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State Bar Association to Present Diversity Awards

Press contact:
Lori Rasmussen

Assistant Communications Director
Oklahoma Bar Association
1901 N. Lincoln Blvd.
P.O. Box 53036 | Oklahoma City, OK 73152
(405) 416-7017 |

OBA Diversity Conference
Oct. 24 • 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Jim Thorpe Event Center, Oklahoma City

(Oct 16 , 2013 – OKLAHOMA CITY) – Six law-related individuals and organizations will be honored with Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher Diversity Awards in recognition of their efforts in promoting diversity in Oklahoma. The awards will be presented at a luncheon during the annual Oklahoma Bar Association Diversity Conference Oct. 24 at the Jim Thorpe Event Center at 4040 N. Lincoln Blvd. in Oklahoma City. The conference begins at 9 a.m.; the awards luncheon begins at noon.

To be recognized are Oklahoma Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Colbert; attorney Melvin C. Hall,Oklahoma City; U.S. Attorney Danny C. Williams Sr., Tulsa; the Fellers Snider Law Firm with offices in Oklahoma City and Tulsa; the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Family Violence Prevention Program; and the Oklahoma Policy Institute.

“The goal of the OBA Diversity Committee is to promote diversity and inclusion of all persons within all aspects of the legal profession, while also cultivating within our profession a positive commitment to accepting, respecting and valuing diverse individuals,” said OBA Diversity Committee Chair Kara I. Smith of Oklahoma City. “The winners of OBA Diversity Awards not only promote diversity efforts, but additionally call attention to the need for tolerance and diversity awareness among the bar.”

Speaking at the Diversity Conference will be Travis A. Williams, a young attorney featured in the HBO documentary film “Gideon’s Army,” who has worked as a public defender for more than five years. The film follows a group of young public defenders in the Deep South who contend with low pay, long hours and staggering caseloads to represent the poor.

Williams’ presentation will be followed by a panel discussion focusing on the Oklahoma aspect on similar topics. Participating along with Williams are Susan Otto, federal public defender for the Western District of Oklahoma; James Rowan, Oklahoma City criminal defense attorney and past assistant public defender in Oklahoma County; and Sharon Holmes, Tulsa criminal defense attorney and past Tulsa County assistant district attorney.

The 17,500-memberOklahoma Bar Association, headquartered in Oklahoma City, was created by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to advance the administration of justice and to foster and maintain learning, integrity, competence, public service and high standards of conduct among Oklahoma’s legal community.