The Xenia Institute will host its 9th Annual Sam Matthews Social Justice Award Banquet on Thursday, March 6, 2014. This special event and its award honor the memory ofNorman resident Sam Matthews, while also recognizing significant and continuing work to help advance social justice. Mr. Matthews holds the distinction of being the first realtor in Norman to sell a home to an African American couple in the 1960's. His action significantly magnified civil rights and is celebrated each year by honoring other members of our community who continue to embrace social justice and serve others in a meaningful way.
This year's recipients of the award are Steve and Barbara Owens. Steve and Barbara have actively dedicated themselves to serving the development and enhancement of the Thunderbird Clubhouse in Norman. Thunderbird Clubhouse is a place where people who have mental illness can come and rebuild their lives through pre-vocational training, paid employment, housing opportunities, and purposeful social/recreational experiences.
The vigorous work of Steve and Barbara Owens has helped ensure that Thunderbird Clubhouse is a vibrant community of men and women who are provided a path to recovery from mental illness. Their devotedness has helped the Clubhouse to be a place of hope and caring; a place for people to come and be part of something larger than themselves as they engage in relationships; and a place where people can embrace and celebrate the strength they can gain from each other. Through their commitment, Steve and Barbara have been keystones in creating a new future for adults recovering from mental illness through the positive power of meaningful work, community, choice, and hope.
Past recipients of the Sam Matthews Social Justice Award are Sam Matthews, Joe Ted Miller, Lester Reed, Kay Holladay, Jim Agar, George and Barbara Henderson, Kathy Heiple, and Dewey and Kathryn Selmon.
The Thursday, March 6, banquet will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of First Christian Church, 220 S. Webster, in Norman. Tickets are $30 each, with tables seating 8 available for $210. With limited space, early ticket purchases are strongly encouraged. To purchase tickets, payment can be made by check payable to The Xenia Institute, mailed to The Xenia Institute, c/o First Christian Church, 220 S. Webster, Norman, Oklahoma 73069. For additional information, you can contact Bob Thomas via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Xenia Institute is a 501-c-3 organization in Norman, Oklahoma, dedicated to facilitating transformation and significantly enhancing possibilities through meaningful dialogue.