Tag: Community

STATEMENT: Ensuring all Nebraskans are counted and represented in every community

***For Immediate Release*** Thursday, November 21, 2019 Contact: Magdalena Cazarez Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed O: (402) 438-8853 ext 119 C: (402) 504-0074 mcazarez@neappleseed.org   Ensuring all Nebraskans are counted and represented in every community Nebraska is the first state to release confidential information to the U.S. Census Bureau LINCOLN—The Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) recently released it will be… Read more →

Standing up to bigotry and violence

For more than 20 years, Nebraska Appleseed has made it our mission to fight for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans. Diversity, community, and inclusion are not just the values our work is built on, they are principles that are vital to the future of Nebraska. The challenges our state faces can only be faced together. The progress that will… Read more →

Welcoming Week 2014 celebrates diversity in Nebraska communities

September 13-21 will be celebrated as National Welcoming Week, a nationwide event that highlights the contributions of immigrant Americans and the strength of inclusive communities across the country. Throughout the country, and right here in Nebraska, there are many events where you can join the celebration. We invite you to attend one of these events in your community! “I Learn… Read more →

Quilt of Dreams and Memories

Lincoln High School students told the stories of their memories and journeys to Lincoln from Myanmar and Thailand, as well as the stories of their dreams for the future through quilting when the new exhibit “Quilt of Dreams and Memories” opened Sunday at the Sheldon Museum of Art. As the quilt was unveiled, students described their rural homes in Myanmar… Read more →

Free screening of “I Learn America” film in Omaha

The children of immigration, here to stay, are the new Americans. How we fare in welcoming them will determine the nature of this country in the 21st century and beyond. Schools have a unique role in bridging divides between newcomer and longer term students and families and helping all students succeed. You’re invited to a special screening of “I Learn… Read more →

Nebraskans to celebrate National Welcoming Week

A new and growing chorus of voices across the country – from mayors to business owners to everyday residents – recognize the contributions that immigrants bring to our communities and are developing comprehensive efforts to welcome them. This week, from September 15th to the 22nd, this chorus will grow as immigrants and U.S.-born individuals come together across the the U.S.… Read more →

“Bibles, Badges, and Business” brings diverse perspectives to immigration discussion

Wednesday morning, a crowd of attendees in Omaha was treated to a well-informed discussion of how fixing our outdated immigration system would strengthen Nebraska’s communities and businesses. Faith, legal, and business leaders took part in a community forum organized by Bibles, Badges, and Business For Immigration Reform – a nationwide network of leaders from a variety of perspectives that support… Read more →

Nebraska children ask Congressmen “Keep Our Families Together”

One of the most damaging consequences of our outdated immigration system is the havoc it wreaks on families.  Nationwide, an estimated 4.5 million children who are U.S. citizens have a parent without immigration status, including thousands here in Nebraska. Kids are more likely to suffer physical and emotional health problems and not do as well in school when separated from… Read more →

New Study: Risky tax plan likely would raise taxes for most Nebraskans

Today, OpenSky Policy Institute, a nonpartisan Nebraska organization dedicated to fiscal research and analysis, released results of a new study on what a large cut in the state’s income tax could mean for our state’s economy. The results indicate Nebraska would send a large chunk of revenue out of state if it implemented a risky tax structure that recently has… Read more →

Eleven Brothers helped immigrant children form new family on soccer field

Eleven Brothers was more than the name of their soccer team.  “We are all brothers,” the coach says. “We are all one. We respect each other. We love each other as brothers.” The Lincoln Journal Star tells the inspiring story of how these young soccer players who came to Nebraska from Vietnam, Cambodia, Kosovo, Sudan, Nigeria, Bosnia, Iraq and Mexico… Read more →

You’re Invited – Omaha Welcoming Community Dialogue

Omaha is a stronger, safer, and better community when we welcome people from all backgrounds and places of origin. You are invited Monday evening to join Nebraska Appleseed, Inclusive Communities, and You’re Welcome in Omaha for a dialogue about making Omaha a more welcoming community for all people. What: You’re Welcome In Omaha Community Dialogue Where: Urban Abbey coffee shop… Read more →

Immigrants breathe new life into communities

A recent article by Immigration Impact gives a telling portrayal of the benefits that immigrants bring to their new homes – while highlighting new local efforts across the country to focus on “welcoming” initiatives that create strong communities. New immigrants “breathe new life into communities” and help create a vibrant social, economic, and cultural environment.  They diversify neighborhoods and open… Read more →

Picnics, Fireworks and Phone calls: This Independence Day, Stand Up For Justice

Like many of you, Nebraska Appleseed is taking this Independence Day to celebrate our country with our friends and family. There will be picnics, enjoying the outdoors, and fireworks.  We will be taking time to remember what makes the United States a great place to live: the freedom and opportunity afforded to us, the sacrifices countless men and women have… Read more →

Appleseed exhibit featured in Marketplace of Community Values

Nebraska Appleseed was honored when we were offered the opportunity several months ago to participate in a new art exhibit at the Sheldon Museum of Art on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. The “Marketplace of Community Values” is a unique opportunity for 12 local nonprofit organizations to partner with nationally acclaimed artists to create displays that help the community better… Read more →

Nebraska immigrant documentary screening in Lincoln Sunday

Meet The Quilted Conscience director Sunday at the Ross Documentary also airs statewide Friday on NET A locally produced documentary about the welcoming of cultural diversity in Nebraska will air this weekend in Lincoln with a chance for you to participate.  The Quilted Conscience will be screened at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center (313… Read more →

Immigrants bring hard work, creative ideas to U.S. economy

Last week Marketplace Money, a public radio program focusing on business and the economy, highlighted the positive effects immigration has on our nation and our economy. Two immigrants, Mario Escobar, originally from El Salvador, and Jose Luis Zelaya, from Honduras, described the trials they have gone through in their pursuit of the American dream. Escobar, now a 35-year-old father of… Read more →

Appleseed 2012 Year in Review – Welcoming new Nebraskans for stronger, united communities

This is part of a series looking back on Nebraska Appleseed’s work in 2012. Nebraska Appleseed believes communities in which all people are welcome and engaged become stronger and more enriched.  Our work in 2012 pursued the goals of creating a stronger Nebraska by fighting for the rights of new Americans. Promoting Common-Sense Immigration Laws Appleseed believes we need a… Read more →

Circuit Court of Appeals hears arguments on Fremont’s anti-immigrant law

Earlier Today, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments over Fremont’s anti-immigrant ordinance, a draconian law that established significant barriers to housing and employment in an attempt to make life for immigrants in Fremont nearly impossible. Although the core of the housing ordinance was found to be unconstitutional by the district court, a licensing provision that would force… Read more →

Ruth Marimo, an Immigrant from Zimbabwe, Tells her Harrowing Story

Ruth Marimo is a thirty-one-year-old single, lesbian, African mother of two. While awaiting deportation almost two years ago, she began her incredible memoir, Freedom of an Illegal Immigrant. Her story begins in Zimbabwe. At five years old, she lost her mother to suicide, and her sibling died the same year. She was raised by her mother’s relatives and lived with… Read more →

Omaha Celebrates National Welcoming Week

During Omaha Diversity Week and the first ever National Welcoming Week, activities in Omaha and around the country recognized efforts of inclusivity and inspiring others to welcome immigrant neighbors into the workplace and the community. Throughout Omaha, in business, in city government, and in community celebrations and social groups, Omahans recognized the contributions of immigrant community members.  Hundreds of beautiful… Read more →

You’re Welcome in Omaha Celebrates National Welcoming Week

This week, You’re Welcome in Omaha will join Welcoming America affiliates across the country to celebrate the first National Welcoming Week. Across Omaha, throughout schools, public places and businesses, posters designed by local artists will spread a message of “Welcome” in many languages. Other community activities will be posted at NebraskaIsHome.org More than 20 Omaha organizations and businesses have signed… Read more →

More groups take stances opposing Fremont’s oppressive anti-immigrant ordinance

Last week, several civil rights organizations filed amicus briefs in the federal case opposing Fremont’s anti-immigrant ordinance.  It is encouraging so many groups are standing against this measure that is clearly damaging to the fabric of the community. Nebraska Appleseed filed our own amicus brief in opposition to the ordinance in July.  In our brief, we highlighted the Voices from… Read more →

The Economic Dividends of Welcoming Immigrants

You’re Welcome celebrates diverse communities that welcome both immigrant and non-immigrant neighbors. But it’s not just our communities that are enriched when all people are welcome, it is also true that local businesses and economies thrive when all people are able to work together. Forbes magazine recently published an article discussing the business opportunities that immigrants contribute to in our… Read more →

Join Nebraska Appleseed Saturday at Loom Weaves in Omaha

Just a reminder to come by and see Nebraska Appleseed at “Loom Weaves,” House of Loom’s annual multicultural festival at the Joslyn Art Museum Sculpture Garden in Omaha (2200 Dodge St.) tomorrow starting at 2 p.m. Appleseed will have a booth where you can get free Appleseed keepsakes and have your picture taken with your reasons why Omaha is a… Read more →

Many Voices Are Stronger Together

One voice shouting on a street corner may be easy to ignore, but a large group speaking together is a voice that will be heard. This week, many community groups gathered in Omaha to discuss the power of unity at “Stronger Together,” a retreat facilitated by the Leadership Conference Education Fund.  At the  “Stronger Together” retreat, community activists and community… Read more →

Omaha Community Leaders Know Diversity is Strength

This evening, more than 20 community organizations, numerous Omaha artists, and other welcoming Omahans will gather for You’re Welcome at House of Loom starting at 8:00pm for a night of art, music, and inclusion. This evening’s kick-off event marks the beginning of You’re Welcome’s work to celebrate Omaha as a diverse and connected community through artistic expression, community engagement, and… Read more →

Joseph Bakura, a South Sudanese Refugee, Says Nebraska is Welcoming State

Seeking political asylum, refugee Joseph Bakura came to the United States in December of 2000. Having initially lived in Maine for six years, he says Nebraska is a very welcoming place. “Nebraska has a large number of Sudanese,” he said. “That’s a good indication that Nebraska is a welcoming place.” Bakura moved to Nebraska for two reasons: 1) he had… Read more →

Award-winning Journalist Shares Story of Being an Undocumented Immigrant

“I want to give back to a community that has given me so much.” “For me, U.S. citizenship would be an outward manifestation of an inward truth.” Many of America’s undocumented came to the United States as young children and grew up not knowing they didn’t have the right immigration papers. They seek an education and work as hard as… Read more →

Analysis of Omaha Polling Place Closures Reveals Troubling Disparities

On Wednesday, The Reader published an in-depth feature story detailing the Omaha communities impacted by the decision to close 166 polling places in Douglas County. The Reader conducted weeks of comprehensive analysis that was reviewed independently and confirmed by Nebraskans for Civic Reform.  The findings are startling.  The data shows that the closures had a disproportionate effect on certain communities… Read more →

Marching Forward in the Ongoing Struggle for Civil Rights

Today, Gabrielle Liwaru, Benito Sanchez, Kevin Lytle and I will be joining thousands of others Americans in the historic Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights March. It commemorates the 1965 voting rights marches which were a key moment in the civil rights movement and led to the eventual passage of the Voting Rights Act. But the 2012 March isn’t only about… Read more →

Fremont Ordinance: Unconstitutional and Unproductive

The court’s decision Monday to strike down the core of the Fremont immigration enforcement ordinance is no surprise. Every such ordinance with a rental component has been found unconstitutional — but not before creating great cost, division, and sense of loss in the local community. Even though the Fremont ordinance never went into effect, it has torn the community apart.… Read more →

It’s That Time of Year…

The holidays are a time of year when our thoughts turn to people who are struggling in our communities.  It’s a time of year when we are not only thinking of the needs of our friends and neighbors, but also of the reasons behind their difficulties, and hoping for a year ahead with new possibilities and opportunities for family success.… Read more →

Build A Stronger Nebraska Together

This summer, I met up with Omaha graphic designer Justin Kemerling of The Match Factory to discuss an idea for an Appleseed art exhibit.  We’ve worked with Justin on a number of Appleseed projects – most recently our Voices from Fremont poster exhibit chronicling how residents witnessed a sense of division, hostility, and suspicion in Fremont since the town passed a restrictive immigration ordinance in 2010.  Justin’s work… Read more →

Creators of Strong, Vibrant Communities: Karen X. Gómez & Maria Dávila

Nebraska Appleseed is honored to announce that Karen X. Gómez & Maria Dávila of Columbus, Nebraska, will be one of the inaugural recipients of the Roots of Justice Award. Karen and Maria truly embody the vision of this award. Unsung grassroots heroes, these two are quietly working to build important nonprofit infrastructure in rural Nebraska and to do their part to create strong,… Read more →

Voices from Fremont Debuts to More Than 300 People

Last Friday, more than 300 people visited a first-look unveiling of the Voices from Fremont art exhibit at The Leekers’ studio at Parrish Studios. The one-night unveiling took place during Lincoln’s monthly First Friday gallery walk. The exhibit highlights Fremont residents’ thoughts and experiences, showing how a local immigration enforcement proposal can devastate a community. Their voices help to document… Read more →

Voices from Fremont: A Civil Rights Project by Nebraska Appleseed

Nebraska Appleseed is proud to unveil a new art exhibit “Voices from Fremont.” The exhibit shares the stories of Fremont residents who have witnessed a growing sense of division, hostility, and suspicion in their community since the city passed a restrictive immigration ordinance in 2010.  Special thanks to designer Justin Kemmerling for his hard work on this project. On the… Read more →

Nebraskans Oppose an Arizona-Style Law, Support Common-Sense Federal Reform

Nearly 500 Nebraskans came to the state Capitol on Thursday, 01/27/2011, to say that Nebraska values do not support an Arizona-style law in this state. Participants and speakers from around the state, representing the League of Nebraska Municipalities, the Methodist Bishop, Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, United Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, other faith groups, veterans, the NAACP-Lincoln, the Anti-Defamation League,… Read more →

Police Chief William Bratton Describes the Dangers of an Arizona-style Law for Community Safety

In today’s Omaha World Herald, former Los Angeles police chief and former New York City police commissioner William Bratton outlines the perils of requiring local police to serve as immigration agents:  “Keeping America’s neighborhoods safe requires our police forces to have the trust and help of everyone in our communities. My nearly 40 years in law enforcement…have taught me this.”… Read more →

Nebraska Police Chief Describes Problems with Arizona-Style Bill

Since Arizona passed its divisive and unconstitutional immigration law last April, many top law enforcement officials have raised serious concerns about the approach. Police officials have argued that such laws are an unfunded mandate on local police, reduce officers, undermine community policing, and force local departments to allocate more officers to processing immigration status for individuals without criminal records rather… Read more →

Free Screenings of Film About Arizona-style Law

“9500 Liberty” screenings warn Nebraskans about economic, social pitfalls of Arizona copycat law Student groups at the Kearney, Lincoln, and Omaha campuses of the University of Nebraska will host a free screening of the award-winning documentary 9500 LIBERTY on Thursday, December 2 at 7pm. The film chronicles the rise and fall of a Virginia county law that briefly required police to check… Read more →

Smart Choices in Hard Times

Nebraska’s budget should reflect Nebraska’s priorities. This seems like a simple statement, but really, it says quite a lot. It says that Nebraska values of family and community should drive our budget choices, it says that our shared resources should be directed at strengthening our families and workers, and it says that we should invest in opportunities that allow people… Read more →

Nebraska Youth Take Positive Action After “Green Card” Incident

Last Tuesday, a deeply unfortunate event cast a shadow over the Nebraska state boys’ soccer championship – one that might serve as a reminder to us all. Following Lincoln East High School’s win over Omaha South High School, a cascade of homemade “green cards” were thrown onto the soccer field. About 60 percent of the students at Omaha South are… Read more →

Moving the World Along

“I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as if they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.” – Helen Keller This quotation has hung on… Read more →

Our Friends and Neighbors

What does the economic downturn and emerging recovery mean to Nebraskans? Specifically, what does it mean to our friends and neighbors, the folks we sit next to at church or PTA meetings at the high school track meet? Over the past few years, we’ve heard multiple answers to those questions. We hear that times are getting better and that times… Read more →

Common Ground

I’ve been fortunate this week to participate in meetings with Jay Connor, Executive Director of the Collaboratory for Community Support. This organization is dedicated to helping communities break down silos and work together towards positive outcomes. He uses a quotation from movie director Frances Ford Coppola to discuss the need for collaboration in community initiatives. When asked what the difference… Read more →

The Reward of Working in Public Interest

I was recently asked by my law school alma mater (University of Nebraska College of Law) to reflect on my choice to pursue public interest law in Nebraska and how law school had prepared me for that task.  As I wrote out my answers, I realized how lucky I was to stumble upon Nebraska Appleseed almost nine years ago.  I… Read more →

Kitchen Tables

I love Thanksgiving.  My Dad (my favorite farmer) cooks for us, and this year, I have not one but two beautiful nieces to giggle with at the table.  This is what valuing family means to me.  I am grateful for a good meal, for family, and even for the baby drool and stuffing that will inevitably end up on my… Read more →

Be a Part of History on Wednesday

On Wednesday night (7pm central), join a national town hall phone call with Congressman Luis Gutierrez for an exciting conversation about next steps for rational and humane immigration reform. People will be joining the town hall from parties all across the country. Take the simple step of hosting a party. It can be very informal – just invite a friend or family… Read more →

Learning (Aprendizaje)

Last week, I was lucky enough to sit in on an adult education class in a small Nebraska community. The first assignment was to write a simple letter to a friend. Many of the students were attending the class in order to learn English. In an attempt to see what the class might be like for the students, I took… Read more →

Safe Haven Revisited

It has been about a year since Nebraska’s original safe haven law went into effect and 36 children, most of them teenagers, were dropped off at local hospitals before the Legislature went into special session to restrict the law to infants up to 30 days old. This spring, lawmakers took a first step in addressing some of the broader issues… Read more →

The Good News

In these times of economic struggle, it’s tempting to focus only on the difficulties facing our state and our families. While the Low Income Self Sufficiency Program will continue to address issues ranging from unemployment to increased poverty rates, this week, we’re taking a hiatus from the problematic to bring you some good news. And, in fact, there’s plenty of… Read more →

The “Good Life Index”

What is “The Good Life”? We Nebraskans love to talk about it, but I don’t often hear people define it. Think about it for a minute – what does “The Good Life” mean to you? This term means different things to different people, but generally, it refers to a high quality of life that involves healthy people, safe communities, and… Read more →

Nebraska Faith Leaders and Public Call for Action on Immigration Reform This Year

[singlepic id=119 w=320 h=240 float=left]Yesterday, we were honored to take part in a powerful event highlighting the continuing urgency for immigration reform. A large gathering of prominent local leaders from diverse faith traditions held a prayer vigil with people of faith and good will calling for the humane treatment of all immigrant families and a workable immigration policy to help… Read more →

Nebraskans Turn Out for Health Care Reform

[singlepic id=111 w=320 h=240 float=left]”Wow!” was all I could think to say yesterday after the fabulous rally at the State Capitol.  Between 600 and 700 Nebraskans turned out to show their support for health insurance reform!  Rally goers heard from several speakers, including a representative from the White House, Nick Rathod, who is a native of Hastings. Senators Jeremy Nordquist… Read more →

Back to School Breakfast

Today many children across the state don new backpacks, sharpen their pencils, and begin the giddy walk to the first day of school.  Thinking about the first day of a new school year always makes me remember the nervous feeling I would have in my stomach on the first day, accompanied by a series of questions running through my mind:… Read more →

The Need for Equity in Health Care

On Wednesday night in Omaha, the members of the Nebraska Health Care for America Now coalition hosted a community conversation on health disparities among minorities. This was the third in a series of conversations about the health disparities that currently exist in our system and how and why those disparities should be addressed in national health care reform. In the… Read more →

The Color of Equality – Is there Justice for all?

Nebraska Appleseed, ACLU Nebraska, and NAACP Lincoln Branch have been hosting a series of conversations on racial justice, discussing life in Nebraska post-424, the ballot initiative that banned affirmative action in our state. The conversations are an opportunity for the community to gather together to learn about and discuss issues surrounding racial justice. We’ve used several starting points, including health… Read more →

Celebrating Shared Values

As the Fourth of July weekend recedes into the distance, I am happily left with thoughts of picnics, Nebraska summer days, and what makes us great as a country. A couple of weeks ago we reported on Nebraska Is Home events that were scheduled to take place in three different Nebraska towns. In the days before the holiday, Fremont, Crete,… Read more →

I Left My Heart in Scottsbluff County

Visionary.  Strategic.  Innovative.  These are a few of the words I would use to describe the folks that attended our Town Hall meeting in Scottsbluff, Nebraska http://www.wehavejobs.net/ last week.  Scottsbluff may be considered a small community by some, but the leaders I spoke with had big ideas for their community and for the state. The meeting addressed three major issues:… Read more →

Unity Weekend

Nebraskans come from many different cultures and walks of life where hopes and values unite people in a common search for a stronger community. This is exactly what “Nebraska is Home” groups will be celebrating this weekend in Crete, Fremont, and Grand Island. On Saturday, June 27th, “Nebraska Is Home Grand Island” will participate in the Unity Walk during the… Read more →