Celebrating Christie Luther, 2019 Visions Honoree

Linh M. Sasser, Marketing Coordinator, Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits

The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits (OKCNP) will honor seven nonprofit leaders in six categories on December 3, 2019 at Visions: A Celebration of Nonprofit Leaders. In the weeks leading up to the event, we are spotlighting the honorees in each category.

The Rodney Bivens Innovation Award recipient, Christie Luther, is the founder and executive director of Re-Entry, Investment Student Education (RISE) Program, which teaches cosmetology to women who have been incarcerated in Oklahoma.

“It is my job to watch these women succeed, get a second chance, as well as seeing them get their children back and families restored,” Christie said. “I have always cheered for the underdog and am an optimist that believes a person can do anything they set their mind to do. I am moved by personal testimonies, especially those that are beauty from ashes.”

Christie was born and raised in Memphis, Tenn., before moving to Oklahoma and attending Rose State College, Connors State College and Oklahoma Wesleyan University. She is a graduate of Victory Bible College, with a certification in Ministry and Leadership.

In March 2017, she established the cosmetology school at Mabel Bassett Women’s Correctional Center. Christie not only teaches cosmetology to incarcerated women, she assists them in obtaining state licensure, and finding jobs, housing, clothing and support during their recovery process.

Christie and the RISE Program have received the “Programs Making a Difference in Oklahoma” Award two years in a row, the Excellence in Community Service Award from Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), Okla. Department of Corrections Volunteer of the Year and Angel of Hope Award.

“I am humbled and honored to be recognized and to receive this prestigious award for doing the very work I love to do,” Christie said. “I can think of many other people that are doing incredible nonprofit work and I am thrilled our program is classified as innovating and ground breaking.”

The Rodney Bivens Innovation Award honors a visionary leader with new, dynamic and innovative ideas inspiring groundbreaking changes, bringing newfound success to the mission of an organization or pioneering an exciting program that changes lives.

To learn more about the 2019 Visions Awards or to purchase tickets, visit https://www.oklahomacenterfornonprofits.org/connect/visions/.

Read about each of the 2019 Visions Honorees:
Bill Citty, President’s Award
Paula Gates, Inasmuch Special Recognition Award
Christie Luther, Rodney Bivens Innovation Award
David and Jean McLaughlin, Lifetime Achievement Award
Joanna Trimble Smith, Pat Potts Visionary Award
Jean Winfrey, Pat Potts Visionary Award

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