March 1, 2016
Program to Focus on the OKC 13 Case and Race and Gender in Oklahoma History
OKLAHOMA CITY — On Thursday, March 10, at 6:30 p.m., the Oklahoma Historical Society will host a special program featuring a short film about the Daniel Holtzclaw case and his crimes against 13 African American women. The film, titled “OKC 13,” will be followed by a panel discussion. Doors of the Oklahoma History Center will open at 5:30 p.m. and the program begins at 6:30 p.m. The program is titled A Conversation on Race and Gender in Oklahoma History, featuring the “OKC 13” mini-documentary.
In her film, producer Carmen Coffee explores the abuse of power surrounding Holtzclaw’s attacks and investigates open dialogue about justice and accountability in one American community. The panel discussion will feature first-person stories about overcoming biases based on race and gender through Oklahoma history from the 1940s to the 2000s. On the panel will be Judge Vicki Miles LaGrange, historian Bruce Fisher, Oklahoma City NAACP president Garland Pruitt and Oklahoma Highway Patrol Officer Lateka Alexander.
Federal Judge Vicki Miles LaGrange was the first African American woman elected to the Oklahoma Senate. In 1994 President Bill Clinton nominated and the U.S. Senate confirmed LaGrange to be a federal judge for the 10th Circuit.
Bruce Fisher served for 15 years as the multi-cultural curator at the Oklahoma Historical Society. In 2014 he retired, but continues to work to preserve Oklahoma’s African American history. Fisher is the son of civil rights pioneer Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher.
Garland Pruitt is president of the Oklahoma City NAACP. A Houston native, Pruitt has spent most of his life in Oklahoma. Since retiring from General Motors, he has spent years counseling and mentoring Oklahoma City’s youth. He believes that it is the NAACP’s job to “tear down the walls that separate people.”
Trooper Lateka Alexander is a veteran trooper with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. On October 10, 2001, she became Oklahoma’s first African American female state trooper and completed the high stress academy as the only female that class.
Carmen Coffee is a media personality, content creator, television producer and Oklahoma City native. Coffee is experienced in media relations, television, radio, print and news media development. She has been involved in projects for NBA TV, Viacom, Comcast Spotlight, USA Today Sports, TLC, TV One and BET. Carmen studied theatre at Oxford University and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Howard University.
The Oklahoma History Center is located at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr. in Oklahoma City. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains 31 museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.