Oklahoma Bar Journal

Annual Meeting | Diversity Awards Dinner

By Devin Frost

Professor Carla D. Pratt, who currently serves at the OU College of Law as the inaugural Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher Chair in Civil Rights, Race and Justice in Law

The OBA Diversity Committee will host their annual Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher Diversity Awards Ceremony and Dinner during this year’s OBA Annual Meeting, held Nov. 1-3 at the historic Skirvin Hilton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City.

The Diversity Awards are named in honor of Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, a key civil rights leader born in Chickasha. Ms. Fisher challenged segregation laws in Oklahoma so that she could attend law school, her lifelong ambition. She opened doors not only for herself but also for other Black students who would follow in her footsteps and attend law school in our state.

During this popular event, the committee will recognize attorneys, members of the judiciary and organizations that are dedicated to the promotion of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and the protection of civil and human rights. The dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2.

This year, the guest speaker for the dinner will be Professor Carla D. Pratt, who currently serves at the OU College of Law as the inaugural Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher Chair in Civil Rights, Race and Justice in Law.

Professor Pratt has spent several years in academia prior to her term at the OU College of Law, serving as dean at Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas, as well as associate dean for Academic Affairs, associate dean for Diversity and Inclusion, and as the Nancy J. LaMont Faculty Scholar and professor of law at Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law.

She also served from March 2012 to March 2018 as an associate justice for the Supreme Court of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in Fort Yates, North Dakota.  She was a member of the Kansas Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and currently serves as a member of the Council to the American Bar Association’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

Professor Pratt’s work focusing on the equal protection clause and balancing civil rights and civil liberties has been published in law journals and other media outlets, including The New York Times. She has received numerous awards for her advocacy work, including the Association of American Law Schools’ Impact Award, the Society of American Law Teachers’ Shanara Gilbert Human Rights Award and the John Mercer Langston Legal Education Leadership Award.

Also performing during the event will be spoken-word poet Samantha Marchand. Diversity Dinner tickets will be $90 and can be purchased as an add-on or stand-alone ticket on the OBA Annual Meeting registration page, found at www.okbar.org/annualmeeting.


Devin Frost serves as chair of the OBA Diversity Committee.




Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal – OBJ 95 Vol 7 (September 2023)

Statements or opinions expressed in the Oklahoma Bar Journal are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Oklahoma Bar Association, its officers, Board of Governors, Board of Editors or staff.