It’s Finally Here! Nebraska is Home: Fostering Inclusion and Belonging.

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

Next Friday, join our (virtual) annual statewide welcoming convening series – which brings together community leaders from all over Nebraska to share our experiences, insights, and strategies for building welcoming and inclusive communities. 

During these summer sessions, we will have the opportunity to hear from experienced local leaders, participate in workshops, and network with peers, all with the aim of enhancing our collective knowledge and skills. We hope you will join us on the following Fridays as we work toward building belonging for all.

(You can register for the series and attend whichever dates work for you!)

Session 1: Welcoming Week Tips & Ideas
Friday, June 16, 10:00-11:30 am CT (9:00-10:30 am MT)

Every year, communities across Nebraska host September Welcoming Week events as one way of building communities of belonging.

In this session, we’ll experience a variety of Welcoming Week activities and get tips and ideas from leaders who have hosted successful Welcoming Week events – large and small – in their local communities!

Together we will:

Enjoy African drumming with Seth Mock, an immigrant Nebraskan from South Sudan and founder of Lincoln’s Midwestern African Museum of Art.

Get up and move our bodies with the YMCA of Greater Omaha.

Celebrate community with food as Liz Rodriguez from Centro Hispano Comunitario shares how they coordinated a cooking demonstration that brought together Columbus neighbors.

Remember to mark your calendars and plan to join us for the rest of the series:

July 14, 10:00-11:30am CT (9:00-10:30am MT) – Session 2: Ableism and Belonging

Discuss ableism, disability justice, and belonging with Dr. Lauren Obermark from the University of Missouri-St. Louis who will share approaches on moving from assumptions to access, and with Carlos Serván, Executive Director of the Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, who has a deep, personal understanding of the challenges facing children and adults with disabilities, especially those from minority and immigrant backgrounds.

August 18, 10:00-11:30am CT (9:00-10:30am MT) – Session 3: Building Capacity for Racial Equity & Justice

With the interactive exercise “Everyday Racism” we will identify real situations of racism and recognize how internalized, interpersonal, institutional, and structural racism are interwoven. We’ll learn together while also practicing an interactive tool we can use in our communities. 

September 8, 10:00-11:30am CT (9:00-10:30am MT) – Session 4: Welcoming Week Kick Off!

Focus on positive practices and tips for storytelling and how to use storytelling locally to promote belonging! We’ll celebrate together how our stories are core to our communities on this first day of Welcoming Week. This year’s Welcoming Week is September 8-17… and beyond!

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