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2018 Oklahoma Changing World Prize

2018 Oklahoma Changing World Prize

In his song “Changing World,” Woody Guthrie wrote, “Change the pen and change the ink, Change the way you talk and think…Change the ways of this changing world.” In the spirit of those words and his legacy of fighting for social justice, the Woody Guthrie Center has created theOklahoma Changing World Prize.

This year, the prize will recognize the efforts of Clara Luper and the 13 youth who participated in the Oklahoma City sit-ins 60 years ago this month. Their act of resistance in a segregated city would spark a movement that would eventually see the end of state-sanctioned segregation.

“The Woody Guthrie Center is incredibly proud to recognize the dignity, courage, and commitment of Clara Luper and her NAACP Youth Council with our 2018 Oklahoma Changing World Prize,” said Deana McCloud, executive director of the Woody Guthrie Center. These Civil Rights activists led the change that our world so desperately needed and helped make America’s promise of equality under the law a reality. As we approach the 60th anniversary of that first sit-in, we celebrate their integrity and their non-violent approach to “change the ways of this changing world.”

Their movement began Aug. 19, 1958, when 13 students took a seat at the Katz Drug Store in Oklahoma City and asked for a soda and some hamburgers. They weren’t served by the staff and endured taunts, jeers and threats from the other patrons. They returned the next day and were again refused service, but staff relented on the third day and a large group was served that afternoon. Their work spread to different lunch counters across the city and eventually across the state.

The prize will be presented Oct. 11 with a special program for the youth participants and their families at the Oklahoma History Center.

The prize is being co-hosted by OKPOP at the Oklahoma History Center. Table sponsorships for the event honoring Harris are available immediately in the following levels: WGC Friend Sponsor ($1,000); This Land Table Sponsor ($2,500); and This Machine Table Sponsor ($5,000). Individual tickets are on sale now for $100, which includes dinner and a seat at the event. Proceeds benefit the Woody Guthrie Center’s education programs with a portion of the proceeds going to the NAACP Youth Council. Call 918-574-2710 to secure your seat and for further information.