our purposes

The Center for Studies in Democracy and Culture exist to serve faculty, staff, and students of the University of Oklahoma, as well as the Oklahoma community. It was created over a decade ago on the OU-Tulsa campus. The Center is not an academic program, but rather is a resource whose activities are dedicated to promoting greater understanding of the relationship between culture and the success of democratic institutions.

To achieve our objectives, we have developed a great variety of activities over the years. Most visible to the Tulsa area community are the public events we sponsor. These events are free and open to the public.

Our speakers during the past year have included notables from the OU academic community, such as Dr. Kyle Harper, the OU-Norman Provost, and Dr. David Wrobel, OU Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, but have also included academics from other institutions. For example, 2018, we sponsored programs on both the Tulsa and Norman campuses featuring Dr. Mark Langevin, head of the Brazil Initiative at George Washington University.

We have also welcome diplomats from the United States Department of State and from foreign countries. In 2017 we hosted the Ambassador to the United States from Afghanistan for activities on both the Norman and Tulsa campuses. Henry McLeish, a former member of the British Parliament and head of the government of Scotland, has been an annual visitor. We have also presented authors such as Clifton Taulbert (“Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored”, and a dozen other books).

Local Oklahoma political leaders that have appeared on Center programs have included the mayors of Oklahoma's two biggest cities, plus judges, legislators, city council members, etc.

We continue to participate in a number of collaborations within Oklahoma, such as the work we we organizations such as the Tulsa Global Alliance. We have also worked together on projects with Tulsa Community College, the Oklahoma Historical Society, BookSmart Tulsa, as well as many other groups.

We also have a history of global collaborations, such as our in the past in Brazil with the Associação Brasileira de Municípios and EduCidades, and in Honduras with the garífuna group, Organización de Desarrollo Étnico Comunitario (ODECO). For over 10 years we've been doing projects with Helsinki-España, a human rights organization in Spain. We also participated in education quality initiatives with the University of the Punjab in Pakistan, as well as with Lahore’s King Edward Medical University.



In addition to lecturing in the United States, The Center's Directorhas lectured abroad in the United Kingdom, Japan, Indonesia, Mexico, China, Vietnam, Brazil, Spain, Germany, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, and the Philippines.



Events organized and sponsored by the Center have often featured important figures who have grown in prominence following their visit to Oklahoma. One example is Henry McLeish, who has been a frequent visitor to the Center over the years. Mr. McLeish first came to Oklahoma when he was a member of the British Parliament, and later rose to serve as a member of the Cabinet under Prime Minister Tony Blair. When Scotland was allowed to reestablish the Scottish Parliament he was elected to that, and eventually rose to serve as First Minister of Scotland (head of government). Mr. McLeish is still a frequent visitor and guest of the Center. Another example is Juan Fernando López Aguilar who came to Oklahoma on a Center sponsored trip when he was a member of the Spanish parliament. A year or so later Mr. López Aguilar was named Justice Minister of Spain, and currently he serves as leader of his party's delegation from Spain in the European Parliament in Brussels.

We also frequently organize events in cooperation with other organizations. For example, the Center sponsored several talks by Adm. William Crowe in Tulsa, and these were organized in cooperation with the University of Oklahoma International Programs Center on the Norman campus. Adm. Crowe was a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Of Staff and former Ambassador to Great Britain. A speech given by Prof. Gideon Biger of Tel Aviv University on the subject of future borders between Israel and a Palestine state was made possible through support of a local Tulsa Jewish organization (this talk is available in audio format from our podcast list at the iTunes store and can be downloaded to your iPad or iPod, or listened to online ...click here).

We also share our speakers with other organizations in the Tulsa community, as well as with schools and universities.

The Center does more than simply sponsor speakers and organize events. We also work through a variety of Tulsa and Oklahoma organizations to pursue our goal of promoting a more globalized perspective in our state.

The Center also serves as the home of the Honorary British Consulate for Oklahoma.

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.


The Center is proud to be affiliated with OU's Departmet of Human Relations, and we
gratefully acknowledge the support of the
Department and its Chair, Dr. Wesley Long.