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Lori Walke to Keynote WRC Gala

Rev. Lori Allen Walke, a native of Moore, Oklahoma, preaches and teaches progressive Christianity at Mayflower Congregational UCC in northwest Oklahoma City. Lori was a scholarship athlete for Oklahoma State University, where she received her undergraduate degree in Political Science (2005) and graduate degree in Health Care Administration (2006), and was crowned Miss OSU 2005. Passionate about social justice and the public good, she earned her juris doctorate from Oklahoma City University School of Law in 2009 and passed the Oklahoma Bar exam the same year. To further confuse people about what she wanted to be when she grew up, Lori earned her Master of Divinity from Philips Theological Seminary (2011) and was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 2012. She is currently working on her Doctor of Ministry at Emory University.

Lori’s commitment to changing Oklahoma for the better includes working for economic justice with Voices Organized in Civic Engagement (VOICE OKC) by fighting rate hikes proposed by the state’s largest electricity provider and standing against predatory lending practices. As a board member of the Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma City, Lori coordinated support for the annual Muslim Day at the Capitol, and promotes ecumenical and interfaith cooperation as a board member of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches. Lori is a strong advocate for the LGBTQ community, recognized by Freedom Oklahoma as Ally of the Year in 2015. She is a recipient of the Courage Award, given by the University of Oklahoma’s Women and Gender Studies Program, and was recently recognized by the Oklahoma Conference of Churches with their Advocacy Award. Lori’s work for immigration justice includes a weekly vigil with the faith community, accompanying neighbors who are undocumented to USCIS and ICE appointments, and advocating for immigration policy that better reflects America’s highest ideals.

Lori was honored to lend her voice to the 2017 Women’s March on Oklahoma, offering a invocation of resistance and solidarity.  Her work to expand women’s health care and reproductive justice is channeled through volunteering for Planned Parenthood, feminist theological preaching and writing, and serving as the chairperson of Thrive, a public-private collaboration whose bold mission is to reduce the teen birth rate in Oklahoma County by one-third by 2020.

She is a frequent keynote speaker and panelist, a contributor to NonDoc media and the Oklahoma Gazette, and has appeared on Channel 9’s Flashpoint. Lori is the co-founder of JL CREATIVE, a collaboration which produces progressive Christian curriculum for children used in congregations in over 20 states, Australia, Canada, and England.

Lori belongs to the United Church of Christ’s Next Generation Leadership Initiative, Class of 2024, a 20-year focus on energizing and sustaining younger, emerging UCC local church pastors. Lori lives in Oklahoma City with her husband, Collin Walke, State Representative for House District 87 and attorney, along with their beloved mutt, Tenzin.