We fight for the rights and opportunities of every Oklahoman.
We fight for the rights and opportunities of every Oklahoman.
Founding Executive Director
Colleen McCarty is an attorney and life-long advocate of a more just system. In 2017, McCarty went back to the University of Tulsa College of Law to attend law school (JD ‘20).
McCarty graduated with highest honors, being awarded the CALI Award for Legal Excellence in Professional Responsibility and Evidence Workshop. She competed on the Native American Law Student Appellate Team and traveled to Berkeley Law to represent the University in national competition. She served as an Articles Submission Editor on the Tulsa Law Review. Her law review note, “When Voters’ Intent Backfires,” was published in the Spring 2020 Issue of the Tulsa Law Review.
While in law school, McCarty co-published a piece in the Federal Sentencing Reporter titled, "Oklahoma's State Question 780: Reform & Resistance." As a law student, McCarty assisted in the commutation of hundreds of felony drug sentences (both directly and indirectly) before the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board.
Since becoming licensed to practice law in Oklahoma, she has served as Policy Counsel and Deputy Director of Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform. In Spring of 2022, McCarty worked with Appleseed Foundation Executive Director Benet Magnuson to open Oklahoma Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, where she now serves as Executive Director. McCarty is married and is a mom to two kids and two energetic Australian shepherds.
Director of Research & Strategic Impact
David Blatt joined Oklahoma Appleseed in August 2023 as Director of Research and Strategic Impact having already enjoyed a long career in the public policy arena guided by a deep-seated commitment to expanding opportunity and equity for all citizens. For ten years he led Oklahoma Policy Institute, shepherding the organization’s growth into one of the largest and most respected policy organizations in Oklahoma.
Prior to that he served as policy director for Community Action Project of Tulsa and as fiscal analyst for the Oklahoma State Senate. After leaving OK Policy in 2019, he was a lecturer for 3 ½ years in the Masters of Public Administration program at the University of Oklahoma - Tulsa, teaching courses on poverty and inequality, health care, education, immigration and the legislative process.
A native of Montreal and Edmonton, Canada. David completed a B.A. at the University of Alberta and a Masters from McGill University before moving to the United States to earn a PhD from Cornell University. He lives in Tulsa with his wife Patty Hipsher, a special education teacher for Broken Arrow Public Schools; in his free time, he especially enjoys cycling, running, movies, and travel.
David is excited to be a part of OK Appleseed’s talented, energetic, and passionate team, and to contributing to tackling some of Oklahoma’s most pressing challenges.
Leslie Briggs is a homegrown Tulsan. She received her undergraduate degrees in Spanish and History from Oklahoma State University. She also holds a Master's Degree in International Studies from OSU and a Master's Degree in Political Science from UPAEP in Puebla, Mexico.
Before she became an attorney she lived abroad for nearly five years. She split her time between the United States and Mexico between 2009-2013, where she taught English, learned Spanish, and studied Political Science as a graduate student.
After completing graduate studies, she joined the Peace Corps and served in Asela, Ethiopia.
Leslie attended law school at the University of Tulsa College of Law where she graduated tenth in her class. She believes the law should be accessible to everyone regardless of their means or circumstance. This is why she served as president of the Public Interest Board while in law school.
Since being licensed as an attorney, she's worked in civil rights litigation as an associate at Smolen and Roytman, and as a Supervising Attorney at the YWCA-Tulsa helping supervise a team of legal advocates and working to resettle the nearly 1000 afghan evacuees who have arrived in Tulsa since 2021.
In her spare time she's most likely to be found building block towers with her kiddo or cooking elaborate meals for her wife.
Community Outreach Associate
Caressa joins Oklahoma Appleseed in 2023 as a Community Organizing Associate. Caressa is an Oklahoman, native born and raised in Tulsa. Both of her parents immigrated to the United States from Uganda. As a Simon Estes Scholar, she graduated from Oklahoma State University in 2019 where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology as well as Psychology.
Caressa has a background in both healthcare and community work in the Tulsa area. She has worked with local organizations such as Reading Partners, Kids Against Hunger, and the Tulsa Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. She is passionate about serving impacted people in Oklahoma, such as under-resourced Oklahomans and both rural and tribal communities.
Juvenile Mental Health Project Coordinator
Sa-tae Seth McIntosh is native to Oklahoma and born & raised outside the Tulsa area. Seth is from the Cherokee/Muscogee/Euchee/Yuchi tribe. McIntosh is Deer clan and belongs to the Kellyville Euchee Polecat Ceremonial Grounds. Polecat Ceremonial grounds is a big part of Seth’s life and that way of life has been passed down to Seth and is being passed down to his children and extended family who are also members of the same ceremonial ground.
McIntosh received a bachelors degree in Business Administration with a minor in Sociology. Seth has worked for both The Cherokee Nation as well as the Muscogee Nation. At first, Seth started out in the Indian Child Welfare department then branching off into Tribal Juvenile Justice. As Tribal Juvenile Justice Program Manager for the Muscogee Nation, Seth was responsible for managing all functions of the program which ensured that all services were culturally appropriate for Indigenous families. McIntosh recruited, hired, trained, supervised, and managed a department of professionals that promoted the sovereignty of Native Nations in all venues. McIntosh represented the values of the Tribal Nation across the United States in a variety of roles, including advising federal agencies and non-profit organizations whom were engaging and collaborating with Indigenous youth. As the Program Manager for the Nation it was import to continue educating community stakeholders on the importance of cultural humility when walking alongside marginalized youth populations.
Seth is very honored and excited to work at OK Appleseed with such a diverse and extremely talented group of individuals who all have the common goal in mind for justice and opportunity for all Oklahomans.