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December 10, 2013

Police program to receive Human Rights Award

NORMAN — Norman Police Department’s My Body, My Life program has been around since the ’90s. Tonight, it will be recognized with the Human Rights Award by the Norman City Council.

The council’s weekly meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Municipal Building Council Chambers. The Human Rights Award is presented to an individual or organization every year after the Human Rights Commission selects the award recipient.

“I’m extremely flattered and honored,” said Sgt. Robert “Bob” Moore, who helped create and develop the My Body, My Life program. “I really appreciate them recognizing the level of our efforts.”

The program was nominated for the award by Longfellow Middle School counselor Michelle Sutherlin, who wrote in her nomination letter that she was honored to be part of the amazing program.

“I believe there is no better program in Norman that promotes human rights and equality than the My Body, My Life Program” Sutherlin wrote in the letter.

The Human Rights Commission seeks to promote and encourage fair treatment and mutual understanding among all citizens to combat all prejudice, bigotry and discrimination that prevent individuals from reaching their full potential as human beings.

“Most importantly, this class empowers women to take control of their own body and their own life, the very essence of human rights and equality. I have seen students enter the class who have never stood up for themselves and what is right for them, leave the class with their heads held higher and with complete confidence they could say an adamant ‘NO!’ in a situation that compromised their rights,” she wrote.

The program got started when Moore and a former Norman Public Schools principal Darien Moore sought to create a class to address the issues of improper relationships some high school students were involved in.

The program, which began in Norman’s only high school at the time, later was offered at middle schools and now helps empower women of all ages through awareness, education, violence prevention and self-defense techniques.

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