“Creating awareness, taking action, and supporting policy to improve the health, safety, and well-being of Oklahoma’s children.”
The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) was launched in 1983 by a group of citizens as the result of an investigative report by the national news media which exposed a horrific story of cruelty and abuse experienced by Oklahoma children who were in the state’s custody. That media report, “Oklahoma Shame,” spurred child advocates from every corner of the state into action to create an organization whose mission was to ensure the protection of Oklahoma’s children. OICA was established 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.
OICA has remained vigilant to that mission, fighting for policies that improve the lives of children and families and being their voice at the State Capitol and in the communities where they live and learn.
Our advocacy in action:
- Is Data-Driven – sharing the latest, most relevant data and research on key issues and indicators related to the well-being of children and youth.
- Promotes Best Practices – translating data and research into practice and promoting best-practice program models and effective partnerships that achieve results.
- Supports Policies – using data, research, and partnerships to identify solutions and inform policy-making decisions.
For three decades, the Institute has been informing and educating state policymakers and other citizens on the importance of investing wisely in children and families. We understand that when children thrive — our state thrives. Whether working with state policymakers and agencies, or with health, education, business, and community organizations across our state, Oklahoma’s children — and our state’s economy — are reaping the benefits of the work we do together as voices for Oklahoma’s future.
Our goal, quite simply, is to ensure that every child in Oklahoma – from birth to adulthood – is nurtured, healthy, educated, protected from harm, and thriving. We have a lot of work to do, together, to achieve that goal!
Board of Directors
Bruce Schultz , President
Amanda Mullins, Vice-President
Samonia Byford, Secretary
Sandy Foster, Governance Chair
Mitchell Rozin, President Emeritus
- MJ Barton
- Terry Boehrer
- Laura Choate
- Jonette Dunlap
- The Honorable Judy Eason McIntyre
- The Honorable AJ Griffin
- First Lady January Hoskin
- Dr. Amy Kirby
- The Honorable Ben Loring
- Sharon Pyeatt
- Lyndsey Reyes
- David Schwarz
Chief Executive Officer
Ext. 4 – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Dorman serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy. OICA is the statewide organization that serves as the voice for Oklahoma’s children within state government. Since taking over this role in 2016, Dorman has helped return the organization to its roots of advocacy work by equipping Oklahomans with the tools they need to call upon elected officials to do better work for the children of our state.
Joe served House District 65 as the state representative for 12 years, authoring key pieces of legislation for education, public safety, and government accountability. He was the 2014 Democratic nominee for Oklahoma Governor and formerly served as a town council member in Rush Springs, also known as the Watermelon Capital of the World.
Operations Director & Volunteer Coordinator
Christine has been a political organizer for 13 years who has worked on many campaigns in varying capacities ranging from a municipal race to a presidential race. She previously volunteered with the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corp for 8 years guiding young people aged 11-18 with the Navy’s strong character and core values through leadership. Christine is a tireless advocate for her community centering on education and improving social outcomes.
She comes from a large family and enjoys reading, all things purple, and hanging out with her Son. In her spare time she is finishing up a bachelors degree in Political Science of UMGC.
Director of Policy & Grant Administration
Director of Programs & Donor Engagement
Peyton Stacy, one of our former interns, is now our Director of Policy and Grant Administration. She was thrilled when she was offered the position in October of 2019, for she is a tireless advocate for our state’s children. Peyton received her B.A. in psychology from Oklahoma State University in 2013. She graduated with an M.S. in Health Promotion from the University of Central Oklahoma. Peyton’s focus in graduate school was studying the effects of and methods to prevent childhood trauma. Before joining OICA, Peyton worked directly with children for 7 years. She worked at various mental health facilities and also taught students of all abilities. Her experiences in those roles formed her passion for child health and advocacy. Outside of work, Peyton enjoys reading and spending time with her family, and friends.
Lucila Gutierrez is a former teacher in the state of Oklahoma. She became a first generation graduate from the University of Central Oklahoma in December 2015 with her Bachelors in Child Development. She immediately went in to the classroom to work with pre-k students of all abilities, and continued in the classroom for 6 years. Lucy’s passion quickly became advocating for the children, so when a position at OICA opened up, she jumped on the opportunity to be able to continue her advocacy efforts for all children in the state. Lucy is currently the State Coordinator for Oklahoma’s Kid Governor® program as well as Director of Programs and Donor Engagement. When Lucy is not spending her free time around her family and friends, you can find her reading a good book or watching documentaries on varying topics.
Jay Paul Gumm
Director of Communications & Public Relations
Jay is a former member of the Oklahoma Senate where he developed a reputation for being a passionate advocate for children. His work for children earned him a place in OICA’s Child Advocate Hall of Fame. Prior to his election to the Senate, he was an award-winning media relations professional, working 13 years for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and an economic developer in his hometown of Durant. He has more than 30 years of experience in public relations and communication across all media platforms.