FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Joe Dorman, CEO – Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy
Telephone: (405) 892-9205
Child Advocacy Group Unveils New Membership Levels
Plans Designed to Increase Civic Involvement in Children’s Issues
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) has unveiled new membership levels designed to spur increased civic involvement in children’s issues.
Joe Dorman, OICA’s chief executive officer, said the membership program is key to ensuring Oklahoma becomes a better state for children and families and will allow the organization to focus solely on improving child advocacy.
“Since it was founded in 1983, OICA has been at the forefront of efforts to make life better for Oklahoma’s children, especially those who have no one else to speak for them,” he said. “The new membership structure will allow greater input from community leaders and lead to an even more effective advocacy environment.”
OICA membership will be divided into five categories:
- The Executive’s Business Council, which will be co-chaired by former member of Congress Dan Boren and civic leader Rick Nagel.
- The Junior Executive Business Council.
- Partner Organization Membership for youth programs across the state to partner with OICA.
- Individual Membership for those Oklahomans committed to improving the state of the state’s children.
- Student/Educator/Government Sector Employee Membership, which provides a reduced cost membership for those whose careers put them on the front lines of protecting or educating children.
OICA has run several programs tied to child wellbeing, but its board recently decided to narrow the scope of work done by the organization to advocacy and advocacy education. The Institute took over work for OK Foster Wishes in 2017, but has built the program back to a stable footing and intends to establish it as a self-standing nonprofit in 2020.
The OICA Executive’s Business Council will be the organization’s top advocacy group, with the ability for members to receive policy updates and vote on key agenda items pursued by the organization.
Boren, recently named president and chief banking officer of First United Bank, said he was honored to be the co-chair of the council. “There is no greater mission than to make the world a better place for our children,” he said. “I look forward to working with all the members of the Executive’s Business Council as we seek ways to improve our state to become the best place for a child to grow up.”
Nagel, a member of the state’s Judicial Nominating Commission and managing partner of Acorn Growth Companies, also serves on the board of directors of the State Chamber of Oklahoma and is active in many civic organizations including the Oklahoma Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs.
“I am excited by this new opportunity OICA is giving the state’s civic leaders to make a real difference in the lives of thousands of Oklahoma children,” Nagel said. “OICA has a built a great foundation for child advocacy; this new membership structure will allow us to be even more effective as we work to create the best possible environment for Oklahoma’s children.”
The annual cost for the Executive’s Business Council members will be $1,000; Junior Executive Business Council members will be $500. These members will get benefits similar to the Executives.
The Organizational Membership is offered to programs across the state that provide service to Oklahoma’s youth and that annual membership will be $250. They will be involved with OICA’s advocacy efforts at the State Capitol, as well as name one member under the age of 18 to OICA’s new Youth Parliament, which will serve as the organization’s youth advisory council.
Individual Membership, open to any Oklahoman who is interested in improving the quality of life for the state’s children, will include get updates from the Capitol. Members will have the chance to attend legislative updates year-round. The annual cost is $120, or $10 a month. Student/Educator/Government Sector Employee members will get the same benefits as individual members, but at a reduced cost of $60 per year, or $5 per month.
Dorman concluded by noting that the purpose of the new membership tiers is to encourage even greater community involvement.
“We have a great board of directors and each member is committed to our mission,” he said. “They developed this membership plan with assistance from the Oklahoma Group, a student-driven nonprofit advisory program out of the University of Oklahoma, to bring more people to the cause by getting critical information on policy into more Oklahomans’ hands.
“We are unfortunately number one in the nation for youth facing Adverse Childhood Experiences, for lack of support for summer feeding to young people, and for not requiring children eight and over to wear seatbelts in moving vehicles. We need more civic leaders engaged in this effort to do better and correct generational problems.”
For more information or to join OICA, simply go to www.oica.org and clink “Memberships.” While there, you also can sign up for OICA’s general newsletter, published and delivered by email every Thursday.
PHOTOS: Photos attached are of Dan Boren and Rick Nagel, co-chairs of OICA’s new Executive’s Business Council. The pair is quoted in the story; each photo is slugged with the name of the individual pictured.
About OICA: The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy was established in 1983 by a group of citizens seeking to create a strong advocacy network that would provide a voice for the needs of children and youth in Oklahoma, particularly those in the state’s care and those growing up amid poverty, violence, abuse and neglect, disparities, or other situations that put their lives and future at risk. Our mission statement: “Creating awareness, taking action and changing policy to improve the health, safety and well-being of Oklahoma’s children.”