Member of the Month: Colleen McCarty, Esq., Oklahoma Appleseed Center for Law and Justice
Today, we’re having a cold brew coffee in honor of our newest member of the month, Colleen McCarty, Esq. Colleen is the founding executive director of Oklahoma Appleseed Center for Law and Justice. Before becoming a lawyer and fighting injustice in the system, Colleen was a published fiction writer! In her role, Colleen wears a lot of hats… and shoes… and jackets, because founding a new non-profit requires an entire wardrobe of skills. Colleen’s work and passion to defend injustice for her clients has also led to her starting and producing her own true-crime-advocacy podcast titled, “Panic Button: The April Wilkens Case,” based on the story of an Oklahoma woman who was charged with murdering her abuser in 1998, and is currently serving a life sentence for what is to be believed as self-defense. Colleen is a kind, thoughtful, empathetic person—and we are so lucky to have her as a member at The Root.
Oklahoma Appleseed Center for Law and Justice fights for the rights of every Oklahoman—focusing on misdemeanor justice, supporting criminalized survivors, and interrupting the school-to-prison pipeline. Their mission is to bring the players to the table—whether that table is in the Capitol, in the streets, or in the courtroom—and hash it out. Big policy problems require big solutions. And Appleseed is ready to do the work.
Oklahoma Appleseed is a fiscally sponsored non-profit. If you’d like to contribute to their work, you can do so here.
What do you do? Tell us a little bit about your company.
I am an attorney and the Executive Director of Oklahoma Appleseed Center for Law and Justice. We work on community organizing, structural litigation, legislation, and legal research. Our mission is to fight for the rights and opportunities of all Oklahomans.
What is your typical weekday routine?
Pure chaos! Just kidding. I have two kids and two Australian Shepherds that I have to get up and ready with my husband. Then after drop offs the work begins. It could be meeting with funders, writing a research report, hearing from an Oklahoman with a legal issue, getting records from the courthouse, or recording a podcast episode about a client’s case. No day looks the same!
I also take a lot of meetings about coalitions working in the state on criminal Justice reform, housing, and other areas of advocacy.
What’s a work-related accomplishment that you’re really proud of?
We’re working with national advocates to help get clemency for people serving time on cannabis-related crimes. I have three legal fellows writing federal clemency applications that will be reviewed by the President of the United States.
Remember that meme that said, “When the weed store starts to look like an Apple Store we need to let a lot of people out of prison?” Yeah, we’re doing that.
ALSO – our true-crime-advocacy podcast “Panic Button: The April Wilkens Case,” has gotten over 5,000 listens within the first few weeks after launch. You can listen here, or anywhere you get your podcasts. It’s about an Oklahoma woman serving a LIFE sentence because she defended herself against her chronic-abuser.
What strategies do you use to make big decisions?
Change happens from the bottom up. Anything you want to happen, you will get nowhere if you’re forcing solutions on people who have much bigger problems. Take a survey of all your stakeholders and tackle the two most frequently cited issues. If you can make a dent in the things that are causing the most pain for the most amount of people, you will gain trust and be seen as a leader who is committed to solutions.
What is your favorite restaurant in Tulsa and what do you get there?
Lanna Thai – Chicken Fried Rice with three stars.
What is the plot of your favorite movie or book?
Don’t judge. It’s nerdy, but I like the “Court of Thorns and Roses” series, which is basically adult Twilight with faeries instead of vampires. It’s so good, like brain candy!
If you could only eat one item for every meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It’s fried chicken!
What is one of your favorite things about being a member of The Root Coworking?
I love the community, the flexibility, and the coffee!
more to explore.
Give it up for our last, but certainly not least, 2022 member of the month, Jenna Giesow! Jenna is the co-owner and CEO of VAST Media. She was one of the top 10 seniors her year at OSU and a competitive runner post-grad. Speaking of OSU, Jenna is the biggest college football fan in the space; you can bet on it. Now, she’s on her next trip around the sun leading VAST Media and expecting another sweet baby. She really does it all!
It’s official! The Root is joining forces with the very popular local Tulsa coffee shop, Notion Espresso to create a new concept called Notion Market Café. Notion Market Café will make its initial debut at our new location, Market Station, set to open in early 2023, and will be added to our current location at East Village shortly after. Coffee and lunch meetings just got a whole lot better!
Business Owner, Managing Partner, Feminist, Mother, Military Wife, Dog-lover, Non-profit Starter, Craft Beer Queen of The Root. Robin Walters is now adding another title to her ever-growing list: November Member of the Month! Robin started her own staffing company in 2018 called Rogue Recruitment. One of the cool things about Robin is that you can talk to her about almost any subject because she just knows a little bit about a lot of different things. We love having Robin and her team here at The Root—if you wanna meet her, you can just stop by the front desk on pastry-delivery day (Tuesday mornings).