990s, before law school, she outsmarted the most experienced Oklahoma lawmakers as she monitored abortion legislation for Planned Parenthood and the Campaign for Choice. As a lawyer, she is now on the cutting edge of same-sex adoptions.
OKC Artists for Justice was founded by local poets Grace Franklin and Candace Liger, along with a group of dedicated members, to work to address injustices committed against women of color through advocacy and support in the state of Oklahoma. They are known for their work organizing rallies to support the victims in the Daniel Holtzclaw case.
The Carol Mason Student Activism Award
2015: Kelsey Kolbe, University of Oklahoma
2014: Valarie Lambert, University of Oklahoma
The Spreading Roots Award
2015: Diana Thu-Thao Rhodes, Advocates for Youth
2014: Sally Burns, Carr Center for Reproductive Justice at NYU School of Law
The Staying Rooted Award
2015: Cecelia Fire Thunder, Oglala Sioux Tribe
2014: Martha Skeeters, co-founder of Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice