Conversations Test

Keith Gaddie

Oklahoma is one of the reddest states in the nation. What gives rise to that conservative culture? Where is the state headed politically in coming decades? University of Oklahoma Professor Keith Gaddie offers insights.

Debbie Aldridge

Debbie Aldridge worked for more than 20 years at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. Now she runs Oklahoma’s largest prison for women, the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in McLoud.

Barry Switzer

Former University of Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer reflects on the trauma and family turmoil he experienced as a young man.

Bob Blackburn

Bob Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society, talks about the state’s rural-urban fault lines and whether Oklahoma is at a turning point in dealing with rural areas’ increasing problems.

Nicole Washington

Dr. Nicole Washington, the main psychiatrist at Family and Children’s Services in Tulsa, discusses the types of low-income clients she sees, the persistent problem of stigma, and why mental illness in poor neighborhoods should matter to all Oklahomans.

Rick Bayless

For renowned chef and entrepreneur Rick Bayless, who grew up in Oklahoma City, the obesity epidemic in Oklahoma and elsewhere  reflects a misguided relationship with food. And “I am a huge believer in ‘all food is good food.'”

Greg Burns

Born with a severe joint disorder, Greg Burns forged a successful career and life as an artist by learning to paint holding a brush in his mouth. He says he is lucky and knows that communities still do not fully embrace the disabled.

Kelli O’Hara

Broadway star and Oklahoma native Kelli O’Hara talks about how exposure to the arts makes a difference in people’s lives and how she has had to deal with assumptions about artistic ability because she’s from Oklahoma.

Aspasia Carlson

Named as principal of the year, Aspasia Carlson talks about her efforts to turn around Oklahoma City’s John Marshall Mid-High School, which had a history of difficulties dating back to busing.

Michael Brooks-Jimenez

The Oklahoma City attorney, who represents many immigrants in federal and state courts, talks about how Latino immigrants and culture benefit the state.