October 19, 2020


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – “For the Children” Weekly Column

Contact: Joe Dorman, CEO – Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy

Telephone: (405) 833-1117

Email: jdorman@oica.org


For the Children: A Weekly Column by Joe Dorman, CEO – OICA


We Must Be the Enemies of Apathy and Distraction

As we approach Election Day, my own sense of frustration mounts with the extreme negativity. Social media is full of people posting falsehoods and destructive sentiments about one side or the other to try to make their point.

This reminds me of the old Walt Kelly comic strip Pogo. “We have met the enemy and he is us” Kelly used in the comic strip. It actually is a quote from 1812 adapted to an Earth Day poster in 1970. Later, Kelly put Porkypine and Pogo into a strip about pollution and gave the line to Pogo. Today, the saying describes situations in which society “drops the ball” on important issues.

Sometimes, my frustration hits a point where I share or retweet on social media something that expresses my view to feel a sense of accomplishment. I have often gone back and deleted a post shared in frustration and asked forgiveness. I need to be better than that. In truth, social media posts do little in changing opinion. In fact, they hurt our society because too many people feel when they post it is “mission accomplished.”

Advocating for children every day as OICA does on social media does not make the difference that we wish it would. Thankfully, however, it does encourage a few people to take the next step of action.

That is why our mission statement is to “create awareness, take action, and support policy to improve the health, safety, and well-being of Oklahoma’s children.” We start with this column and social media to create awareness, but we also do not simply stop there. We get active, and we do that often for those who unable to take the time themselves.

We cannot do it all, which is why I ask you to do something productive with and for a child in your life through OICA. We are currently sponsoring an art contest in partnership with the Oklahoma State Medical Association to highlight young artists’ work in our annual calendar. It is free to enter and the artist with the best work will win a prize.

We have had two entries so far.

OICA sponsors the “Kid Governor” competition for Oklahoma in which a young person is selected to be an advocate for children’s issues using their own voice to create change.

We have had one submission so far.

Many groups have experienced declines in involvement recently. It is not all COVID-19-related, as many activities are remote. We are seeing less involvement in children’s lives because adults are not committing that precious time to be involved with kids.

I am going to practice what I preach and commit to encouraging those young family members and the children of friends to participate in these activities instead of just posting about them. If you want to help a young person with either or both of these programs, go to oica.org to enter those submissions.

Going forward, please find the time to be an advocate for a child or simply just be positively involved in the life of a child. If we genuinely want to see better things for future generations. We will no longer be the enemy through apathy or distraction but be the solution by making the young lives in this generation better.