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The Oklahoma Marriage Initiative (OMI)

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Brief Background:

The Oklahoma Marriage Initiative (OMI) has been providing free marriage education programs for couples, married or thinking about it, since 2002. The relationship-building, social service project was first developed by Governor Frank Keating in response to Oklahoma's alarmingly high divorce rate, out-of-wedlock births and child abuse-related deaths. After more than 200 state leaders attended a day-long brainstorming session entitled the "Governor and First Lady's Conference on Marriage," the groundwork was in place.
Keating assigned the task of overseeing the creation of the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative to his Cabinet Secretary for Health and Human Services, Jerry Regier. In the end, a partnership between the public and private sectors was constructed, and the OMI went to work.

A full and detailed history of the project is available on the official OMI website.

The Goal:

Through a variety of workshops, research projects and programs, the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative aims to help couples in nearly every facet of a relationship. From improving communication to valuable skills in parenting, a broad range of options are available for any relationship stage. Whether you've just begun to contemplate a wedding or have been together for many years, the OMI's goal is to strengthen the institution of marriage in our state.

Workshops:

The OMI has chosen the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP) for marriage workshops all around Oklahoma. Designed to teach practical skills such as communication, preserving fun and friendship, maintaining commitment, identifying relationship danger signs and avoiding common pitfalls, the workshops are frequent and free.

All workshops are delivered by OMI-trained professionals. You can find a workshop near you using the OMI's online search form.

Event Spotlight:

2008's major OMI event is entitled "All About Us." Touring 10 cities in Oklahoma throughout the year, including the metro on February 9th at the Coca-Cola Bricktown Events Center, "All About Us" is a free, fun marriage education program.

The one-day workshop is for all couples married, engaged or considering it. Lunch is provided free of charge as well, and during lunch, there will be dance instruction for the couples to learn the "first dance" or just to have fun.

In addition, engaged couples that complete this workshop are eligible to receive their marriage license for only $5 rather than $50.

More Information:

The Oklahoma Marriage Initiative has available a bi-monthly online newsletter with the latest event news. You can sign up here.
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