Registration Is Open: Creating Communities of Belonging

Please note: We are currently in the 3rd session of the Creating Communities of Belonging series. Join us by registering at the link below!

Join community leaders from across Nebraska who are building inclusive and vibrant communities

This virtual series will provide collaborative sessions, presentations, and networking with Nebraskans who are committed to creating communities where everyone, including immigrant neighbors, feels valued.

In lieu of an in-person statewide welcoming convening this year, join us for this monthly series of virtual sessions. The series will continue through the summer on the second Friday of each month. All sessions will be virtual and are free.

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We are excited to introduce the speakers for the event series!

June 11, 10:00-11:30 AM (Central Time) – Virtual Session – Belonging Begins with Us
Join national leaders Rachel Perić and Wendy Feliz to learn about Belonging Begins with Us — a nationwide campaign with a focus on actions we can take in local communities — in order to build communities of belonging and to bring others along to create a more inclusive society together.

Rachel PericRachel Perić is Executive Director of Welcoming America.

Inspired by her family’s refugee story and by the worldwide movement of welcomers, Rachel works to create communities where all residents – including immigrants and refugees – can thrive and belong. (see more)

Wendy FelizWendy Feliz is the founding Director of the Center for Inclusion and Belonging at the American Immigration Council.

The Center houses the signature, culture, and narrative change programs of the Council. (see more)

July 9 10:00-11:30 AM (CT)
Gerald Lenoir, Identity and Politics Strategy Analyst at The Othering & Belonging Institute

Gerald Lenoir is the Identity and Politics Strategy Analyst at the Othering and Belonging Institute, UC Berkeley where he focuses on working with staff and community, advocacy, labor and faith partners to organize the research, development and promotion of a strategic narrative that fosters structural inclusion and addresses marginalization and structural racialization as one of its central pillars. (see more)

August 13 10:00-11:30 AM (CT)

Join Julie Uribe and Brian Palermo for an exciting hands-on workshop to build skills that will help you deepen relationships and stretch creativity in your community-based work.

When you ask people what they think of when they hear the word “improvisation” or “improv” the response is likely something to do with comedy or being funny. But comedy is just one of the byproducts and benefits of improvisation. Nonprofit organizations, businesses, and teams across all different industries and sectors use improv workshops to become more effective communicators. So, how can improv help us to create communities of belonging? Improv gives us tools for strengthening and deepening relationships and creating teams where people know they are respected and their ideas embraced, leading to more creative problem solving and innovation.

Yes, and… 

What happens if we don’t shut off ideation or end lines of communication, and instead use an improv rule of thumb known as “yes, and…” This rule suggests that we accept the contributions of others, fostering a sense of cooperation, and then build upon it by adding new information. It means to suspend judgment right away; judgment has a place later on in the development process, but when we initially accept the idea we enable discussion to expand on the idea without limitations. By applying the principles of “yes, and…,” teams across the country have seen tangible success in improving the effectiveness of brainstorming processes, fostering supportive and effective communication, and encouraging the free sharing of ideas. 

As the creative force behind belonging in our Nebraska communities, you and your team can benefit from learning these practical tools. Join our two esteemed guest presenters, who bring decades of experience performing and teaching improvisation to industry leaders and teams across sectors.

Julie Uribe is an Emmy Award-winning producer who has more than 25+ years of experience in Hollywood. Her journey started as an actor, to writer/producer, then television executive where she traveled around the world developing and selling TV formats. Julie also studied at the famous Groundlings Improv School—the same training ground as Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, and Melissa McCarthy. She recently launched the We Are Nebraska Internship with the belief that better communication, inclusivity, and empathy can be taught with applied improv training. From Bioscience majors to Accountants to Actuarial Scientists, Julie teaches Applied Improv at the University of Nebraska, outside of the performance space. Her improv work has also been applied to the law enforcement community and local citizens with proven and tangible success.

Brian Palermo is a professional actor ( and communications expert. In 2010, he was asked to create an improv workshop with the goal of helping science communicators become more effective – specifically by training them to better connect with audiences. From that grew Palermo Improv Training which is a communications consultancy that uses the experiential learning of improvisational theatre to upgrade human performance across the industry, the science enterprise, and sketch and improv theatrical comedy. Brian was a member of the world-renowned Groundlings Theatre in Los Angeles. There he has performed, created shows, directed, and taught for over 20 years.


September 10 10:00-11:30 AM (CT)
Hear from Nebraskans leading and creating inclusion in their communities.

Register & mark your calendars!

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