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January 11, 2013

Norman couple to be honored with social justice award

NORMAN — Dewey and Kathryn Selmon, of Norman, have been named winners of the eighth annual Sam Matthews Social Justice Award, according to the sponsoring Xenia Institute.

The Selmons will be honored at the organization’s banquet at 6:30 p.m. March 7 in the Fellowship Hall at the First Christian Church, 220 S. Webster Ave.

This award honors the memory of longtime Norman resident Sam Matthews, while also recognizing significant and continuing work to help advance social justice. Matthews has the distinction of being the first Realtor in Norman to sell a home to an African American couple in the 1960s.

His action significantly magnified civil rights and is celebrated each year by honoring other members of the community who continue to embrace social justice and serve others in a meaningful way.

The Selmons have served multiple philanthropic endeavors, including the initial development of Food for Friends in Norman and their support of “Rainbow Town” — a Liberian village offering education, opportunities and hope to orphaned children suffering the harsh price of war.

Past recipients of the Sam Matthews Social Justice Award are Sam Matthews, Joe Ted Miller, Lester Reed, Kay Holladay, Jim Agar, George and Barbara Henderson and Kathy Heiple.

Tickets are $30 each, with tables seating eight available for $210. With limited space, early ticket purchases are strongly encouraged.

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Bob Thomas, executive director of The Xenia Institute, at 321-8682 or via email at bob.thomas.xenia@gmail.com.

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