There has always been power in amplifying the individual voice of those who often go unheard, and that is what motivates Appleseed’s new Development Associate Emma Rasmussen.
Emma is an Omaha native and a 2015 graduate of Creighton University, where she developed a plan to use her Theatre major for a larger purpose – using the storytelling power of the theatre to bring about social change.
“My passion for theatre for social justice comes from wanting to amplify stories that need to be heard and amplify voices that I think get forgotten,” Emma said. “I want to tell the stories that are important.
“In working for Appleseed, I see it as the same thing,” she said. “My job as the Development Associate is to tell those stories and connect with the community to help bring about social change.”
Emma developed her passion for creating positive social change as a member of Creighton’s Cortina Community, an academic, service based living-learning community that challenges students to investigate social inequalities and difficult realities in a vulnerable way.
Emma said that through Cortina she began to recognize the types of systemic barriers to equality and opportunity that Appleseed works to remove every day.
“Cortina illustrated how people experience oppression and that the deck is stacked against so many people unfairly,” she said. “If I wasn’t spending my time making the world a more-just, more-equal place, then what am I doing if I’m not trying to liberate others with my work?”
At Appleseed, Emma will be an important part of the Development team, building and strengthening relationships with the valuable partners who financially sustain our work and helping them see how they can make a difference in the fight for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans.
Emma also continues to pursue her passion for social justice theatre by directing shows in Omaha. Prior to coming to Appleseed, she was an education associate for Omaha Performing Arts.
Theatre has a long history of lifting up cases of injustice and oppression. Raising the curtain on systemic problems is the first step toward fixing it. And then, Emma said, she can show others how important they are in tearing down those barriers.
“I’m just using that same storytelling ability in a slightly different venue,” she said. “Appleseed’s story is one I’m really excited about telling.”