Friday, February 19, 2010

Monday is deadline for annual FOI awards

Monday is the deadline to nominate people and organizations for FOI Oklahoma's annual awards honoring efforts to promote the free flow of information to the public.

FOI Oklahoma also presents the Black Hole Award to recognize those who thwart the public's right to know.

The Ben Blackstock Award is presented to a non-governmental person or organization that has shown a commitment to freedom of information.

The Sunshine Award goes to a public official or governmental body that has demonstrated a commitment to open meetings and open records.

Nominations for all three awards may be made via e-mail to or via mail to FOI Awards, PO Box 5315, Edmond, OK 73083-5315.

Nominations must include a letter of no more than 250 words justifying why the person or organization is deserving of the award.

This is the third year for the awards. Last year’s winner of the Blackstock Award was Mark Thomas, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Press Association. The Sunshine Award was presented to Carolyn Kusler, the Wagoner County clerk.

The Black Hole Award went to the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents and the Oklahoma State University administration.

This year’s awards will be presented March 13 during FOI Oklahoma's third annual Sunshine Week conference.

FOI Oklahoma, founded in 1990, is a statewide organization aimed at educating the public on the First Amendment and openness in government.

The organization is a national leader in training educators to teach the First Amendment in Oklahoma classrooms. It sponsors an annual First Amendment Congress for students and professionals.

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