We are fast approaching Child Advocacy Day, held on Wednesday, May 8, at the Oklahoma State Capitol. The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy is pleased to be collaborating with the organization, Let’s Fix This, to once again hold a day for regular folks to sharpen their skillsets when it comes to effectively communicating with legislators and policy-makers.

Advocacy Day will include seminars on successful legislative and media outreach as well as updates on child and family-focused bills that are making their way through the legislative process. We will also be meeting directly with lawmakers on several key pieces of legislation that impact our youngest residents. We encourage all Oklahomans who want to make a difference to register to attend via the “events” tab on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/OKChildAdv/) or through our website at OICA.org.

In addition to our free advocacy day at the capitol, OICA will also host a Child Advocate’s Luncheon (attendees are required to make a donation).  This event will be held at the Phillips Pavilion on the Governor’s Mansion grounds next to the Oklahoma State Capitol.  We will kick off the luncheon at 11:30 AM with remarks from First Lady Sarah Stitt, Cabinet Secretaries Steven Buck and Jerome Loughridge, and Kid Governor Lucas Peterson.  Following that, our keynote speaker will be Rodney Timms, accomplished Oklahoma author, cofounder of Western Flyer Express, and the founder of All Truckers Together Against Child Abuse (ATTACA). Through ATTACA, Rodney Timms is working to raise awareness across the country about child abuse.  With rolling billboards crisscrossing the country, fundraising efforts, and partnerships with other agencies, ATTACA is on a mission to stop the cycles of abuse and provide hope for children everywhere. Rodney uses poetry, prose, and public service to inspire his audiences, and has found his voice to speak out against child abuse. Rodney has a powerful story; it is one that needs to be heard.  We hope you will join us to hear him.

If you have not visited the mansion, or met the First Lady, this is your chance to make that happen! You must register for this event by Monday, May 6 on the “events” page under the link for Child Advocacy Lunch.  We are also asking for groups to bring their colleagues, so if your business or organization would to attend, register online as a table captain and you will get a free 2020 membership to OICA, which includes your very own sponsored page in our daily desktop calendar!

It is this type of effort for which OICA was founded: to create awareness, take action, and support policies that improve the health, safety, and well-being of Oklahoma’s children.  Our advocacy training will help equip Oklahomans with the tools that they need to communicate effectively with lawmakers. This will also provide the knowledge of the process and current legislation that will help our activists promote good policies and stop the bad.  If possible, please take the day and join our effort to make a difference for the 900,000 estimated Oklahomans under the age of eighteen.  We cannot do this alone, and having you be a part of the effort could make the difference for a child in need in our state.  We hope to see you there!