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Published 01/14/2020 | Reading Time 1 min 52 sec

Tulsa Debate League is one of twenty-one Oklahoma organizations that are now finalists for a $10,000 award and the title of the state’s top nonprofit, thanks to the prestigious Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence (ONE) Awards, presented annually by the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits.

“Being selected as a finalist for the ONE Awards is a tribute to the support of our donors and community; and to the hard work of our staff, teachers, and volunteers who are committed to making critical thinking and debate education a reality for all students in Tulsa, regardless of economic background” – Executive Director, Ross Faith

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On April 24, 2020, the twenty-one finalists will join supporters at Tulsa’s Southern Hills Country Club to celebrate and hear the announcement of winners at the 13th Annual ONE Awards. Finalists are divided into seven mission categories and receive $5,000, with category winners receiving $7,500. At the end of the evening, an overall winner receives $10,000 and the title of the top nonprofit in the state. In total, organizations receive $150,000 to recognize the impact of their charitable work throughout the state. As of 2019, the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits has given $1.79 million dollars to more than 200 Oklahoma nonprofits thanks to the ONE Awards.

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“We will work in over 35 schools and serve over 500 students this year. Debate doesn’t have to be an exclusive club, offered only to the elite. It can be a transformative tool to positively impact all students, including students performing below grade level. This event will give us a platform show the power of public education through debate” – Executive Director, Ross Faith

Out of almost 19,000 nonprofits statewide, only twenty-one were named finalists. 

Awards are presented in the following categories:

  • Arts and Humanities
  • Community
  • Education
  • Health Services
  • Self-Sufficiency
  • Youth Development
  • Open

The ONE Awards Selection Commission, a group of prestigious community leaders from across Oklahoma, determine the finalists. The Commission, chaired by Phil Lakin, Jr., includes, Kathie Coyle, Lisa Greenlee, Kim Henry, David Hogan, Courtney Knoblock, Will Merrick, Sarah Roberts, Meg Salyer, Wendi Schuur and Mary Kate Wilson.

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“ONE Award recipients are selected for their excellence in all areas, from impact and service delivery to clients, to reputation, to internal management and efficiencies,” said Phil Lakin, Jr., Chair of the ONE Awards Selection Commission.

Tulsa Debate League supports debate education in Title 1 schools in Tulsa through education programs for students, including a summer camp, and curriculum and training for teachers. 

To purchase tickets or for sponsorship information for the 2020 ONE Awards, please contact Gabrielle Butler at (405) 463-6886, ext. 213, or email at

The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits is a nonprofit organization equipping and strengthening the Oklahoma nonprofit sector through training, consulting, advocacy, membership, networking and awards. Our mission is “building better communities through effective nonprofits.”

The Black Wall Street Times is a news publication located in Tulsa, Okla. and Atlanta, Ga. At The BWSTimes, we focus on elevating the stories of our beloved Greenwood community, elevating the stories of...