Batch's Blog

Nathanial Batchelder (click image to read news and views from Peace House OK's Director, Nathaniel Batchelder)

Local Congressmembers to host town halls during August recess

(click image for larger version)

Please participate in our democracy and attend one of these if you can. Let your representatives in Washington know what you think and hold them accountable.

Image courtesy of Linda James.

2011 Laborfest set for August 25 – 27

Press release from our friends in Labor:


A public festival to promote Oklahoma Labor History, Diversity, and Civil Rights through music, film, poetry and visual art.

Oklahoma City, OK-Oklahoma’s largest coalition of labor unions and labor activists, the Central Oklahoma Labor Federation (COLF), today announced its plans for the second annual “Oklahoma Laborfest.” After several planning committee meetings of union members and labor advocates, COLF President Tim O’Connor today unveiled the purpose and framework of the festival.

“The purpose of this festival is to create greater awareness of Oklahoma’s working class culture and to build pride in the state’s rich Labor and Civil Rights history through music, the arts, and camaraderie” said O’Connor.

“Our youth should know about Oklahoma labor and civil rights heroes like Kate Barnard and Pete Hanraty, Les Brown and Clara Luper. They should know our state motto ‘Labor Omnia Vincit’ which means ‘Labor Conquers All.’ We should appreciate Oklahoma’s history of fighting for workers’ rights. Also with the vote to repeal affirmative action, State Question 759, from our state constitution, we should remind ourselves and our legislators of our civil rights history in Oklahoma.”

O’Connor continued, “Unfortunately this history is not being taught to our children today and we run the risk of it being forgotten. With this festival we intend to promote labor literacy and our fight to defeat State Question 759 among the general public in order to preserve this history and strengthen labor solidarity with all communities in the state of Oklahoma.”

Oklahoma Laborfest will be a 3-day festival and will kick off with a labor poetry reading at the OKC Downtown Library (46th Star Auditorium) 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. on August 25th. On Friday, August 25th there will be a screening of the movies ‘Salt of the Earth’ and ‘Matewan’ at Convergence Collective Space (1755 N.W. 16th) from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m. Multiple events are planned on August 28thand include a kick off march and rally for workers and civil rights. The march will be staged at 1501 Classen Blvd. (Catholic Charities parking lot). Live music on the Solidarity Stage (across from the Lyric Theatre on N.W. 16th) will include performances by J.D Thompson, MoonSue, Vagarant, Dead Man’s Bluff, and Maw. Other events on the 28th will include two Live Paints – one sponsored by Standing Buffalo Gallery of Norman featuring Cole Cathey (Seminole), Micah Wesley (Creek/Kiowa), and Dylan Cavin (Choctaw), and the other performed by Oklahoma Capital muralist Carlos Tello. Workshops will be held throughout the day on the 28th on such topics as using social media to organize, creating online activity for Laborfest, and a Workers Writing Workshop. Many other activities are scheduled throughout the afternoon in three different venues. Food and information vendors will be available all day.

Oklahoma Laborfest will culminate in a performance entitled ‘Oklahoma Speaks’ at the Lyric Theatre on the evening of Saturday, August 27th. This is the second year for this event because last year’s performance was so successful. It is modeled after the late historian Howard Zinn’s production ‘The People Speak’ and includes dramatic readings of selected historical texts from Oklahoma’s labor and civil rights movement and musical performances of songs connected to these movements. The performance is under the direction of Rachel Jackson, University of Oklahoma, who researches and selects the readings. The musical selections are under the direction of Mary Catherine Reynolds and Louise Goldberg. Other musical performers include Peggy Johnson and Beatrice Cole.

All Oklahoma Laborfest events are free and open to the public – paid for by local unions and private donors. For more information and the schedule of events, please visit or the Oklahoma Laborfest Facebook page.


Look for the Peace House table, and participation in the march and rally.

Oklahoma City recycling seminar, Oct. 13

Oklahoma Recycling Seminar

“Recycling Across Oklahoma: Urban, Suburban and Rural” will take place on Thursday, October 13, 2011 in Stillwater. The full day conference, hosted by the Oklahoma Recycling Association (OKRA), will feature a keynote presentation about Walmart’s Zero Waste Program.

Additional topics include Future Trends in Recycling; Master Recyclers Programs; Rural Recycling Collections; E-waste recycling; Tire Collections; Household Hazardous Waste Events; and Backyard and Municipal-scale Composting Programs, among others.

Oklahoma Recycling seminar sponsors to date are Greenstar Recycling, ODEQ, OEMA, OGE and the Indian Nations Chapter of SWANA. For registration fees and more information about the seminar, as well as sponsor and exhibitor information, visit: Registration includes all sessions, continental breakfast, lunch, breaks, and parking.

Please share this notice with others who may be interested and include it in your local newsletter or announcements list.

OKRA Seminar Committee

Welcome to our new web site

We’re very excited to have a new site with a number of new features. We’ve got RSS, we’ve got a Facebook badge, we’ve got comments, we’ve got, well, we don’t even know what all we have yet — it’s that new. Please help us get up to speed by offering your feedback and suggestions about our new online presence. We want to hear from you — and now there are all sorts of ways that we can. We hope you will find something you inspire you to join or rejoin the peaceworkers and justice advocates in central Oklahoma.


» Continue reading “Welcome to our new web site”

Panel Will Discuss Sustainability at Oklahoma City University, Thursday, Sept. 8th

OKLAHOMA CITY – A panel discussion entitled “Sustainability” will be held on Thursday, Sept. 8th, at 7 pm, in Oklahoma City University’s Bishop Angie Smith Chapel, on NW 23rd St., just east of Indiana St. Attendance at the event is free and open to the public.

Panel participants will deal with three aspects of sustainability that affect people everywhere, organizers say. Issues to be addressed include the global economy, environmental sustainability, and U.S. military global commitments, including the current conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. » Continue reading “Panel Will Discuss Sustainability at Oklahoma City University, Thursday, Sept. 8th”

Institute of Interfaith Dialog to present panel on Abrahamic Faiths, 9/11

The Institute of Interfaith Dialog cordially invites you to the Panel Forum

Abrahamic Faiths Post 9/11: Building Peaceful Community in a Violent World

September 11th, 2011, 4 pm. – 6 pm.

Moderator: Dr. Barbara Boyd, Director of Outreach Adjunct AssistantProfessor, Religious Studies, OU

Panelist: Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, President of National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership

Panelist: Rev. Mitch Randall, Senior Pastor, North Haven Church

Panelist: Dr. Imam Imad Enchassi, President of Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City

Address: Nancy O’ Brian Center for the Performing Arts

1809 Stubbeman Ave, Norman OK

( Adjacent to Norman North High School)

FMI contact:

Panel on Sustainability set for Setember 8 at OCU

Please save the date! And help spread the word (download flyer below).

SUSTAINABILITY: A panel on the Economy, the Environment, War & Peace

7 pm, Thursday, Sept. 8th

Oklahoma City University
Bishop Angie Smith Chapel
(NW 23rd St., just east of Indiana St.)

A panel of experts will examine three systems impacting humanity that cry for new priorities.

This event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Stan G. Duncan, Development Economist,
Author of “The Greatest Story Oversold: Understanding Economic Globalization

Robert Waldrop, Environmentalist, Local Foods Expert, Permaculture Designer

Col. Katherine Scheirman, MD, USAF ret. Served as Chief of Air Force Medical Operations, Ramstein AFB

Nathaniel Batchelder, Director, The Peace House
Dr. Robin Meyers, Professor of Rhetoric, OCU, Senior Pastor, Mayflower UCC Church

Sponsored by

The Peace House, OIKOS Scholars Program of Oklahoma City University, Mayflower Congregational Church, and generous donors

9.8.11 Sustainability poster – download, print and distribute freely
For more info, see our Press Release

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