To be added to our invitation list, just send an email to email@example.com
The calendar will not be updated for the Spring Semester 2015 until February.
“The U.S.-Cuba Relationship and its Regional Impact”
The Center is honored to welcome Mark Wells, Coordinator for Cuban Policy for the United States Department of State. A veteran Latin American diplomat, Mr. Wells has recently assumed his noew position for Cuba at the State Department. His talk will cover current American Cuba policy, as well as how our Cubarelates to American relationships in the region.
Noon, OU-Tulsa, Learning Center, 41st and Yale.
$15 per person includes a buffet lunch and the program. Reservations by calling Denise at 918-660-3494.
Great Britain, the USA, and Portugal in World War II
The Center Director will discuss the fascinating story of Portugal during World War II and how Portugal's centuries old alliance with Great Britain make possible US Air Force access to the critical Atlantic islands of the Azores. The event is sponsored by the English Speaking Union of Tulsa.
Noon, Tulsa Country Club, 701 North Union. Reservations required; please call Denise at 918-660-3494 for guest information and luncheon cost.
History, Democracy, and the Media in the Southwest
A panel presentation featuring Center Director Rodger Randle, Fred R. Harris (former U.S. Senator from Oklahoma), and V.B. Price (editor of the New Mexico Mercury).
5:30pm, Student Union Building, LOBO A&B, University of New Mexico campus, Albuquerque. Free and open to the public; reception to follow.
January:Dr. Peter Gries will discuss his recent book published by the Stanford University Press: The Politics of American Foreign Policy.
January:The Center Director will deliver lectures at the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey (Mexico).
february:The Center Director will deliver lectures on trends in higher education (Lahore, Pakistan).
MARCH:The Center Director discuss modern Brazil in the Geat Decisions series sponsored in Tulsa by OSU.
april: Ambassador Edwin Corr (Peru, Bolivia, and El Salvador) will be the featured luncheon speaker for the Center.
Entrepreneur from Nepal Visits Oklahoma
Thanks to Tulsa Global Alliance, Judy and I had the opportunity to spend an evening with Meele Shrestha, an IT entrepreneur from Nepal. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the customs and culture of Nepal. To show Meele the diversity of Tulsa's cultures, we took her to a benefit dinner supporting Peruvian children, named in honor of our friend Tina Peña's mother. She enjoyed the authentic Peruvian dinner and music.
Helsinki-España to Return to Tulsa...
Ana Nieto, the head of the NGO Helsinki-España in Madrid, fist visited Tulsa over a decade ago while traveling the USA on a visit sponsored by the US Dept. of State. We invited her and her group to dinner at our house, and that was the beginning of a long lasting friendship and partnership that has resulted in multiple partnerships between the organization she leads and the Center. We are excited that the Government of Spain has just announced support that will allow us to establish a new project to be held in Tulsa during the summer of 2015.
Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment Speaks in Tulsa
In October I had the good fortune to serve as master of ceremonies at an event in Tulsa featuring Michael Teague, former head of the U.S. Corps of Engineers for our region, who nows serves in Gov. Fallin's cabinet. The meeting was sponsored by the Community Environmental Working Group and Sec. Teague spoke on the implications of new federal environmental rules. The audience was uniformly impressed by his candor and the friendly and open spirit in which he dialoged on potentially contentious issues.
Mark Pritchard, Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom, Visits Oklahoma City
As Honorary British Consul for Oklahoma, I had the pleasure of organizing a two day visit to Oklahoma for Mark Pritchard, a member of the British Parliament. It was my job to accompany him during the visit, but this was enjoyable. We met with the Mayor of Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma Attorney General, Justice Yvonne Kauger of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, plus other Oklahoma notables. Mr. Pritchard was accompanied by the Consul Officer from the British Consulate in Houston.
Miguel Rafael López Méndez...
Consul General of Colombia in Houston, Miguel Rafael López Méndez took office at his new post in October of 2013. He is an architect who has specialized in historic preservation. His architectural studies were completed at the Universidad Piloto de Colombia and he received his Masters at Pratt in New York. The Consul General will be the Center's guest at a reception in Tulsa on May 9 on the occasion of his first official visit to our city.
And now, direct from the United Kingdom...
The Center Director's home was the location for a "Champagne and Dessert" reception for Nicholas Bennett, former member of the British Parliament. Mr. Bennett served as private parliamentary secretary to Margaret Thatcher towards the end of her time as Prime Minister. A group of around 20 gathered to meet him, and he regaled the guests during an informal discussion after dessert about the ins and outs of British politics.
"Rumble Fish", Cult Classic Film in Chile and Argentina
The Center hosted an evening with Chilean author and filmmaker Alberto Fuguet, who was in town for the Oklahoma premiere of his documentary "Locaciones". His documentary was based on the influence that the old black and white movie "Rumble Fish" had on his life, and since most of that film was shot in Tulsa, much of Fuguet's documentary was based on his pilgrimage to Tulsa to see the sights where "Rumble Fish" was filmed. When asked what most surprised him about Tulsa when he finally had an opportunity to come see the city in real life, he replied "It was in color!."
Consul General of Norway, Jostein Mykletun
In January I had the privilege of organizing a visit to Oklahoma for Jostein Mykletun, Consul General Norway, and his wife, Sonia. We visited public officials and cultural attractions in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and in Shawnee. The visit to Shawnee was to meet with Dr. James Collard, currently the Chairman of the Governors International Economic Development Team. Dr. Collard director of planning and economic development for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. In Tulsa, we had a small luncheon with Mayor Dewey Bartlett and Karen Gilbert, Chair of the City Council, at Philbrook Museum. We were also joined at lunch by Randall Suffolk, Philbrook Director, among others.
the European Union comes to Oklahoma...
João Vale de Almeida was the guest of the College of International Studies on the OU Norman campus for luncheon and seminar on European politics and American-European relations. Sr. Vale de Almeida Is the ambassador to the United States from the European Union. He is Portuguese, and the College of International Studies kindly sat me next to him at the banquet table at lunch, and it was a special treat to have the opportunity to get acquainted with him.
Our Poetic Birthday Parties
Each year the Center holds small observances in honor of the birthdays of the portuguese poets Alberto Caeiro, Alvaro de Campos, and Ricardo Reis ...and also Fernando Pessoa. We do not advertise or promote these observances widely since the general interest in these poets in Oklahoma is (shall we admit?) very limited. However, we do encourage those who are interested to contact us so that we may include you on our invitation list.
Center Director Rodger Randle is the Honourary British Consul in Oklahoma. He can be reached by phone at 918-779-4713. or through the offices of the Center.
Like all other British honourary consular offices, the Tulsa office is not authorized to issue passports or visas, nor do we handle passport or visa enquiries. Full visa information is available through the website of the British Embassy in Washington at http://ukinusa.fco.gov.uk.
The Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa is the champion for area arts and culture. Diverse education programs advance its mission to inspire creativity, foster appreciation, promote lifelong learning, enhance the quality of individual lives, and contribute economic vitality to the greater community. The Council partners with arts organizations, individual artists, patrons, school districts, educators, community groups, businesses and government.
To visit the website of the Arts a& Humanities Council click here.
The Center for Studies in Democracy and Culture is affiliated with the University of Oklahoma's Department of Human Relations, which offers undergraduate and graduate degrees on the OU-Norman campus and a master's degree on the OU-Tulsa campus. For a brochure about the Master of Human Relations degree offered in Tulsa, please click here.
red and white at the top of the shield represent the colors of The University of Oklahoma. The gold sphere represents the autumn moon, pictured over the green mountains of the island of Rokovoko, as seen from the sea.
The motto of the Center is "Klaatu Barada Nikto!".
Dr. Peter Gries' new book was published in 2014 by Stanford University Press. In this provocative book, he directly challenges the widely held view that partisan elites on Capitol Hill are out of touch with a moderate American public.
The Politics of American Foreign Policy weaves seamlessly together in-depth examinations of the psychological roots and foreign policy consequences of the liberal-conservative divide, the cultural, socio-racial, economic, and political dimensions of American ideology, and the moral values and foreign policy orientations that divide Democrats and Republicans.
The luncheon was held at the Tulsa Garden Center and was attended by well attended. Dr. Gries is the Newman Chair of US-China research at The University of Oklahoma and is a professor of international and area studies. He is a fluent speaker of Chinese.
For additional biographical information about Peter Gries, click here.
A long time friend of the Center, Vinicius Ribeiro scheduled a return trip to Oklahoma for mid-December as aguest of the Center to discuss the significance of the 2014 elections in Brazil and the future political and economic outlook for the country.
Sr. Ribeiro currently serves as a member of the House of Deputies in Rio Grande do Sul. He is a former member of the City Council in the city of Caxias do Sul, a city with a population equal to Tulsa's. A graduate architect, he is also a former director of municipal planning in the city. In the State of Rio Grande do Sul, he was selected as the "Architect of the Year" for 2014.
His visit to Tulsa included visits to governmental institutions, as well as with citizens in the Tulsa area and with faculty of The University of Oklahoma.
The Center has joined with a number of other Tulsa area organizations to co-sponsor a series of films on important environment topics during the spring of 2015. The film showing will be at All Souls Church, 2952 South Peoria, Tulsa. The films are free and open to the public. All films begin at 6:00pm. Snacks and drinks will be available.
Here is the film schedule:
January 20 “The 11th Hour,” (92 minutes) With Leonardo DiCaprio, this film is a look at climate change: where we've been, where we're going and, most important, how we can change.
February 17 “More than Honey,” (91 minutes) Tracking down the causes of the worldwide die-off of honey bees and why it matters to the future of our food supply.
March 31 “Tar Creek,” (95 minutes) Local filmmakers tell the story of an environmental disaster that happened right here in Northeastern Oklahoma. (note: this date is an exception to the third Tuesday scheduling as the third Tuesday is during Spring break).
April 21 “Climate of Doubt," (60 minutes) A PBS Frontline looking at the politics of global warming.
May 19 “The United States of OklaH2Oma,” (28.5 minutes) An in-depth look at water, the issue that will frame our future.
Other sponsoring organizations include: Congregation B’nai Emunah, the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Tulsa, Hope Unitarian Church, and the Sierra Club of Oklahoma
A veteran of 20 years of working with Latin America for the US State Department, Mark Wells recently assumed the key post of coordinator for Cuban policy. He has previously served in postings in Bogotá, Caracas, La Paz (Bolivia), and Monterrey, Mexico. He also served for a period in Iraq in the early days of Operation Enduring Freedom.
He spoke at a luncheon sponsored by the Center on November 7 at OU-Tulsa and discussed historic American perspectives on Cuban diplomatic issues, as well as recent policy developments.
The luncheon was open to the public. Originally schedule to be held at the Tulsa Garden Center, it was moved to the OU-Tulsa campus because of the the unexpected number of requests for luncheon reservations.
The luncheon featured a buffet of traditional Cuban specialties.
For more information about Mark Wells, click here.
Helsinki-España, a Madrid based non-governmental organization focused on human rights, is developing with the Center a new student-to-student project for 2015. Helsinki-España and the Center have a long history of working together and have jointly organized summer projects in past years (most recently in 2013) that brought college students from Spain to Tulsa to participate in student and community activities.
The Ministerio de Educación, Cultura, y Esporte of Spain announced in October, 2014, that it will provide financial support for the development of a new project for 2015 that will bring Spanish college students to Tulsa and which will provide renewed opportunities for building bridges between Spain and Tulsa.
The Center is expanding its presence on social media. New links coming soon...
On September 17, 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional convention met for the last time and officially adopted the complete and final version of the document that would become the American Constitution.
September 17 is now celebrated each year in the United States and has become the occasion for study and observances relating to the Constitution.
The Center is traditionally called upon at OU-Tulsa to be in charge of Constitution Day activities on the Tulsa campus. The Center has created a special webpage about the American Constitution that includes links to information about the Constitution and tools for self-study. This page can be visited by clicking here.
In addition, the Center Director gave his annual talk on a topic related to the Constitution. This year's talk was on “America in the Time of the Constitution”. The talk was open to the public.
50 years ago the first foreign head of state ever to visit Oklahoma landed in Stillwater on his own private airliner. This head of state was the Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie (also known as the “Lion of Judah”).
His visit to Oklahoma developed out of a strong personal friendship that he had built with Henry Bennett, the president of Oklahoma State University. Bennett had been named by Pres. Truman to head the Point Four international aid program after World War II, and during his work with this program he became a close personal friend with Emperor Selassie and invited him to visit Oklahoma.
As Oklahoma increasingly works to become more international, it is valuable for us to celebrate the roots of these efforts.
On June 18 there were commemorative activities on the Stillwater campus of OSU during the day, but the day culminated with an evening dinner in Tulsa at the Harwelden Mansion. The dinner was co-sponsored by the Center and by OSU. A sell-out crowd attended.
Center Director Rodger Randle offered a special graduate seminar class in September of 2014 focused on the cultural and social dynamics of Tulsa.
This class was designed to deepen the understanding of students about the community of Tulsa. It will invite students to face uncomfortable questions about who we are as a community and the social problems we face, as well as to celebrate achievements and accomplishments. We will look both at Tulsa’s past and at its present, but we will also seek to project where current social trends are likely to take us in the future.
Although the class is primarily designed for students in the Human Relations program at OU-Tulsa, it is also open to students in other majors. The class may also be taken as a noncredit audit course. It is anticipated that the class will be offered again in the Fall of 2015. Anyone interested in taking the class on a noncredit basis should contact Prof. Randle at 918-660-3495 for details of how to enroll.
For more information about the class, click here.
Center Director Rodger Randle was selected by the Tulsa League of Women Voters to receive their prestigious annual "Pathfinder" award. According to the League, "Professor Randle is being honored for his outstanding contributions in both public service and higher education at the city, state and national levels.”
The event was held at Tulsa Country Club on April 22. Introducing Prof. Randle at the ceremony were Ken Busby, Director and CEO of the Tulsa Arts & Humanities Council, and Penny Williams, Tulsa civic leader and former Oklahoma State Senator.
Prof. Randle was presented a handmade red sash from the League as symbol of the Pathfind Award.
Dewey Bartlett, Next in Our Series of
Conferences on Oklahoma Governors
Elected Governor of Oklahoma in 1966, Dewey Bartlett became Oklahoma's second Republican governor and the second Tulsan to be elected to the post. Before being elected governor, Bartlett was a member of the Oklahoma State Senate representing a district in Tulsa. Bartlett served one term as governor, but after leaving the governorship was subsequently elected twice to the United States Senate.
The conference on Bartlett will be the fourth in the series of conferences on Oklahoma governors. The conferences are held at the Oklahoma Historical Society in Oklahoma City and are co-sponsored by the Center, the Oklahoma Historical Society, and the OU Center for Political Communication. The Bartlett conference is tentatively been scheduled for September and is now in the planning stage.
Bartlett's son and daughter both have agreed to be on the program to talk about their father. Dewey Bartlet, Jr., currently serves as the Mayor of Tulsa.