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Press Release

June 12, 2017

Contact: Steve Hawkins
Oklahoma History Center, Oklahoma Historical Society
Office: 405-522-0754

Oklahoma National History Day First Place Winners Selected to Showcase Film on National Platform

OKLAHOMA CITY — Two students from St. Philip Neri Catholic School of Midwest City have been chosen to present their winning entry from the recent Oklahoma National History Day competition at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, D.C. Baylee Melot and Judith Suarez were awarded first place in the Junior Division for their Group Documentary entitled, “Clara Luper: Her Stand in the Civil Rights Movement.” The film will be shown on Wednesday, June 14, in the Oprah Winfrey Theater at the NMAAHC.

The Junior Division competition for Oklahoma National History Day was held on May 3. More than 300 students presented their exhibits, documentaries, performances, websites and papers at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City for the opportunity to advance to the National History Day contest held each summer at the University of Maryland at College Park. After winning first place in the Group Documentary category, Melot and Suarez and their teacher, Amanda Herron, submitted their entry to the Education Department at NMAAHC for consideration for the showcase. On June 5, they were notified by a National History Day representative that they had been chosen for one of the 24 slots from a group of 60 submissions.

“The honor of getting to show their documentary at the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Baylee and Judith. We are all so proud of them for this accomplishment,” said Sarah Dumas, director of education for the Oklahoma History Center and state coordinator for Oklahoma National History Day.

State competitors were identified from a pool of contestants at regional contests throughout the state. First- and second-place winners at the state competition will advance to the National History Day contest, set for June 11–15. Prizes are awarded at all levels, including more than $150,000 in scholarships for national winners.

The Oklahoma History Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, National Archives and is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains 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.

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