OK Department of Human Services seminar on ‘opportunity gap’ slated

OKLAHOMA CITY – A luncheon lecture entitled “Closing the Opportunity Gap: Building Equity in Oklahoma” is slated for April 25 (Thursday). 

Kate Richey, analyst with the Oklahoma Policy Institute, a progressive think tank based in Tulsa, will speak as part of the “Practice and Policy Lecture Series” for the Office of Planning, Research and Statistics at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. The agency sponsors the series along with the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Public Management.

According to a release sent to CapitolBeatOK, the series is intended “to provide thought-provoking presentations on Oklahoma’s emerging policy issues, trends and best practices.” The goal is “providing the best educational opportunities available in a forum that offers participants an opportunity to question, share and learn from each other.”

The agency release said Richey “will present data and analysis on the racial wealth gap in Oklahoma – from home and business ownership to savings, investments, and other assets vital to long-term financial security. This research points to deeply entrenched gaps in wealth, income, and employment between white and nonwhite Oklahomans. Without equitable economic growth at the state level, broad-based prosperity and the ideal of the American dream will become increasingly out of reach.”

The release from Mark K. Beutler of the state Department of Human Services, office of communications, said “Richey will present solutions for closing the wealth gap and fostering equitable access to income, assets, and opportunity in Oklahoma.”

Richey has worked for Oklahoma Policy since January 2011, focusing on health care, immigration, poverty, race and economic issues in the Sooner State. 

The lecture series is free and open to the general public. It will be held at the Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zudih Drive in Oklahoma City

Information is available by telephoning 405-521-3552; or register at the website for the lecture series: