I grew up in Oklahoma, and my family’s history is very much tied to this state. My father’s family came from Ipsach, Switzerland, and settled in Shawnee just after the Civil War. On my mother’s side, we are members of the Caddo Nation, but we are direct descendants from the Cherokee as well.
I mention these facts not to drop bona fides but, rather, to explain that my family’s history is as complicated and conflicted as our state’s unique, sometimes regrettable, and often powerful history. And I know that in order to understand this state and see its potential and beauty, you have to see the entire story.
In many ways, that is what NonDoc strives to help its readers do. By mission, creed and ethos, this nonpartisan newsroom works to bring the full force of daylight to stories and decisions affecting Oklahomans. These journalists are committed to bringing entire stories to light so that you, the reader, can learn the truth.
That is why I am excited to announce that I am the new development director of NonDoc Media, which is governed by the board of the Sustainable Journalism Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. I will be heading up our fundraising efforts and helping to ensure NonDoc has the solid financial foundation necessary for sustainable growth.
This state, our community and my tribe have given me so much, and I believe that “to whom much is given, much will be required.” So I am thrilled by this opportunity to play a role in a vital institution for our community.
If you don’t already, I hope you will consider joining me by donating to support NonDoc’s ongoing efforts to produce quality journalism and encourage greater civic engagement.
Exciting opportunities on the horizon
I have dedicated the greater part of my professional career to efforts that I believe would help our community, because I love this state and our people.
I have worked on everything from tribal housing to local community nonprofits. A long time ago, I also worked at the Oklahoma Democratic Party, though, if you know me, you also know I have always put country before party. And NonDoc’s editor in chief, Tres Savage, as well as the rest of our talented staff are dedicated to some of the principles I value most: accuracy, fairness and transparency. A free press must always adhere to these values, and that is the kind of work I am excited to support in this new role.
In the coming months, I am looking forward to telling you NonDoc’s story in a way that earns your trust and financial support.
We have several exciting developments in the works, including adding a reporter who will focus on covering civic issues in Edmond, one of Oklahoma’s largest cities that was left without a daily newspaper when the Edmond Sun shut down in May 2020. One of my main priorities in 2022 will be working to make this a sustainable position.
As a tribal member in the state of Oklahoma, I have waited for a news organization to realize how critical the issues facing sovereign nations are — not just for tribal citizens, but for the entire state. NonDoc does realize this and has already proven to be a vital source of information on tribal affairs in the state.
Another of my priorities will be to find the resources necessary to expand and sustain this coverage.
Over the coming months, I see my work at NonDoc as a way to serve the greater community by ensuring our newsroom has the resources and capacity it needs to concentrate on stories that matter.
The work of a free and truly independent press could not be more important to the future of this state and our country. Our community needs to be having these important conversations, and the mission at NonDoc — to produce and distribute quality journalism with context that enables civic involvement — helps Oklahoma do exactly that.