OICA Mourns the Passing of Jasmine Moran

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma lost one of our adopted treasures over the weekend with the death of Jasmine Moran of Seminole, following a lengthy battle with illness. For those of you who recognize her name, it is due to the Children’s Museum located in her community which is named after her.

This endeavor was made a reality by the many wonderful folks in the area who made the commitment to fund and build this project following a visit to the Flint, Michigan Children’s Museum by Jasmine and her husband, Melvin, back in 1988. Since then, this Oklahoma landmark has provided educational entertainment to thousands of young people brought there on class field trips or by family members.

For those who do not know the history of how Jasmine made it from England during World War II to Seminole, Oklahoma, I would recommend reading her life story from an article published five years ago by the online news service “NonDoc” the story is located at: https://nondoc.com/2017/11/29/jasmine-moran-magic-war-kindness/ or read her book, “The Path I Chose,” available through the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Publishing.

It has been my high honor to serve on the museum’s Board of Trustees for several years. During that time, I had the opportunity to get to know Jasmine and Melvin, along with former OICA board President Jay Scott Brown, another stalwart child advocate we also recently lost. From this connection, Jay Scott recommended the naming of our annual youth citizenship award after this couple.

The Moran Kidizenship Award has been awarded over the past four years, and we just recently completed the latest selection, with the help of Jasmine and Melvin. I am pleased to name Zabella Hernandez as our 2021 Moran Kidizenship Award winner.

Zabella was nominated for her work to spread awareness about children on the autism spectrum. She wrote and illustrated a book, Autism: The Story of My Amazing Little Brother, to help others understand these special children. You can get her book on Amazon and OICA will present her award in person, along with a donation from OICA to help continue her work.

Nominations will be open for the next Moran Kidizenship Award beginning in August. If you know of a young Oklahoman under the age of 18 who has either built a program to benefit other youth or who has taken an existing program to a new level, please nominate them for this award. The information will be listed on our website at https://oica.org.

If you would like to support the mission of this museum and their continued work, especially in the tough times they have faced with COVID-19, please go to http://www.jasminemoran.com/support/ to donate. I know how challenging times have been for venues that had to close their doors temporarily with the pandemic, and we certainly do not want to lose this Oklahoma treasure.

As was noted in comments on Jasmine’s book, “finding her path from the explosions of World War II London to the relative tranquility of life in small town America, Jasmine Moran’s choices make interesting reading and show us that tough beginnings can inspire resilience and good works.”

I would encourage each of you to have that same impact on the youth of our state who also often face tough beginnings. Be the role model in each of their lives that will also lead to many more good works. That is most certainly the legacy of Jasmine Moran through her dedication to the children of Oklahoma.

About OICA: The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy was established in 1983 by a group of citizens seeking to create a strong advocacy network that would provide a voice for the needs of children and youth in Oklahoma, particularly those in the state’s care and those growing up amid poverty, violence, abuse and neglect, disparities, or other situations that put their lives and future at risk. OICA’s  mission statement: “Creating awareness, taking action, and changing policy to improve the health, safety, and well-being of Oklahoma’s children.”