RELEASE – Nebraska Appleseed celebrates 20 years fighting for justice

***For Immediate Release***

May 2, 2016


Contact, Jeff Sheldon
Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed
Office: (402) 438-8853
Mobile: (402) 840-7289


Nebraska Appleseed Celebrates 20 Years Fighting for Justice and Opportunity

Anniversary Celebration honors key partners, advocates on May 4


LINCOLN — On Wednesday, May 4, Nebraska Appleseed will celebrate two decades of social justice advocacy at a 20th Anniversary Celebration in Lincoln to thank key partners, allies, and supporters with whom Appleseed has worked for a stronger Nebraska.

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The 20th Anniversary Celebration, held at Chez Hay in downtown Lincoln, will feature short stories told live by partners that have worked alongside Appleseed to expand justice and opportunity in Nebraska. Appleseed also will proudly honor Woods Charitable Fund with the “Growing Good Award” for the foundation’s long-time support of advocacy efforts across the state.

“We are proud to celebrate this milestone with many of the supporters and advocates who have joined together over the last 20 years to remove barriers to justice and opportunity in Nebraska,” said Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould. “This event allows us to look back on two decades of shared successes and be inspired to work together to create a brighter future for all Nebraskans.”

Said Steven Achelpohl, President of Appleseed’s Board of Directors: “Nebraska Appleseed has grown considerably since our inception, but we still remain committed to the same vision of a state where everyone has equal access to justice and opportunity. Through passionate advocacy, seeking relationships built on common ground, and helping other Nebraskans use their voices, we will continue to fight for the next 20 years for a state that is stronger when everyone has the chance to succeed.”

What: Nebraska Appleseed 20th Anniversary Celebration

When: Wednesday, May 4, 5:30 p.m. social hour, 6:30 p.m. program begins

Where: Chez Hay, 14th and P Street, Lincoln, NE

Featured Speakers:

  • Milo Mumgaard – Appleseed founding executive director
  • Marnie Jensen – Attorney, Husch Blackwell, LLP, co-counsel on K.D./S.L. v. Winterer lawsuit
  • DiAnna Schimek – Former state senator and member of Appleseed’s board of directors
  • Alejandra Ayotitla – Nebraska DACA recipient, UNL student, and immigration advocate

Founded in 1996, Nebraska Appleseed is a nonprofit, legal advocacy organization dedicated to fighting for justice and opportunity for all. Appleseed has grown from a small group of part-time employees to a staff of more than 25 full-time attorneys, policy experts, organizers, and advocates who use a systemic approach to face Nebraska’s biggest issues – such as child welfare, immigration policy, affordable healthcare and poverty.

Here are just a few of Appleseed’s accomplishments over the last 20 years:

  • Won a federal court class action lawsuit (Kai v. Ross) restoring $18 million in Medicaid health benefits to more than 10,000 low-income working mothers who had been wrongly denied access required by federal law. (2006)
  • Won a class action lawsuit (K.D. & S.L v. Winterer) on behalf of children with developmental disabilities who were denied necessary behavioral health treatments under Medicaid. (2015)
  • Settled a class action lawsuit (Leiting-Hall v. Phillips) to require the State of Nebraska to process applications for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in a timely manner, protecting access to basic meals for up to 170,000 Nebraska families. (2016)
  • Successfully advanced legislation to allow low-income, working parents to pursue education under the Aid to Dependent Children assistance program.
  • Defeated several socially toxic and economically self-defeating anti-immigrant bills by educating lawmakers and mobilizing thousands of Nebraskans to take action.
  • Worked with lawmakers to pass a comprehensive package of child welfare reform legislation in 2012 after the state’s failed attempt to privatize the foster care system.

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