Each year, CAIR Oklahoma honors individuals that have served in the Oklahoma community, have made courageous stances for the rights of Oklahomans, and perhaps most importantly, set forth an example for how we can make Oklahoma a better place for us all to live. This year, as we prepare for our 7th Annual CAIR Oklahoma Award Banquet, we are honored to announce the recipients of our Building Bridges Interfaith Leadership Award and Faith in Action Youth Leadership Award. Both awards will be presented at our awards banquet, make sure and register online today to join us there!!
Building Bridges Interfaith Leadership Award: The Rev. Dr. William Tabbernee
Before taking up his new position as Executive Director of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches, Dr. William Tabbernee was President and Stephen J. England Distinguished Professor of the History of Christianity at Philips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Oklahoma, from 1991 to 2009.
As the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches, Dr. Tabbernee has worked tirelessly to build bridges among faith groups throughout the state of Oklahoma. Part of his bridge building has been the inclusion of the Oklahoma Muslim community in the Religions United Committee of Oklahoma. Additionally, Dr. Tabbernee has been a staunch supporter of the civil rights & liberties of Oklahoma Muslims and Oklahoman’s of all faiths.
Dr. Tabbernee played a critical role in CAIR Oklahoma’s victory of one of the major civil liberties cases of 2012 involving the Oklahoma Banker’s Association, CAIR Oklahoma, and the ACLU of Oklahoma. Dr. Tabbernee’s stance on civil liberties concerns of Oklahoma Muslims are a stance of behalf of all Oklahomans seeking equality and social justice in the state of Oklahoma.
Faith in Action Youth Leadership Award: Abdurrahman Kabani
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Syrian immigrant parents, Abdurrahman Kabani graduated from Dove Science Academy in Tulsa, OK, prior to completing his undergraduate degree by obtaining a Bachelors of Science from the University of Oklahoma in Microbiology. During his time in Norman, OK, Kabani served on the Board of OU’s Muslim Student Association from 2009 – 2011 and served as President of Sooners for Peace in Palestine in 2011.
Abdurrahman Kabani is also a graduate of CAIR Oklahoma’s Muslim Youth Leadership Symposium (MYLS) having attended as a participant in 2009 and 2010, and serving as a MYLS youth lead captain in 2011 and 2012. Kabani has also been a lead volunteer at CAIR Oklahoma banquets since 2009.
Upon returning to Tulsa, OK, in 2011, Abdurrahman Kabani aided in the revival of Islamic Society of Tulsa’s Youth Group along with a group of dedicated young Tulsans. Currently Kabani is pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Health at OU Tulsa campus while still finding time to regularly volunteer at Tulsa’s Surayya Anne Foundation and the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. Most recently, Kabani has founded the Islamic Society of Tulsa Running club as a way for Tulsa Muslims to get fit in a positive environment.