FOI Oklahoma seeks nominations for annual sunshine awards

FOI Oklahoma is seeking nominations for its annual awards competition recognizing individuals and organizations that promote the free flow of information to the public.

Those who thwart the public's right to know are also recognized by FOI Oklahoma with its Black Hole Award.

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 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.

Deadline for nominations is Feb. 22.

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.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the commentators and do not necessarily represent the position of FOI Oklahoma Inc., its staff, or its board of directors. Differing interpretations of open government law and policy are welcome.