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