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Activist-in-Residence

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Activism Speaker

What is the Activist-in-Residence Program?

The WGS Center for Social Justice’s Activist-in-Residence Program brings social justice activists to campus to interact directly with students. The activists come from a variety of social justice backgrounds and travel to Norman from around the world. Once on campus activists hold workshops, lead discussion groups, teach classes, screen films, assist in planning projects and campaigns, and are available to students for informal conversations. The WGS Center for Social Justice believes the personal contact and hands-on approach of the AiR Program truly benefits students and works toward our mission of inspiring students to become involved in social justice activism. The residency program covers the AIR's travel expenses and includes an honorarium. 

Introducing the WGS CSJ 2021 Activist-in-Residence Sarah Adams-Cornell

Photo of Sarah Adams-Cornell

Sarah Adams-Cornell is an advocate for Native American culture, education and rights. She is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and serves on the Board of Directors for Sovereign Community School where she focuses on community engagement. Sarah co-created an intertribal, empowerment organization called Matriarch that serves indigenous women in central and NE Oklahoma. Sarah is the President of the Board of Directors for the ACLU of Oklahoma. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Live Indigenous OK and worked alongside other Native advocates to see Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognized in OKC. Sarah is a board member of The Auntie Project, Not Your Mascot, proud ally member of Central Oklahoma Two Spirit Society, serves on the OKC Citizens Committee for Community Development and has served two terms as Activist in Residence at the University of Oklahoma.

Sarah has worked alongside other advocates to eliminate Land Run Reenactments and Native mascots in OKC Public Schools and co-created a program called Oklahoma History Day, a diverse and accurate account of Oklahoma history through statehood.

She attended Cottey College and the University of Oklahoma and has two daughters, Bella and Gabbie. Sarah works for her parent’s company, RedLand Sheet Metal and lives in Oklahoma City.


#BeHerVoice

The art was created in memory of Emily Sue Zanne Morgan who was the 1st to be born in the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma in 1993.  Her spirit must have known she had but a short time on this Earth because she packed a lifetime of accomplishments into a short 23 years.  She was fiercely independent and sought to be the BEST at everything she ever did.  Her son was born when she was 16 years old and her life revolved providing for him.  She would captivate a room with her presence, her wit and her mesmerizing giggle.  Emily was beginning her 3rd semester at Rose State College and wanted to work in the environmental science field with our tribe. Her life was taken by a man that could not control her or her independent nature. Image created by artist Bridgette Hoshont'omba. #BeHerVoice

Call for Nominations
Spring 2021 Activist-in-Residence

Nominations for Spring 2021 are now closed. The deadline for Activist-in-Residence submissions for Spring 2022 will be posted at a later date.

To be considered, the Activist-in-Residence nominee must:

  • Not be a current OU student, faculty or staff member
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be available to temporarily join the OU community, dedicating working time to the residency for approximately one week (residency may be divided over the course of a month)
  • Be willing and able to engage in hands-on, personal contact with OU students
  • Demonstrate a documented commitment to working for social change and justice in the community

To be considered, the Activist-in-Residence nominee must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be available to temporarily join the OU comminity, dedicating working time to the residency for approximately one week (residency may be divided over the course of a month)
  • Be willing and able to engage in hands-on, personal contact with OU students
  • Demonstrate a documented committment to working for social change and justice in the community
  • Not be a current OU student, faculty, or staff member

Preference will be given to nominees who are able to engage in some of the following activities:

  • Hold interactive workshops
  • Lead reading/discussion groups
  • Teach and/or visit classes
  • Host community meetings
  • Screen films and lead discussions
  • Assist in planning projects and campaigns of interest to the OU community 
  • Be available to students for informal conversations through office hours, brown-bag lunches, and general presence on campus 
  • Organize activist training sessions for students