2018 Oklahoma Human Rights Awards presentation set for Dec. 8 at Oklahoma State Capitol

The Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance will hold its annual Human Rights Awards ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 12 in the House Chamber of the Oklahoma State Capitol (4th Floor). The event is held to recognize those persons or organizations that have made a significant contribution to human rights for all in Oklahoma.

The 2018 recipients include Silapberdi Berdiyev, Kayla Bonewell, Mark Faulk, Victor Gorin, the Happy World Foundation, Adriana Loper, Wilfredo Santos-Rivera and Bianca Valencia.

The ceremony starts at 10 AM is free and open to the public. A complementary lunch will follow, also at the Capitol. Those staying for lunch should RSVP to OKUHRA.

The event will also feature speeches by Dr. Nyla Ali Khan and Ms. Sara Bana, both former award recipients, as well as Ms Bansari Mehta and Mr. Santos-Rivera.

The public is welcome to attend the event, but an RSVP is requested if staying for lunch.

Proposed program:

  • Pledge of Allegiance led by John Pettyjohn
  • Star Spangled Banner by Willard Linzy
  • Comments by Wilfredo Santos Rivera, OKUHRA chair
  • Speaker: Ms. Bansari Mehta, Membership Director, OKC United Nations Association who will speak on the significance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Speaker: Sara Bana, founder of Ending Violence Everywhere Coalition and Civic Services Community Advocacy
  • Speaker: Dr. Nyla Ali Khan will speak on Democracy and Human Rights. Please see bio below.
  • Awards Ceremony: UN Association OKC Chapter Bill Bryant
  • Awards Presentation: Amy Hinton
  • Lunch served in the Senate Assembly, room 535, following the ceremony

Details on speakers:

Dr. Nyla Ali Khan

Dr. Nyla Ali Khan is a professor at Rose State College, and former professor at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. She is the author of four books, including The Fiction of Nationality in an Era of Transnationalism and Islam, Women, and Violence in Kashmir: Between Indian and Pakistan, and several articles that focus heavily on the political issues and strife of her homeland, Jammu and Kashmir, India. She did her Masters in Postcolonial Literature and Theory at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, and obtained her Ph.D. at the same institution. She visits Kashmir frequently and have recently been active in giving lectures on the subject on Kashmir at universities in Oregon, Maryland, California, Washington DC, and New York. Nyla’s goal is to engage in reflective action as an educator working with diverse cultural and social groups questioning the exclusivity of cultural nationalism, the erosion of cultural syncretism, the ever-increasing dominance of religious fundamentalism, and the irrational resistance to cultural and linguistic differences. Nyla was made a member of the Advisory Council of the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women, a member of the Oklahoma Academy, a state-wide public policy group, and was on the board of Generation Citizen, which seeks to empower the younger generation through civics education.

Ms. Bansari Mehta
Ms. Sara Bana




Thirteen human rights advocates selected by OKUHRA for 2017 human rights awards to be presented at Dec. 9 ceremony

The Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance is pleased to announce the names of the 13 human rights advocates who will be honored in our annual award ceremony scheduled to mark International Human Rights Day. While Dec. 10 is the official date, our 2017 event will be held on Saturday Dec. 9. All are invited to attend to congratulate the winners, and to hear the inspiring stories of their dedication and contribution to human rights in their communities, in Oklahoma and beyond.

Each honoree was nominated and their record of activism and advocacy reviewed by a committee of OKUHRA before approval. They will be presented with a framed certificate at the ceremony.

The awardees for 2017 are:

2017 Human Rights Awards to be Presented at Dec. 9 Ceremony at Oklahoma State Capitol

The Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance has set the date of Dec. 9 to present its 2017 awards to those who, nominated by peers, are considered and selected by OKUHRA board members for the honor, which recognized significant contributions in the area of human rights. Anyone from or living/working in Oklahoma is eligible to be nominated.

The ceremony will be held in the House Chambers on the 4th floor of the State Capitol, beginning at 10 AM, followed by a complementary lunch in the rotunda. All are welcome to come and applaud the activists, and to learn about their sacrifices for and commitment to their individual cause in the wider area of human rights.

Anyone can nominate someone for the award. Nominations can be submitted online or by postal mail. For more information see this page.