USAO Logo

About Us

THE CENTER'S MISSION

The Center's mission is to advance the common good by educating and inspiring individuals who are dedicated to the pursuit of social justice through:

In keeping with the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s mission to provide students with tools needed to transform their lives, the Center will build bridges across communities.

The goal is to empower Oklahoma youth by giving them the tools and guidance needed to demonstrate that their lives matter, and that they can make positive social change for themselves, for their communities and for our state.

Community mentors who share a personal investment in working with young people are essential for the success of the Center and its mission. These people serve as role models who have an understanding about the obstacles these young people face.

The Center is committed to providing academic scholarships for underserved students who are interested in the fundamental issues of what constitutes community and what factors serve as obstacles for community-building.

Students will research the complexities of socioeconomic inequalities through the lens of their own academic majors while applying historical strategies to address social justice issues that impact everyday life.

Externships and internships exist as another mechanism that can provide students with venues to apply what they have learned through Center curriculum to real-world situations and to help prepare them for the workforce. 

Building connections within and between communities allows young people to see commonalities with others, and that they have the power to transform and heal because their lives do matter.

Center students must demonstrate a commitment to community by giving back through service and volunteerism in order to maintain their scholarship status in addition to demonstrating academic achievement.

The Center will establish relationships with various community stakeholders and design projects so that students can apply situational assessment and problem-solving skills as mechanisms of transformation and healing.

Community Advisory Board

  • Bruce Fisher

Civic leader

Historian and Curator, Oklahoma Heritage Center

  • Andrew Rice

Civic leader, politician, and author

Founder of the Progressive Alliance Foundation

  • Rev. Dr. Raushan  Asanti-Alexander

Principal, Lincoln Elementary School

President of Chickasha Tri-County NAACP Branch

Chickasha City Council Member

  • Dr. Jeanne Mather

Emeritus Prof. of Education (USAO)

  • Suzette Chang

Director of Guthrie Public Library

Founder and CEO of Thick Descriptions

  • Dr. Mark Schmitt

Stuart Hall Fellow

Prof. of British and American Cultural Studies

Dortmund University of Technology (Germany)