Global Citizen Awards Gala


gcitizensEach year, our Global Citizen Awards Gala recognizes individuals, businesses and organizations that have made a significant impact on global citizenship in the United States and abroad.

On 9 September 2017, we celebrated our Annual Global Citizen Awards Gala during an evening of multicultural experience in Oklahoma City. In the presence of some 350 global citizens, various community members were acknowledged for their ongoing contribution to make societal inclusion, multiculturalism, pluralism and multilingualism a reality for all. Former Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry, United States Ambassador (ret.) Edwin Corr and University of Oklahoma Dean Suzette Grillot chaired the gala. Ramu Damodaran, Chief, United Nations Academic Impact Initiative and Deputy Director for Partnerships and Public Engagement in the Outreach Division of the United Nations Department of Public Information, delivered the keynote address.

The evening’s entertainment showcased a variety of special cultural performances from around the world. Guests had the opportunity of participating in a silent auction with all proceeds benefitting World Experiences Foundation’s global education programs in Oklahoma and abroad. The Foundation honored Governor Bill Anoatubby, Chickasaw Nation, with its Lifetime Achievement Award in Global Citizenship; the Whitten Newman Family Foundation with its Global Vision Award; and Mary Blankenship Pointer, CFO, Council of International Neonatal Nurses, with its Global Humanitarian Award. Eleven outstanding global leaders/organizations were inducted into WEF’s 2017 Class of Global Citizens for their extraordinary contributions to global citizenship in the United States and abroad.

Check out a news story about the gala on the United Nations website:






Ambassador Sponsor


Secretariat Sponsor


Delegate Sponsor


Global Citizen Sponsors

Mary B. Pointer





OCC in circle

2017 Gala Host Committee

Hon. Brad Henry, Former Oklahoma Governor, Chair

US Ambassador (retd.) Edwin Corr, Co-chair

Dean Suzette Grillot, OU College of International Studies, Co-chair

President Robert Henry, Oklahoma City University

Joan Korenblit, Respect Diversity Foundation

Jonna Kirschner, Chickasaw Nation Industries

Moises Echeverria, OCCJ

Dr. Paul Bell, OU Confucius Institute

Chad Jordan, Arrow Global Capital

Jan Peery, YWCA

Susan Agel, Positive Tomorrows

Sheba Velasco, International Ambassador for Mayan Culture

Rabbi Vered Harris, Temple B’nai Israel

Assistant Dean Rebecca Cruise, OU College of International Studies

Keynote Speaker

Ramu Damodaran

Chief, United Nations Academic Impact Initiative & Deputy Director, Partnerships and Public Engagement, UN-DPI


Lifetime Achievement Award in Global Citizenship

Gov. Bill Anoatubby, Chickasaw Nation

Global Vision Award

Whitten Newman Family Foundation

Global Humanitarian Award

Mary Pointer, Senior Vice-President, Republic Bank & Trust

2017 Class of Global Citizens


Multicultural Education Institute, University of Central Oklahoma


Syrian Toy Project, Dr. Jeanne Mather, Torri Rillema, Beth Pierce


Evelyn Mary Aswad, Professor of Law, University of Oklahoma  


Brenda Jones Barwick, Jones PR

Community Service

Sunita Sharma MacLennan, HerFarm & Global Mountain Fund


Mariana Llanos, Peruvian author of children’s literature


Dr. Bradley K. Farris, Dean McGee Eye Institute


Joslyn Mery-Massad, Journalist, humanitarian & human rights activist  


Casey Camp-Horinek, Native rights activist, environmentalist & actress


Dr. Eduard Ricaurte, Aerospace medical research scientist

Public Service

Lester Claravall, Oklahoma Department of Labor

For more information about sponsorships, please contact Hilda de Leon Xavier at 405-474-3310 or