OC’s Academy of Leadership & Liberty is proud to announce it’s partnership with the George Kaiser Family Foundation and Don and Donna Millican in the Complex Dialogues series. Aptly named “Complex Dialogues,” the program’s goal is to challenge and enlighten the thinking about difficult issues by bringing quality thinkers and communicators from differing perspectives to discuss publicly some of the most challenging issues facing our nation, our communities, and our citizens.

The Academy of Leadership and Liberty shares its partners’ vision that universities should seek to have a fair balance in the speakers they bring to their campuses, and that we should be more intentional to carry out our common commitments to serving our fellow man—particularly those in poverty or otherwise in need. We are deeply convinced this partnership between the George Kaiser Family Foundation, the Millican family and OC’s Academy of Leadership & Liberty will accomplish those important goals. Though most Americans are philosophically and socially polarized these days, the Complex Dialogues program will identify, celebrate, and cooperate around the much greater agenda that we share in common.

While the program will feature many prominent speakers and challenging topics over the course of the next three years, we believe our first topic to be one of the most important as we begin the Complex Dialogues series with the Women’s Incarceration Summit in January 2010. Oklahoma leads the nation in the number of women our state incarcerates on a per capita basis. The tremendous impact this has on the families—particularly children—in our state and the underlying issues of substance, physical, and emotional abuse are worthy of all our attention as we look forward to bringing together stakeholders who can affect positive change to address these critical challenges.

It is our intention with this program to bring together a diverse group of leaders, including our legislators and judiciary who have the capacity to make appropriate changes that emerge from the Summit. It is our further intention that this not be just an academic exercise, but rather that it results in measurable outcomes to reduce this sad and shameful problem.

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