Revive Omaha: Rebuilding North Omaha

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An African-American Lifestyle and Community Empowerment Magazine

REVIVE! Spirit, Mind & Body

UNITE and TRANSFORM easy tips:

MICHAEL MARONEY An unwavering commitment to rebuilding North Omaha



connecting a rich history to a thriving future

Rebuilding North Omaha



what makes it work? THE URBAN LEAGUE OF NEBRASKA’s EQUAL OPPORTUNITY DAY LUNCHEON Friday, December 2, 2011 • 11:30am-1:00pm • Ramada Plaza Omaha & Convention Center

Honorary Chair Chris Rodgers, Douglas County Commissioner Mistress of Ceremony Kandiss Crone, KMTV Action 3 News Join us as we honor companies and community organizations who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing the principles of equal opportunity. This year’s EOD Honorees include the Omaha and Economic Development Corporation– Community Organization Award, Wells Fargo Bank–Corporate Community Outreach Award and the Corporate Award winner will be divulged the day of the event.

Special Guest

Mr. Gary Gates

Gary Gates is the President/CEO, of OPPD. Mr. Gates began his career at OPPD in September 1972 and in May 1989, Mr. Gates was named executive assistant to the president, and he was appointed division manager— Nuclear Operations in February 1990. He was promoted to Vice President with responsibility for OPPD’s nuclear organization in November 1992 and became President and CEO in January 2004.

Tickets are $75 per person, Tickets for a table of 10 are also available. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call 402-453-9730. Registration and ticket purchases can be done via our website at


(402) 453-9730


in this issue…

VOL. 4 | ISSUE 3

President & Publisher Willie D. Barney


An African-American Lifestyle and Community Empowerment Magazine


Vice-President/Executive Editor Yolanda M. Barney

Spirit, Mind & Body

Chief Financial Officer Greg A. Johnson


Desktop Publishing & Design Kate M. Rice Research & Copy Editor Yvette Coppage

easy tips:

Billing Manager Anita Johnson Contributing Writers: Eri Albert Femi Awodele Rev. Selwyn Q. Bachus James Barnes Paul Bryant Dr. Michelle Chang Yvette Coppage John Ewing, Jr. Dr. Viv Ewing Rev. Dwight Ford Sheva D. Ford Janice Gilmore Greg A. Johnson Lesley Leach Rev. Bruce Norris Velma J. Sanders Patricia Tinder Amanda Paris Kellie Paris Asaska Pastor Darryl Brown Angel Martin Deborah Neary Deborah Powell Contributing Photographers: Donnie Branson Herb Thompson James Barnes Revive! Omaha Magazine is a publication of SMBEnterprises, LLC and is distributed via mail and selected locations throughout the Greater Omaha area and beyond. ©2010 SMB Enterprises, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form, in whole or in part, without express written permission from the Publisher, is prohibited, excepting individually copyrighted articles or photographs. The views expressed herein, whether expressed as fact, fiction, opinion, advice or otherwise, are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the ownership or management of SMB Enterprises or Revive! Omaha Magazine. Manuscripts and photographs submitted for publication are welcome and should be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope if their return is desired. We reserve the right to edit, use, or not use materials submitted. The publisher assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited materials. The publication of any advertisement in this issue does not constitute an endorsement of the advertiser’s products or services.

MICHAEL MARONEY An unwavering commitment to rebuilding North Omaha



connecting a rich history to a thriving future

Rebuilding North Omaha


An unwavering commitment to rebuilding North Omaha–page 20 Photo by Herb Thompson

Letter from the Publisher


Revive! Your Spirit


Renew! Your Mind


Restore! Your Body


Reclaim! Your Family


Rediscover! Your Purpose


Reprioritize! Your Finances


Rebuild! Your Community


Omaha Rewind


FEATURE: Michael Maroney: 20-24 John Ewing Runs for Congress 26-27 Eat Seasonally To Live Green 28 North Omaha Village Zone 30 Student Achiever 34 Book Review


Small Business Spotlight 35 Directory 36

REViVE! Omaha

P.O. Box 540880 • Omaha, NE 68154 (402) 490-1542 • Email:

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from the publisher…

Thank you Omaha! January 2012 marks the four year anniversary of the launch of Revive! Omaha Magazine. We are eternally grateful for the support that we have received over the past four years. We want to thank our readers, advertisers, sponsors, contributing writers, photographers, designers, printers, and everyone who has supported us along the way. In this issue of Revive! Omaha Magazine, we highlight significant efforts that are moving forward in our community. Our cover story is a compelling and powerful piece about Michael Maroney, President and CEO of the Omaha Economic Development Corporation. It is with great pleasure that we present the story behind the man who has made and continues to make a measurable and tangible difference in North Omaha, the State of Nebraska, and on the national level. Inside the article is a glimpse of both the successes and struggles of North Omaha and the promising future that is before us. Integrated into the story is a historical perspective that reveals North Omaha’s journey over the past 40 years. It’s also exciting to provide some additional details about the North Omaha Village Zone Revitalization Plan which was approved unanimously by the Omaha Planning Board and City Council this past summer. Now that the vision has become a part of the City of Omaha master plan, exciting new projects are beginning to bubble up in each one of the key areas of opportunity. Another encouraging piece in this issue is the recent announcement by Douglas County Treasurer John Ewing to become a candidate for U.S. Congress. It is inspiring to read about a person of faith and a servant leader who started life in the Pleasantview Public Housing Project at 30th and Parker in North Omaha, who has now risen to his level of influence. In addition, our contributing writers have important messages that will challenge you no matter where you find yourself in this walk of life. I want to encourage you to participate in upcoming community events. Many of our partners have annual events, activities, and celebrations planned. Please see the community calendar and review the pages inside for more details. Make it a point to get out and support as many of these events as you can. Finally, the team at Revive! Omaha Magazine would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas. Please enjoy your holidays and be sure to celebrate the Reason for the Season! We encourage you visit a place of worship this holiday season. And, as we prepare for the start of a new year, we pray that 2012 will be your best yet! It’s time for a Revival. Sincerely,

Willie D. Barney President/Publisher Revive! Omaha Magazine

community calendar

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

UNL Black Leadership Symposium Keynote speaker: Jesse Jackson $15 includes lunch Register at admissions/ Transportation will be provided from specific locations in Omaha

Friday, December 2, 2011

Urban League of Nebraska presents… Annual Equal Opportunity Luncheon Keynote speaker: Gary Gates, President/CEO of OPPD 11:30-1:00 p.m. Ramada Plaza Omaha and Convention Center Tickets: $75 per person Please call: 402-453-9730

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Community Networking, Reception, and Friend Raiser Hosted by Dan Neary, CEO of Mutual of Omaha Companies In support of the 100 Black Men of Omaha Learn about and support the 100, their programs and community initiatives. Please RSVP to Amber Bennett at 402-934-7065 or

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Empowerment Network presents… The 5th Annual State of African-Americans and North Omaha 2012 Preview of Goals and Community Initiatives Harper Center on the Campus of Creighton University Open to the Community 602 N. 20th Street 8:30 am - Breakfast and Networking 9:00 am - State of African-Americans and North Omaha Report 10:00 am - 2012 Preview and Goals See the ad inside and go to for more info.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Empowerment Network and Community Partners present... Christmas in the Village at 24th and Lake Noon to 8 pm Open to the Community Come join us for a new holiday tradition and celebration! Indoor and Outdoor Activities for Children, Adults, and Families Visit Santa, Holiday Jazz, Carriage Rides, Music, Food, Shopping, Children’s activities, and much more... See the ad inside and visit for more info.

Read more online at

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Malcolm X Foundation presents… 2nd Annual Open House Malcolm X Foundation Center 3448 Evans Street 9:30 am to 11:30 am Showcase: 2011 Progress and 2012 and Beyond Vision Join the Malcolm X Foundation as they highlight accomplishments from this year and unveil the vision for the future. Free and open to the public. Contact information: 402-590-7526 or

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas from Revive! Omaha Magazine Please celebrate “the reason for the season” at a local house of worship.

Monday, December 26, 2011 Sunday, January 1, 2012

Kwanzaa Events Please check the calendar or for events hosted by Charles B. Washington Branch Library and others.

January 2012 Events

Please check,, or for Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebrations, including; the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance’s MLK, Jr. Unity Service, MLK, Jr. Unity Luncheon and events hosted by Creighton University, the City of Omaha, and others.

Mark Your Calendar

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Girls, Inc. Mutual of Omaha Dome • 33rd & Dodge Street 5:30 pm - 9:00 Doors open, Vendors available for shopping Dinner buffet in Mutual of Omaha’s Food Court with interactive chef sampling station! Raffle drawing Maryellen Hooper, Comedienne Ticket Prices: $75 per person and $50 per person for those under 30. Casual attire. For more information, contact Jane at Girls, Inc. at 402-457-4676 Make a reservation at This event is recommended for those ages 18 and older.

REVIVE! Omaha | 3

REVIVE YOUR SPIRIT by Rev. Bruce Norris

nurtured allowing all within the community equal access to the resources available within the community.”

COMMUNITYcenters A community center is defined as “a meeting place, often a complex of buildings, where the people of a community may carry on cultural, recreational, or social activities.” Community centers are the place where individuals meet to discuss agendas relative to their communities as well as enjoy recreational activities enjoyable to the whole family. Community centers are a vital and necessary benchmark of every community and serve a monumental purpose for the development and stability of communities. There is however, another community center that receives less notoriety and may not be widely known to most people. When we look at the world in general, we discover that the world contains centers that are known as communities. The United States is made up of communities called states and each one is a center in and of itself. Within each state there are communities called cities and towns – each one being a center as well. They are called centers because by definition activities happen in community centers. All cities and towns are community centers and can even be subdivided into

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even more community centers. It does not matter where you live – where you reside is a community center. If we expand our definition upward then we see the state in which we reside as a community center where several sub-communities contribute to the totality of that community. It takes each sub-community and their involvements to sustain the state as a community center. Each sub-community may not be able to contribute as much, but it is not the size of the contribution, it is the equal percentages that assure unanimity and equality among all residents of the larger community. But there is a more vital community center that without it, America would cease to exist. It is the community center called ‘home’ and the home is a dynamic fragment of all communities. Your home is a center of activity that composes ideologies and attitudes towards how the bigger community center will function. Will the larger community center be self-centered or community centered? Will the community center called ‘home’ contribute to the larger

community center called ‘city’ or ‘town’ and establish opportunities for all within the community to flourish, or will the community called ‘home’ be an entity only to itself? Our community should be a center in which growth and equal opportunity are nurtured allowing all within the community equal access to the resources available within the community. When everyone within the community contribute and allot with generosity and fairness, the result is a thriving and rich community in which the center becomes the nucleus for businesses, government, and the citizens of the community to “carry on cultural, recreational, or social activities” which enhance the quality of life for everyone in the community. Is your community a center such as this? If not then you should ask yourself why or why not. What are you contributing to your community? Great community centers begin with the community center called ‘home.’ To paraphrase John F Kennedy, “Ask not what your community can do for you, but what you can do for your community!”

©2011 Revive! Omaha Magazine


“Our community should be a center in which growth and equal opportunity are


Investing in People and Projects

Historic North Omaha Apartment Restored

On November 3, 2011, the Omaha Economic Development Corporation unveiled a nearly 100 year-old building in North Omaha that has been restored after standing vacant for the last 10 years. The Margaret, located near 16th and Yates Streets just north of downtown, features 16 affordably priced apartments and an environmentally friendly design. The building, listed on the National Register Historic Landmarks, home to mid-level professionals who Restoredof U.S. Historic Landmark Building was servingonce as OEDC’s Corporate Headquarters and a professional office center. caught the trolley into downtown Omaha each morning for work. The restoration keeps intact much of the original woodwork and tiles. It also features cross-ventilated sun porches that were thought to improve health. The building also features modern and green twists: 32 solar panels that power the building’s hot water heaters and a Established as a 501(c) (3) non-profit community development corporation in 1977, Omaha Economic geothermal heat pump system for heating and cooling. “We’re focused on providing more housing options in North Development Corporation (OEDC) is dedicated to “investing in people and projects” that build community, Omaha, and we’re providing those options in a way that is good for the environment” said Michael Maroney, President promote sustainable economic development, encourage entrepreneurship, foster equality and respect, and of OEDC. “A few years ago, this building was little more than an eyesore in our community. We’ve been able to restore achieve transformation in North Omaha. OEDC’s mission is to combat community deterioration through the building, put it back to use and maintain its historic identity. It is once again an asset in the neighborhood. OEDC initiatives which expand and advance housing opportunities and which establish economic revitalization is committed to environmentally friendly and sustainable development.”

programs that create jobs, training, and business ownership opportunities to improve the quality of life of Established in 1977, Omaha Economic Development Corporation (OEDC) works to identify and implement economic development projects and community reviall area residents. talization programs that create affordable housing, jobs, training, and business ownership opportunities for residents in north Omaha. OEDC seeks to remove those barriers low-income individuals and families experience in realizing their inherent worth and in strengthening their communities. Throughout its history, OEDC has arranged for nearly $50 million in investments and equity contributions to sponsor revitalization initiatives.

Omaha Economic Development Corporation • Investing in People and Projects Michael B. Maroney, President • 2221 North 24 Street • Omaha, NE 68110

(402) 346-2300 •

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ReMINDER Thinking back, can you recall a time where you were under a lot of pressure or stress and the weight of that moment or series of moments, caused you to forget something important? Some of us have locked our keys in the car under the light burden of trying to focus on our mental grocery list. Some of us have left our wallets at home due to the burden of rushing to get somewhere. Some of us have been in moments of panic which caused us to forget an important phone number or an important someone’s name. It is a proven fact that stressful situations

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can cause one to forget important things. That natural principle also applies to our spiritual walk as well. Many times, we as believers find ourselves in burdensome, painful, undesirable, confusing, low situations that cause us to forget important things that the Lord told and taught us over the years. The problem isn’t that we don’t have a Word from the Lord or haven’t heard from Him. It is that in the time of trouble, in a state of stress or panic, we end up forgetting. So we need the Lord to ReMIND us. We have temporarily been

out of our minds, so we need a reminder! Some of us are making bad situations worse by not making reference to or utilizing the power in what the Lord has previously told and taught us. Some of us are extending the periods of trial we are in simply because we fail to utilize the liberating truths the Lord has given us at an earlier point in time. How do we get reminded? Reminders can come the easy way or the hard way. The easy way is no different than when you lose something valuable. It is suggested to retrace your steps, rethink your ways,

©2011 Revive! Omaha Magazine


by Pastor Darryl Brown Jr.

and you should end up retrieving what was lost. God calls us to go back! We get ahead of ourselves, move too quickly, etc.; and God simply wants us to get back to point A, rethink where we went wrong, and allow His directing voice to be reiterated in our spirits.

“Reminders can come the easy way or the hard way. The easy way is no different than when you lose something valuable.” The hard way is once we have gotten deep into hardships due to our disobedience and we feel that we are at our weakest moment, back against the wall, that our ears and hearts become tender to the Word of the Lord. We then have the “He told me so” moment. It is where we realize that we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in had we listened to the Lord in the first place. Experience is a good teacher, but not every lesson has to be learned in the classroom of experience.

they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. Do not forget that by His stripes we are healed. Do not forget that He is a way maker, a provider, a protector, a deliverer, a strong tower, a healer, a keeper, bridge over troubled waters, peace in the time of storm, joy in sorrow, and more. Deuteronomy 11:18 - “Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.” This text admonishes Israel in their quest for the Promised Land, to be certain not to forget the Word of the Lord. He commands different ways for them to remember. He tells them to put it (the Word) in their hearts. He then tells them to bind it to their hands. Hands represent doing. He is saying in all of their doing, they are to do based on the Word. Then He commands them to wear the Word as a frontlet between their eyes. He wasn’t literally telling them to wear a written copy of the Word on their head. But rather to have the Word present between the eyes, meaning the Word would affect their sight and their thinking. In summation, don’t forget! Be reminded regularly of God’s Word over and for your life!

THE NEW REVIVE! website IS now available online

Take a minute to remember. Remember the promises the Lord made you. Remember the directions the Lord gave you. Remember the declarations the Lord made over your life. Because you have been in traumatic situations lately, stressful circumstances, and painful predicaments, you have forgotten some things the Lord told you. Do not forget that you are the head and not the tail. Do not forget that you are above and not beneath. Do not forget that you are the lender, not the borrower. Do not forget that you are a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people. Do not forget that you are more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus. Do not forget that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Do not forget that your God shall supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Do not forget that

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Abdominal training



NOTE: As always consult with your physician before starting any exercise program.

When we think of working our core we usually only think of working our midsection to get a great set of abs. But, we don’t realize that having a strong core means more than a washboard stomach. Activities of daily living like walking, picking up kids, lifting boxes, and exercises like playing tennis or jogging require a strong core. The core consists of the gluteus, back, rectus abdominals, internal and external obliques, shoulders, and chest. The ability to transfer power from your legs to your upper body depends on the strength of the midsection. This is what functional training is all about. These are some of my favorite exercises that will not only trim your waistline, but also give you more power to throw a ball, swing a golf club, and walk faster. The exercises I’ve put together not only work your upper and lower abs, but your obliques (the muscles on your sides we call the “love handles”), your buttocks, shoulders, and lower back. Start out with the lower options until you can safely advance to the higher options. Tubing is also used in order to have resistance while standing. (This is an inexpensive equipment and you can find at any store).



Start on your back with your legs bent, knees are directly above your hips and arms out to the side. While keeping your abs tight and shoulders on the floor, slowly lower both legs to left, then extend one leg at a time. Hold for about 2 seconds. Bend both knees and return to starting position, then slowly lower to the other side. Repeat the sequence.

Start on your right side with your right elbow under your shoulder, bottom leg bent and top leg extended touching the floor (as shown). Extend and reach your left arm overhead and lift your left leg (as shown). Then take your left elbow toward your left knee.

Crunch your midsection between your ribs and hips. Do about 8 crunches. Switch side and follow same sequence. 8 | REVIVE! Omaha

©2011 Revive! Omaha Magazine

SIDE HOVER WITH CRUNCH Start on your right side with your elbow under your shoulder, both legs extended and hips lifted. Extend and reach your left arm overhead and lift your leg as shown. Hold the position for 30 to 45 seconds. For more of a challenge, take your left elbow toward your left knee (not shown). This is a more difficult exercise as you try to keep your hips lifted while bringing your knee to your elbow.


Start by lying face down with your chest on the ground (not shown). Extend arms out front as your lift your chest off the floor, while squeezing your glutes and lower back. Hold this as you open your arms out the side. Hold for two seconds. Return to starting position. This is great for lower back strength.


Start by lying face down on the ground with your toes touching the floor (not shown). Arms are folded with hands overlapping and head on hands. Lift both legs while squeezing your buttocks, keeping your head resting on your hands. Hold for five seconds. Return to starting position. This is great for glute strength.

Lesley Leach is the spokeperson and Program Facilitator for Live Well Omaha Kids 54321 Go! She is an Ace-Certified Personal Trainer, National LesMills Body Pump trainer and Registered Nurse. Lesley is also the author of the book, Just Move.


Start by standing with right foot placed through handle of tubing and left foot on halfway point of tubing(as shown). Keeping your abs tight and chest lifted, lift your right leg toward the back while keeping your foot flexed. Do 8 repetitions. Then switch legs taking the left leg to the back for 8 repetitions. Next, take the left leg out to the side (as shown) to really work the hip muscles. Do 8 repetitions, then switch to the other side. You may feel the burn in glutes and hips. Option: Don’t use tubing and simply use your body weight. Make sure your standing leg is soft at the knee and do not lean to the side as you lift.

THE NEW REVIVE! website IS now available online Read more online at

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during the holidays

Article first appeared in 2008.

Baking gingerbread cookies. Making snowmen from the fresh fallen snow. Drinking hot cocoa in front of the fireplace.

snowflakes made from recycled or scrap paper. They can be hung by the windows, doors or on the Christmas tree.

Many of the holiday traditions and warm memories we grew up with can be shared with our own children. It is also a wonderful opportunity to create new memories and traditions for our families that can be passed on to the next generation to come.

Outdoor play: There are many activities children can play outside. These include making snowmen, having snowball fights or sledding. Make sure the children are dressed for the weather. Always check the weather (from the TV, radio, internet, etc.) to make sure it is appropriate for children to be outside.

Here are a few ideas for enjoying the holidays with your children: Share Stories: Create a list of holiday stories that your children will enjoy. Each day, read a story and have discussions about it. For example, you may read T’was the Night Before Christmas and discuss what you would do if you were awaken by reindeer footsteps and saw Santa. You could also discuss what you liked about the story, what changes you would make to the story if you were to rewrite it, etc. Movie Night: There are many holiday movies that are appropriate for children, such as The Polar Express, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, etc. Many of these are shown on television and can also be found in your local library. Make it a movie night for your family. Turn the lights off, snuggle with a blanket, serve popcorn, and watch the movie. Arts and Crafts: Creating artwork together is time well spent. There are many holiday craft projects that are inexpensive and easy to make. For example, you can make and decorate

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Games: Although there are many board games that children enjoy, there are also some inexpensive games that children can play. For example, use the holiday story books and ask questions pertaining to the story. What are the names of Santa’s reindeer? What made Frosty come to life? What was the gift that the hero boy (main character) received from Santa in The Polar Express? The person or team that gets the correct answer gets a point. The team with the most points wins. Cooking: What would the holidays be without food? Cooking can be a family event. There are many cookbooks that can be found in your local library. Recipes can also be found on cooking programs on television, as well as the internet. The art of cooking doesn’t have to be elaborate. It may be as simple as making cookies and decorating them. Remember to take precaution when cooking with children. Celebrate this holiday season by making memories with your children that will last a lifetime.

©2011 Revive! Omaha Magazine


by Yvette Coppage

Christmas in the Village 24th and Lake Saturday, December 10th, 2011 Noon - 8 pm Come join us for a new holiday tradition and community celebration. Planned Indoor and Outdoor Activities for Children and Adults

Dreamland Park, OSBN Parking Lot, and 24th St.

Love’s Jazz and Art Center

Christmas Trees and Light Displays Free Carriage Rides (12 to 6 pm only) Choirs, Gospel Artists, and Carolers Free Hot Chocolate and Cookies at various locations.

Holiday Jazz with The Last Few Kwanzaa Displays and Celebrations Arts and Crafts Boutique featuring North Omaha Artists (merchandise for sale)

LakePoint Building–24th & Lake

Omaha Economic Development Corporation

Visit Santa, games, crafts, balloons and face painting Small gifts, free hot dogs and snacks for children (while supplies last). Food also available for purchase from North Omaha Restaurants. Christmas merchandise for sale by local businesses (Shop North Omaha!)

Toy Shop with Santa’s Elves, Crafts, Christmas Displays throughout the Building, Refreshments (Hot chocolate, apple cider, and Christmas cookies), Treat bag for the kids, Holiday Music, Nativity Scene and Canned Food Drive (bring an item and receive a raffle ticket).

Support North Omaha Businesses! PARTNERS: Empowerment Network, Mayor Jim Suttle’s Office, North Omaha Collaborative Elected Officials, City of Omaha, North Omaha Neighborhood Alliance, Love’s Jazz and Art Center, Impact One Community Connection, Revive! Omaha Magazine, ConAgra Foods, Nebraska Arts Council, North Omaha Arts Alliance, Pastors, Ministers, and Faith Leaders Covenant, Family Housing Advisory Services, Omaha Star, Styles of Evolution, Omaha Economic Development Corporation, Nebraska Investment Finance Authority, Omaha Small Business Network, NAACP, 100 Black Men of Omaha, Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, Zion Baptist Church, the Last Few, and others are joining daily!

Go to or call (402) 502-5153 for more information.



starting block

The need for change often slaps us in the face, but we still do nothing about it. For example, we know we need to eat healthier, but we don’t. We know we need to exercise, but we don’t. We know we need to drink more water, but we don’t. Why is it that the things that are good for us are the very things that we do not do? Scripture says a war rages inside and that the things I know I should not do, I do, and the things that I should do, I do not do. Like many of you reading this, there were things in my life that I knew I needed to change but I did not do because I was still on the starting block of just thinking about it and not taking action. A few years ago I had not taken action on having a healthy lifestyle. It included things like not eating healthy, not exercising, and not drinking enough water daily. I had not changed previously because of what 12 | REVIVE! Omaha

I call the Dissatisfaction Principle. The Dissatisfaction Principle says that I will not change until the dissatisfaction of where I am outweighs my reasons for staying in my situation. Like many of you, I would start being faithful for a few weeks, and then life would happen and I would stop. I had a membership to the local gym but never used it. I had an exercise bike in my bedroom that I used as a clothes rack. Some of you probably have done the same thing. Here’s my advice. Take the clothes off of the exercise bike and start riding it for 10 minutes each day. Do it today, tomorrow, and the next day so that it becomes a habit. Increase your time as you get into a regular routine. To get off the starting block, I faced the reality of what happens when you ignore a healthy lifestyle and made up my mind to change. I told myself that I wanted to have a healthy life.


Excerpt from Yes! You Can Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

The health benefits are great. I made a commitment to myself that I would make a healthy lifestyle change and stick to it. That is exactly what I did and did not let anything or anyone stop me. I did it the old fashioned way– hard work, determination, focus, and discipline. In my quest for a lifestyle change, I made up my mind to keep going no matter what. I told myself that it would take time to get into a healthy lifestyle routine. Just like my unhealthy lifestyle was developed over a period of time, developing a healthy lifestyle takes time to develop. It is like retraining yourself, your life, and your habits. I told myself that it would be hard work, but I am worth it! It would cost more to eat healthy, but my family and I are worth it! It will cost more to have a family membership to the gym, but the end result is worth it. I taught my children ©2011 Revive! Omaha Magazine

“I made a commitment to myself that I would make a healthy lifestyle change and stick to it. That is exactly what I did and did not let anything or anyone stop me.” that an individual healthy lifestyle is great and a family healthy lifestyle is even better. The Dissatisfaction Principle was in full effect. My dissatisfaction of where I was outweighed my reasons for not changing. When your dissatisfaction level outweighs your reasons for staying where you are, you will be more willing to make a change. Just do it. You already know that you need to change. When we do not make positive changes it prevents us from realizing our purpose. Think about it for a moment. What are the areas that you have desired to change but have not done it? When the dissatisfaction with the present situation outweighs your satisfaction, it will prompt you to do something about it. Change can be difficult. To get started, first make a commitment to yourself to change. I told myself that I needed and wanted to have a healthy lifestyle. I made up my mind to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Second, make a list of the things that you want to change. Your change may be to stop being inactive and to start exercising. A needed change may be stopping a bad habit like smoking. You may want to reduce the amount of fattening foods that you consume and increase the number of low fat foods. It could be anger management or controlling mood swings. I had been thinking for months about the things that I wanted to change. Here are a few: eat healthy, change flabby arms to firm, tone my Read more online at

thighs, and look great in a swim suit! Third, make a list of all the things that you want to change regarding your health, life, a situation you are facing, your career, family, or finances. Chances are that you have already been thinking about it. In less than 10 minutes you can probably write down several things that need to be changed. Take a few minutes to jot it down. Fourth, create opportunities for yourself to be successful. I made a list of the actions that I needed to take to have a healthy lifestyle and carried out the actions consistently. The actions included buying more fish and chicken, buying low fat foods or no fat foods and wheat bread, making sure that there were fresh vegetables in the refrigerator. I also put all of my workout clothes in one place in the closet so that I could easily find them. I set a time that I would begin and end my exercises for each day. A specific goal helps you to stay on track. Also, I gave myself permission to mess up occasionally and forgave myself if I did, and then continued on the healthy lifestyle path.

Dr. Viv Ewing is the author of Yes! You Can Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

Fifth, work your plan. I wanted to exercise every day. So that is exactly what I did. I started with exercising in the evenings after dinner by myself or with my daughters. I worked my way up to two workouts a day-one in the morning and one later in the day when I had extra time. I made time in the morning to do stretches, 100 crunches, and ride the exercise bike for 30 minutes. I also carved out time over lunch or immediately after work. Yes, it is a time sacrifice but I tell myself that I am worth it. Start today. Don’t wait any longer because tomorrow is not promised to you. Another way to look at it is to stop thinking and start doing. That is what I did. You will have long-lasting health results, feel better, look great, and have more energy. Pick your own exercise routine or life improvements that you want to have and stick with it. Sometimes the hardest part is just getting off the starting block. So get off of the starting block today. You’re worth it.


Get any insurance quote today and Allstate will give $10 to the Tom Joyner Foundation to support students at HBCUs. To learn more, contact James Stinson, Jr. (402) 498-2718 No purchase necessary. For each quote received, $10 will benefit the Tom Joyner Foundation. Maximum Allstate donation is $200,000. Program begins July 11, 2011 and ends December 31, 2011. Tom Joyner Foundation name is used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, company or individual.

REVIVE! Omaha | 13


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Like most people, I assumed that in order for me to get my grocery budget down any lower, I would be forced to spend hours clipping coupons and end up eating brands I didn’t like. I soon found out I was wrong. After applying a few new methods to my weekly grocery shopping and meal planning for the month, I have cut my grocery budget in half! You don’t have to follow all the tips listed, however I have found that applying all these principles have made a huge difference in my budget. I believe that anyone can do this and still eat the brands you and your family love.


In today’s market, we are all looking for ways to save money. Many times one of the most overlooked categories is our grocery budget. When I was looking for ways to cut my household budget, I never paid much attention to my grocery category. It wasn’t until I was challenged to add up my receipts for one month that I realized I had to make a change, and fast.

Create a grocery budget. One of the first tips to cutting your grocery bill is to make sure you have a budget set in place. Once you have determined how much you spend in groceries per month, challenge yourself to gradually cut back on the amount. I started reducing my budget by $20 per week. Once you start applying some of the tactics listed in this article, you will be amazed at how quickly you can reduce the amount you spend each week.

Use cash only. No credit or debit cards. Every month, I withdraw cash for my allotted monthly grocery budget. Some people may prefer to take out a weekly amount. Cash allows you to see how much money you are actually spending. By using cash, you can physically see how much money you have left for the month. It keeps us accountable to our budget.

Shop with a grocery list. I’m sure you have heard that you should never go to the grocery store hungry. You also should never shop without your grocery list. The list provides several

benefits to cutting your grocery budget. Having a list ensures you purchase all the necessary items you need for that trip. This prevents extra shopping trips, which saves you time, money and gas. Second, the list will allow you to stick with your budget. Don’t stray from the list.

Plan your meals. This principle has proven to be very valuable for my budget, time and peace of mind. Before the end of every month, I sit down and plan out the meals for the next month. Once I have listed my meals for the month, I write out my grocery list based on the meals. This ensures me that I will not over buy items or leave the store without an item. For many of us, this means fewer trips to the grocery store.

Use coupons. Not extreme couponing! Coupons can be attained from many sources. Newspaper inserts are the most common. Keep your eyes out for coupons found in stores on products and display stands promoting items. You can also go online to websites such as, www.smartsource. com, and If there

is a favorite product your family loves, email or call the company. Many have coupons online or you can register with them to receive coupons or specials. Many stores now stack coupons. This means you can use a store coupon specified for that particular store with a manufacturer’s coupon for that product. A store coupon will always specify the store on the coupon. Store coupon policies can change, so always check with your store to ensure their policy allows stacking.

Compare prices. Many stores will match their competitors’ prices. Bring in the ad and they will give you the price of the item listed, even if their price is higher. This can save you time and money. Not all stores price match, make sure to check with the store on their policy. Cutting your budget takes time and discipline, but is well worth the effort. Remember to take small baby steps and you will see a difference in your budget. Share your comments and tips on how you make the most of your grocery budget at or

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Read more online at This project is supported in part by Region 6 Behavioral Healthcare through funding provided by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services/Tobacco Free Nebraska Program as a result of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.

REVIVE! Omaha | 15


DO YOUR PART! Omaha is once again being recognized as a “Great” city. A recent report by the Kiplinger organization and a glowing review from Delta Sky Magazine join the Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, and other major publications that have referred to Omaha as: a great city to raise a family, great city to do business, great city for young professionals, recession proof, and the best value city in America. Unfortunately, in most of these reports including a recent national CNN story, Omaha is also recognized for the poverty, unemployment, achievement gaps, and high level of violence faced by North Omaha residents and African-Americans who live throughout the city. These disparities are not new. Community groups have reported them for over 40 years. The World-Herald has highlighted the level of poverty repeatedly, most recently with an extensive series titled Omaha in Black and White during 2007 and 2008. As a point of clarification, most stories including the CNN piece are incredibly incomplete and do not come close to telling the whole story regarding the complex problems or the major collaborative projects and

16 | REVIVE! Omaha


initiatives that have been undertaken by thousands of individuals and hundreds of organizations to solve these long standing issues. Specifically, the issue of Omaha having one of the highest rates of poverty among African-American children was raised five years ago by the Omaha World-Herald, using data from the 2006 American Community Survey. Most in the community had a sense that there were major disparities, but the front page article exposed the “tale of two cities” in a dramatic fashion. Since that time, large scale community initiatives, new organizations, expanded ministries, and specific projects have been launched to address many of the major factors. Measurable results and outcomes are being generated daily. Some important trends, including the high school graduation rate and percent of African-Americans going on to post secondary experience, have been moving in the right direction and progress is happening on an individual and collective basis. Scores on statewide reading and writing have improved, especially in elementary grades. Though

we have occasional spikes in gun violence, overall trends show a measurable decrease, comparable to other cities that have received national recognition for reducing street violence. Other trends have continued to go in the wrong direction and we must address them with a sense of urgency. We have a long way to go on all of these fronts, but it should be made abundantly clear that many in the community have been hard at work to address issues related to poverty and unemployment. I’m thankful that so many have rolled up their sleeves and put in effort to make positive changes in our city. Imagine what will happen when even more join in and do their part! Omaha, because of its strengths, has the unique opportunity to be the first city in the country to close longstanding gaps related to education, economics, housing, and quality of life. God has provided everything that we need to make it happen. We need more in the community to step up and do their part! One of the most pressing needs is support from the business community to help address unemployment and underemployment.

©2011 Revive! Omaha Magazine



Here’s just a sample of the collaborative initiatives and projects that have been launched shortly before and since the World-Herald story in 2007 (this is not a complete list): Major Collaborations: North Omaha Collaborative Elected Officials, The Empowerment Network, Building Bright Futures, Omaha Serves, LiveWell Omaha, and others. Education and Youth Development: Midlands Mentoring Partnership, Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties, Black Male Summit, Omaha Education Association’s Collaboration and Effective Teacher’s Initiative, North Omaha Cradle to Career Initiative, Mayor’s After School Initiative, Mayor’s Truancy Prevention Program, Communities In Schools, Nebraska School Attendance Initiatives, Middle School Learning Initiative, Collective for Kids, OPS Careers for Kids Initiative, OPS Wilson Focus School, Avenue Scholars, University of Nebraska Academy, Amachi Mentoring, 100 Black Men’s Young Men’s Mentoring Initiative, 100 Black Men’s Saturday Academy, Urban League’s Youth Empowerment and Urban League University, NorthStar Foundation and Outward Bound, Omaha Cares, and others.

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Violence Intervention and Prevention: Impact One Street Outreach and Gang Intervention, Omaha 360 Violence Intervention and Prevention Collaboration, Office of Violence Prevention, Great Summer Jobs Programs, Faith Communities Adopt-A-Block Initiatives, EIE, A Call to Action, Gun Amnesty Programs, ENCAP’s Reentry Program, Douglas County Reentry Task Force and Metro Community College’s Reentry Table Talk Initiative, OPD Citizens Academies, Cops and Bobbers, and Fun in the Sun events. Employment and Entrepreneurship: Emerging and Small Business Ordinance, Economic Summit and Economic Task Force, Heartland Workforce Solutions, Mayor’s Atlanta and Business Recruitment Initiative, North Omaha Contractor’s Alliance, African-American Professionals Network, ENCAP’s Summer Employment Program, State Summer Employment Program, Green Jobs Legislation, and others. Neighborhood and Community Development: Alliance Building Communities, North Omaha Village Zone Revitalization Plan, Prospect Hill/ Village Development, North Omaha Neighborhood Alliance, Malcolm

X Foundation International Center, Adams Park Revitalization Plan, Metropolitan Community College Master Plan Expansion, Ames Street Financial Corridor Expansion, St. Richards Development, and others. Health and Healthy Families: BBF School-based Health Centers, Marriage is Cool, North Omaha Health and Healthy Family Initiative, No More Empty Pots, Charles Drew Farmer’s Market, Metropolitan College Sustainability Initiatives, Hunger Free Heartland, and the Douglas County Healthy Corner Store and Communities Putting Prevention to Work Collaborative. And, this is just the short list. In addition to these new initiatives and projects, hundreds of organizations and thousands of residents have actively engaged in developing and implementing solutions to address long standing gaps in education, employment, housing, and poverty. There’s much more to share. Stay tuned and until then, if you’re not involved, now is the time. There is a role for everyone to play. DO YOUR PART! Rise Up. Unite. Rebuild the Village. For more information, please go to It’s Time Omaha!

REVIVE! Omaha | 17

Omaha Rewind







NAACP Freedom fund featuring tavis smiley

NAACP Freedom fund featuring tavis smiley

18 | REVIVE! Omaha

©2011 Revive! Omaha Magazine



a review in pictures... OMAHA DIVERSITY WEEK








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REVIVE! Omaha | 19

An unwavering commitment to rebuilding North Omaha

Š2011 Herb Thompson


For over 40 years, he has dreamed about the rebirth of North Omaha. Walking down 24th Street as a child and young man, Michael Maroney could see a thriving business district as movie theaters, drug stores, grocery stores, professional offices, entertainment venues, jewelry stores, and much more lined the streets. It truly was the street of dreams. Following the loss of manufacturing, meatpacking and other jobs; the riots (which he refers to as rebellions); white and black flight after open occupancy was achieved; and, the building of the North Freeway, he saw the dream literally turn into a nightmare. Yet, facing incredible obstacles and at times feeling like he was on a personal quest with limited support, the challenges have not deterred him, but fueled his passion. 20 | REVIVE! Omaha

Š2011 Revive! Omaha Magazine

After getting bit by the social justice, civic engagement and community rebuilding bug in his high school years, Maroney’s career has led him to work for and launch organizations focused on youth development, financial literacy, housing, microenterprise lending, entrepreneurship, and economic development. He has personally led the development of over 400 housing units in North Omaha and attracted over $50 million dollars in financial investments from a variety of funding partners. Over the years, he has worked along side some of North Omaha’s most notable community leaders and elected officials, past and present. Now, as President and CEO of Omaha Economic Development Corporation, he and strategic partners are embarking on the historic rebuilding of North Omaha through the Village Zone Revitalization Plan. The comprehensive vision unanimously approved by the Planning Board and City Council, seeks to connect the rich history of North Omaha with a thriving, sustainable future and is now part of the City Master Plan. Behind the scenes, Maroney has continuously and consistently made significant contributions and investments, personally and professionally, to help individuals and organizations pursue their missions. Everywhere you look, even though you may not realize it, you can see the hand of Michael Maroney at work. Revive! Omaha Magazine was truly blessed to have the opportunity to sit down with Mr. Maroney in November 2011. His love and passion for North Omaha is unquestionable. He holds the history of North Omaha as sacred, but sees even greater days ahead. He believes the greatest adventure is just around the corner.

THE EARLY YEARS Born in North Omaha, Maroney lived with his father, brother, grandmother, and great grandmother. In his early teens, he moved in with his mother, grandmother, and brother. It was

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a time when extended families lived together to support each other and raised not only their children, but provided support and encouragement for all of the children in the neighborhood. He learned the importance of hard work early in life as his father, who attended Tech High, was a cook for Union Pacific and his mother, who attended Central, worked in the laundry room at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital. Even with meager beginnings, his family would have been considered middle class. One of his earliest memories was when his family bought their first television set when he was five years old. Maroney attended elementary school at Lake Elementary, Lothrop Elementary, and Horace Mann Middle School (now King Science Center.) He has fond memories of walking everywhere in the neighborhood. He learned to swim at the old Kellom pool. He loved going to movies at his favorite place, the Ritz Theater. He vividly recalls walking down 24th Street, “there were a half dozen corner grocery stores, dentist and doctor’s offices, drug stores, restaurants, barber and beauty shops, places like the Ice House…where you could get blocks of ice. There were black, Jewish, and white owned businesses, all up and down 24th Street.”


socially active group of ministers, staged a stand-in at the City Council to push for open occupancy. Several hundred people, including Maroney, attended and overflowed the council chambers. Though the city council didn’t approve the ordinance at that time, the process made a great impact on Maroney. “I prayed that the movement would not be over before I got out of high school, so I could participate. There are times now that I wish I wouldn’t have prayed that prayer because we’re still fighting many of those same battles.”

A CITY AND NATION AT A CROSSROADS As he graduated from high school, Maroney decided to attend Omaha University, now the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He continued to focus on civic engagement and social justice, by launching a new organization called the AfricanAmerican Council for Action. The group focused on what they saw as discriminatory practices at Omaha University. The AACA was successful in getting a number of significant concessions from the leadership of the college including, a program that led to one of the longest running black studies programs in the country. Though there were victories occurring on the campus, North Omaha and the nation were in turmoil. A series of events, including a police shooting

After Horace Mann, Maroney headed to Tech High School, one of two primary schools most AfricanAmericans attended. While at Tech, Maroney actively engaged in civil rights demonstrations. “This was a time in North Omaha that black doctors, dentists, business owners, and everyone else all lived in the same neighborhoods. Because of redlining, we were limited to the near Northside, from Cuming to Pratt, 16th to 36th Street.” There was a strong feeling in the community that African-Americans shouldn’t be limited to where they could live. The 4CL, a community-minded and

REVIVE! Omaha | 21

of a 14 year old girl, a controversial appearance of George Wallace at the Civic Center, and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. served as the final straws to the discontent which had been fueling for years. The overt racism and discrimination produced a level of hopelessness that could no longer be contained. Maroney reflected, “the people took out their frustration on their own community.” Realizing there was no way to impact other parts of the city because of the heavy police presence placed on the borders of North Omaha, residents rebelled and burned businesses and establishments along 24th Street. “I refer to them as rebellions because they were the result of racist policies, in your face discrimination, and the unwillingness of the larger community to respond to even the smallest demands. Riots are what happen after a team wins a world championship and people take to the streets to celebrate, but end up burning cars and buildings. There’s a difference. Rebellions occur when people are tired of the way they have been treated and after repeated attempts to be heard are met with resistance and even more poor treatment.” The events accelerated white flight.

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Some business moved and never came back. Other businesses couldn’t get refinanced to rebuild. It was the end of the thriving business district in North Omaha. Another significant issue was the eventual passing of the open occupancy ordinance that was fought for in the late 60’s and early 70’s. It became one of the main contributors to the downfall of North Omaha. Open occupancy allowed for middle-class and upwardly mobile African-Americans to leave North Omaha. While most agree that African-Americans should be able to live anywhere they want just like any other racial or ethnic group, this fueled the exit from North Omaha and accelerated the decline. What was once one of the top neighborhoods in the country for the AfricanAmerican middle class became an isolated, disinvested community with concentrated poverty, poorly performing schools, limited housing options, and eventually drugs, crime and violence. In contrast, recently the Dundee Neighborhood in Omaha was recognized as one of the best neighborhoods in the country. In the midst of the celebration, it

was revealed that one of the most significant factors for Dundee’s success was that residents prevented a freeway from being constructed through the old neighborhood. “The North Omaha community also resisted the development of the freeway right through the heart of some of its strongest neighborhoods, but we weren’t successful in preventing the destruction. It’s interesting that both Dundee and Florence were left untouched.”

A MISSION TO REBUILD NORTH OMAHA In 1971, he left Omaha and moved to Washington, D.C. He had decided to make an impact on a bigger stage. A reality check was right around the corner. He was amazed that in the heart of D.C., the seat of power for the world was one mile away from one of the most devastated communities in the country. It was right then and there that Maroney made the decision that he would rather spend the rest of his life working to change his home town. After that life changing experience, he returned home and graduated from Omaha University. He had worked at the Wesley House while in college, but after graduation was hired as a community organizer and eventually became the Education Director. It was one of the three different times that he worked at the Wesley House during his career. In 1975, he became Program Director and in 1976, he left to become the Executive Director for the Community Plaza for Human Resources, the predecessor for what is now the Charles Drew Health Center. A year later, Al Goodwin started the Omaha Economic Development Corporation (OEDC). Maroney joined OEDC for the first time as the Housing and Community Relations Director and was promoted in 1981 to Director of Operations. He then launched out to become an entrepreneur and was owner of a business called Hannibal’s Lounge. Four years later in 1985, he became what he called

©2011 Revive! Omaha Magazine

“a corrugated container mogul” referring jokingly to his brief coownership of a box company. Then, in 1987, he returned to the Wesley House as the Associate Director of Programs. He was asked to lead a housing effort and facilitated the development of a 10 unit housing project at 19th and Grace. He simultaneously was selected to serve as chair person of an organizing committee to establish a credit union in North Omaha. The Citizens Community Development Corporation Federal Credit Union received its charter, opened for business in January 1993, and Maroney served as president until the credit union merged with a larger credit union in 1996.

BUILDING COMMUNITY THROUGH HOUSING AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP The Wesley House Committee overseeing the development of the initial housing project was presented with additional opportunities to develop more units. This led to the creation of New Community Development Corporation, with Maroney as Founder and President, and the construction of the Grace Plaza Development at 20th and Florence Boulevard. A string of additional affordable housing developments followed this project. NCDC built Concord Square on the location of the former Logan Fontenelle Housing Project. They became the lead developer for housing in the Long School Neighborhood. He also had the rare opportunity of transforming the elementary school he attended, Lake School, into an affordable, high quality apartment complex with an innovative and cutting edge design. In addition to housing, under Maroney’s leadership, NCDC established Omaha’s first microbusiness development program in 1994. Over 600 individuals received training and technical assistance, and over 70 businesses had received loans totaling nearly $400,000. His work in

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Omaha led to him being elected and eventually to serve as President for the national board of the Association of Enterprise Opportunity, a national trade association for micro-business practitioners with over 750 members. The next project for Maroney and NCDC was one of the crown jewels for North Omaha. After years of focusing on affordable and low-income housing, Maroney had a vision to develop mid and upper income market rate homes in North Omaha. In what would become the first market rate development in North Omaha in over 35 years, Miami Heights was the result of courageous partners including NCDC, creative financing by leaders at what was then Commercial Federal, the City of Omaha, neighborhood residents willing to be a part of the needed change, and a handful of pioneers with dreams of a better day for North Omaha. The original Miami Heights vision had three phases, including 100 market rate homes, 50 senior apartments, and eventually commercial/retail development. Though the project has not fully reached its potential, it stands as a testament to what is possible in North Omaha. The homes range in price from $200,000 to $450,000 plus and provides some of the best views in the entire city. The Salem Village, senior housing project also connected to the Miami Heights Development, which was envisioned under Maroney’s leadership was built near 35th and Lake Street and has proved so successful that a 2nd phase is nearly completed under the leadership of Neighborworks, formally New Community Development Corporation. After Al Goodwin announced his retirement, Goodwin approached Maroney about considering a return to Omaha Economic Development Corporation. It was a difficult decision. Maroney had started NCDC and in a relatively short period of time, built a strong reputation in the community for making good things happen in North Omaha. He realized,

however, that OEDC provided the opportunity to have an even greater impact in North Omaha, with a shorter timetable because of its resources and 15 years of history. He applied for the position and was offered the opportunity to join OEDC as President.

TIME TO DO “SOMETHING DIFFERENT” Upon rejoining OEDC, Maroney set out to chart the course. In 1977, the organization had invested in an independent research study and economic development plan that outlined the housing, economic, and employment conditions in North Omaha. Interested in charting a course forward, OEDC decided to commission an updated study. Using the 1977 study as a baseline, the 2006 updated economic plan revealed a shocking story. In every indicator, North Omaha residents where “no better or in most cases worse off. As a community we had been losing ground. It was obvious that what was happening was not working. In reviewing that comparison document, we realized that we had to do something different. I was wondering, what can we do?” “It was later in 2006 that I met this young man who was talking about a profound concept,” Maroney remembers, “why don’t we work together?” He was speaking of the early conversations regarding the Empowerment Network. Maroney,

REVIVE! Omaha | 23

joined facilitator and founder Willie Barney, Teresa Hunter, and Greg Johnson for some early conversations. It was the beginning of a yet to be name approach of working together in a more collaborative way. Maroney had this to say about the transition in thinking and working: “We had been operating in silos and vacuums, and based on the research we were not making the difference that we all wanted. We were working, but not seeing the impact or affect that we wanted. The Network focused on connecting the dots. It made us ask, why couldn’t we work in a more cohesive and collaborative way? The larger community, corporate, business and political leadership were always expressing concern about the fractured black community. They were always asking why we couldn’t work together.” “Now, with the evolution of the Network, we have created, as close to we’ve ever had, a single voice. For the most part, we are speaking together with a united front. In a sense, I think we’ve surprised people with our willingness to collaborate. With the Village Zone plan we now have many opportunities for everyone to participate. It has the potential for anybody who wants to be a part of the change in North Omaha. We have a way for all of the pieces to work together.” This is the “something different” that Maroney and others were looking for.


Photo by Herb Thompson

24 | REVIVE! Omaha

There is no question that Michael Maroney is committed to the North Omaha community and City of Omaha as a whole. For over 40 years, he has labored to help restore his hometown by “investing in people and projects.” He has made a measurable difference. Over the years, Maroney’s commitment to serve has never waivered as he has always been active in many areas in the community. His volunteer affiliations and board

memberships are numerous as he has served in many capacities. Though his sacrifices and commitment can never be fully compensated, he has been recognized with the many awards including, Metropolitan Community Development Award, Omaha Fair Housing Award, the Durham Western Heritage AfricanAmerican Civic and Community Leader Award; and, Urban League of Nebraska’s Community Service Award. Even with these awards and recognition, Maroney remains a humble presence and is most proud of his family and their accomplishments. His wife, Dr. Barbara Hewins-Maroney, works at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, in the College of Public Affairs. He has two daughters who also were born and raised here in Omaha. Kendra, graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, GA, works for United Air in San Franscisco, California. His daughter, Morgen, graduated from Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA, and recently relocated to Seattle, WA, just this year. His entire family is committed to education and Michael himself holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Studies from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and an MBA from the Executive MBA Program at the UNO College of Business. While North Omaha and the City of Omaha will never fully appreciate the breadth and depth of Michael Maroney’s impact on his beloved community and city, there is no question he has already made a measurable difference in the lives of thousands of residents, and future generations will be even greater beneficiaries of his legacy of commitment. Revive! Omaha Magazine salutes Michael Maroney. We look forward to chronicling the next chapter of his work and the exciting, continued revitalization of North Omaha.

©2011 Revive! Omaha Magazine


5th Annual State of african-americans & north omaha – 2012 preview HARPER CENTER ON THE CREIGHTON UNIVERSITY CAMPUS 602 N. 20th Street • Saturday, December 10, 2011 • 8:30 am to 11:30 am


Breakfast, Networking, and Display Tables (Ballroom)

9:00 am

2011 Special Report & Presentation (Auditorium) 5th Annual State of African-Americans and North Omaha

2011 Highlights and Accomplishments and Challenges

10:00 am

2012 Preview & 7 Step Empowerment Plan Do Your Part: Rise Up. Unite. Rebuild. 1. Employment and Entrepreneurship 2. Education and Youth Development 3. Sustainable Neighborhoods 4. Faith and Hope 5. Violence Intervention and Prevention 6. Health and Healthy Families 7. Arts, Culture, History, and Media/Communications Annual Event Concludes Join us for Christmas in the Village at the 24th and Lake District Noon to 8 pm–Indoor and Outdoor Activities for Children and Adults

11:30 am

Rebuilding the Village

Family by Family and Block by Block The Empowerment Network invites you to a special meeting and session focused on the state of African-Americans and North Omaha! Over 500 organizations and thousands of individuals have participated. Do Your Part…Take the Empowerment Challenge! Priorities: Sustainable Jobs and Businesses, Strong and Healthy Families, Prepared and Successful Children, Safe and Thriving Neighborhoods


John Ewing, Jr. runs for U.S. Congress Rising from the former Pleasantview Public Housing Project at 30th and Parker in North Omaha, Douglas County Treasurer John Ewing formally announced his candidacy for U.S. Congress earlier this year. Following a long, successful career with the Omaha Police Department where he retired as Deputy Chief, Ewing became the first African-American in the state of Nebraska to be elected in a county-wide election in 2007. Now, with his run for Congress, Ewing is one of only three AfricanAmericans nationally running in a district that is not primarily AfricanAmerican or minority. Ewing is seeking the seat held by long-time incumbent, Republican Lee Terry, Jr. Revive! Omaha Magazine had the opportunity to sit down with Ewing to discuss his run for Congress and what he hopes to accomplish. 26 | REVIVE! Omaha

Š2011 Revive! Omaha Magazine

Why did you decide to run for U.S. Congress?

reach their goals. I love meeting and encouraging people. I get to share the vision, listen, and sharpen my focus.

I believe that we need real leadership, leadership that can bring people together to focus on common sense solutions. First, I believe that government should work for the people. Government is not the full solution, but it shouldn’t be a hindrance. Congress is not listening. Some in Congress want to privatize Social Security and Medicare. We need to listen to the people on this issue. They don’t want it privatized. Secondly, we have far too many people without jobs. On a national level, there are 14 million people without jobs, with an unemployment rate of 9%. Locally, the African-American unemployment rate is 18%, and in parts of North Omaha it’s as high as 30%. Other areas in the community are also dealing with high unemployment and poverty. Finally, we need to focus on providing our youth with the best education possible. We need to focus on workforce development, training on jobs available now and in the future. We are competing with others on a global scale.

What has been the response thus far?

When did you decide to run for U.S. Congress? People have been asking me about this since 2005. I didn’t think it was the appropriate time. Earlier this year, I became more and more disappointed in the approach of the Tea Party and the Republican Party opposing everything that President Barack Obama was trying to do. In March and April of 2011, I began to think about it seriously but decided not to do it when I talked with people and they told me that people would go after my family. I decided not to do it as my family is too important to me. Then, my daughter Alexandria said to me one day, you’re always talking to kids about going for their dream, what will you tell them if you don’t do it yourself. I thought about it and she was right. How can I tell kids to do something if I’m not willing to do it myself? In July, I officially announced my candidacy and on August 26, I filed the paperwork with the State of Nebraska. I have a different vision for the 2nd district. I want to try to cast a vision where people see that they can be a part of it. I want them to know that their dreams are possible and if they get behind me, I will work to help them Read more online at

Locally and nationally, the response has been very positive. In Douglas County, people recognize the work that I’ve done in the Treasurer’s office. We’ve built a great team. We provide service efficiently and effectively. We’ve implemented ideas to make it easier for the public to interact with the office. On a national level, we’ve received national endorsements, including some that will be announced after this article is printed.

What are your top 3 priorities? 1. J obs, jobs, jobs. The number one priority has to be putting people to work. We need to rebuild our infrastructure. We must strategically rebuild our economy. 2. We need to prepare our youth and young adults for the jobs of the future. People in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s need help getting retrained. Our citizens need new skills and training. We must include our trade unions and community colleges to help retrain our workforce. 3. We should not privatize Social Security and Medicare.

Why should people support your campaign? I am responsive to the people. I’ve proven that I’m not afraid of anyone. Working at the Police Department, I had to face people with knives and guns. I tell people if they fight for me to get to D.C., I’ll fight for them. Yet, I don’t think we can have polarization. We must get things done for our district and our country. On a national level, we need people who are willing to work across party lines. We can’t have people saying no to everything. We have to ask ourselves what works best for the whole district and the whole country. We need a congress that is working for the people. We need to change the people in D.C. to get a different result. We need to get things done. Our district must have an impact nationally and we must be a part of the national dialogue.

“...their dreams

are possible and if they get behind me, I will work to help them reach their goals.” What impact would this have on African-Americans?

I recognize the sacrifices made for me to have the opportunities that I have. I want to be a role model for our young people to see that their “dreams are possible.” People need to see hope and inspiration. This is for our entire community. This is about the American people as a whole. This is about our future. I want to exemplify how to live out your faith. I will work to impact lives. I look forward to building on 30 years of service to the public. There’s a quote that I think comes from Roberto Clemente, “You’re wasting your time if you’re not impacting people.” Ewing will face Democrat Gwen Howard in the primaries. “I encourage the community to get involved by contributing financially, voting, and telling others to contribute and vote. We’re starting a groundswell of support. We need to mobilize people to action. This is about our future…our children’s future, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. I’m committed to working with the community to impact our future together.” Ewing is married to Dr. Viv Ewing, who is a Volunteer Manager for Habitat for Humanity. John and Viv are both Associate Ministers at Salem Baptist Church and are active leaders in major community initiatives throughout the city. They have two daughters, Alexandria, a sophomore at Wayne State University and Christina, who works and lives in Kansas City, Missouri. REVIVE! Omaha | 27


to live green...

No More Empty Pots

by Nancy Williams

About No More Empty Pots

No More Empty Pots is a grassroots non-profit 501c3 organization. It began for the purpose of connecting individuals and groups to promote local, sustainable, businesses that improve self-sufficiency and food security through advocacy and action. For more information, please visit:

Fall vegetables–really? Are there foods that grow in the fall in Nebraska that I can eat? You bet. And guess what? They can be good for you and taste great! When you make a discovery like that, why keep it to yourself? Share these tips and recipes. And if you follow one of the hotter trends, make it a handmade holiday gift. Make it greener by using local seasonal products as the main ingredients.

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Š2011 Revive! Omaha Magazine

The following are a few tips highlighting fall produce: 1. Grow fall produce.

The better way to ensure that you eat what you want is to grow it yourself. With the mild weather, if you planted a fall garden you may be harvesting some leafy greens, like spinach and collard greens, and vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and squash. These foods are high in iron, fiber, calcium and Vitamin A. Be sure to harvest your produce as soon as it is ready then move to preparation and preservation. Just in case you expect a hard freeze before your produce is ready for harvest, pick it anyway. You can always ripen indoors, or extend your growing season with hoop houses and row covers.

4. Prepare your produce.

Produce like squash and sweet potatoes can usually withstand more handling than ripened tomatoes. The best thing that you can do is prepare them for consumption or preservation as soon as possible. Proper preparation ensures that you retain nutrients, experience maximum flavor, and reduce waste.

5. M ake handmade gifts.

2. Purchase fall produce.

If you don’t have the time, skills or desire to grow your own food, you can certainly purchase from a local grower. A great place to find local seasonal products, including flavorful greenhouse grown tomatoes , is Tomato Tomäto, a yearround indoor farmers market, and if you like ordering online, check out Nebraska Food Coop, a local foods marketing and distribution service.

3. Preserve your bounty. For neighborhood classes, check out Minne Lusa Canning Company; find the Minnelusa House on Facebook.

If you are not planning to eat your produce right away, preserve it. You can preserve it raw or cooked: as an individual ingredient, as a meal or a value-added ingredient. Fall vegetables make good purees. For instance, squash puree easily frozen in recipe portions can be used in soup and in bread pudding. To learn more about food preservation at home, check out the UNL Food/Home Food Preservation page:

If you have foodie friends or gift folks who like edible stuff, try making one of these to share: • a pint of homemade soup paired with a bowl or cup from a local artist • a batch of pumpkin or squash bread pudding in a reusable dish • a mason jar of homemade salad dressing with ingredients list (Newman’s Own started this way) • a bundle of savory or sweet cookies in a reusable tin or plate • a basket of local seasonal produce plus a cookbook with elegant, simple and tasty recipes Premium Gift Option: A three course meal prepared by you (or someone you recruit) featuring local seasonal ingredients.

Recipe from The Community Market Basket Cooking Demonstrations follow:

Squash Soup (serves 2)

• 2 slices cinnamon bread • 1 tsp thyme, dry • 1 whole onion, white or yellow • 1 cup milk • Parmesan to taste

• 2 tbls butter • 2 tbls canola oil • 1 whole butternut squash • ½ whole yellow squash • 1 clove garlic • 2 tbls apple cider vinegar • 1 tbls honey • Salt and pepper to taste • 1 cup stock, vegetable, chicken, or beef

DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Dice the butternut and toss with one tablespoon of oil, the thyme, and a dash of salt and pepper. Place the squash onto a baking sheet lined with foil and bake for 40 minutes or until soft throughout. In a medium pan over medium high heat, melt one tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of the oil together. Dice the yellow squash, garlic, and onion, then sauté them in the pan until tender. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper while cooking. Combine the roasted butternut, yellow squash, onion, garlic, milk, and apple cider vinegar into a food processor or blender and puree on high speed. Stream in the stock until a thick soup texture is reached. Season to taste with salt and pepper. In a 200° oven, place diced cinnamon bread to dry for ten minutes. Top the soup with a spoonful each of honey, parmesan cheese, and cinnamon bread bits. Enjoy.

It’s time to Unite & Rebuild North Omaha

The North Omaha Village Zone Revitalization Plan Connecting North Omaha’s rich history to a thriving, sustainable future

Artist Rendering of Music Venue and Mixed Use Development

During the summer of 2011, the Omaha Planning Board and City Council unanimously approved the North Omaha Village Zone Revitalization Plan to become part of the City of Omaha Master Plan. The Village Zone vision and action plan identifies iconic and transformational projects that will be catalysts to the revitalization of North Omaha. The plan builds on the incredible assets of North Omaha and complement the surrounding development in Downtown, North Downtown, Midtown Crossing, Creighton University campus, and the Metropolitan Community College master plan. The purpose is to accelerate the transformation of North Omaha into a great place to live, raise a family, do business, worship, and play. With the financial support of Alliance Building Communities, Nebraska Investment Finance Authority, and philanthropic partners, the Empowerment Network facilitated a community-based process to build consensus on a comprehensive 30 year vision for North Omaha. The Village Zone Plan represents over two years of intense work and has engaged hundreds of residents, stakeholders, elected officials, City of Omaha staff, Mayor Jim Suttle’s Office, economic development specialists, business leaders, and potential financial supporters. The process consisted of community visioning and feedback sessions, focus groups, advisory and executive team meetings, and one-on-one

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discussions with stakeholders. Experienced urban design and architectural consultants, H 3 Studio and Schemmer Asscociates each led an Advisory Group for Village East and Village West respectively. The Village East process which consisted of 16th and Cuming and 24th and Lake was led by H 3 Studio. Schemmer Associates led the Village West team which focused on 30th and Parker and the Adams Park/ Malcolm X area. The vision is to connect the rich history of North Omaha to a thriving and sustainable future. The Village Zone plan builds on the work and previous North Omaha studies, City of Omaha master plan, North Omaha Development Project, and Empowerment Network Village Strategy. The Village Zone Revitalization Plan represents comprehensive and coordinated physical development that will create the environment and expand on the existing rebuilding efforts that have been launched by community partners. The Empowerment Network’s holistic 7 Step Empowerment Plan encompasses the following areas: employment and entrepreneurship; education and youth development; housing, neighborhood development, and transportation; faith and hope; health and healthy families; violence prevention and intervention; and, a thriving cultural arts community. The Village Zone physical development supports the

©2011 Revive! Omaha Magazine

Empowerment Plan strategy and focuses on four key nodes of opportunity: 16th and Cuming: The vision is to create a front door and gateway to North Omaha by building on the tremendous progress in North Downtown. It recommends creating a sports and entertainment themed space complete with mixed-used buildings and housing. The plan anticipates that most of this development will be market-driven. 24th and Lake: Building on its rich history, the vision recommends the creation of an arts, culture, and entertainment district in the 24th Street and 24th and Lake area. The district will include civic and cultural attractions, restaurants, retail, mixed-used buildings, and mixed-income, mixed-type housing. 30th and Lake/Parker: The focus of this area is the creation of an urban village that builds on core assets like Salem Baptist Church, Charles Drew Health Center, Miami Heights, the Urban League, and the 20+ acres of open land now available with the demolition of the Pleasant View Housing Project. The vision for the area includes senior housing, mixedincome and mixed-type housing, neighborhood services, and an intergenerational community center. Malcolm X/Adams Park: The vision calls for the creation of a regional recreational attraction and international destination center by expanding and building on the work of the Malcolm X Foundation and City of Omaha Parks Department plans for Adams Park. The North Omaha Village Zone participants and supporters include neighborhood residents, neighborhood associations, elected officials, community organizations, educational institutions, businesses, churches and faithbased institutions, and other stakeholders. Alliance Building Communities, Nebraska Investment Finance Authority, and philanthropic partners provided the financial investment for the development of the action plan. The Alliance Building Communities group includes Omaha Economic Development Corporation, Holy Name Housing, Family Housing Advisory Services, and philanthropic partners. Key partners include the City of Omaha, a collaborative group of elected officials, Omaha Housing Authority, North Omaha Development Project, Schemmer Associates, and H3 Studio. The implementation plan will require financial investments from many different revenue streams including community, public, and private from local, state, and national sources. Most importantly, the success of the plan will be based on community support and engagement. Now is the time to Unite & Transform the community.

Read more online at


diversity leadership symposia

Are you a leader? Do you want to make a difference? Learn how with over 800 other freshmen-seniors at the NEBRASKA Diversity Leadership Symposia.

Jesse Jackson

2011 Black Leadership Symposium Keynote Speaker

American Indian Leadership Symposium - Nov. 7 Latino Leadership Symposium - Nov. 11 Black Leadership Symposium - Nov. 30 Registration available now at rsity Admission: $15.00 (lunch) Transportation will be provided from specific locations in Omaha. The University of Nebrask a–Lincoln is an equal opportu nity educator and employer. Š2011, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebrask a. All rights reserved. 259.111004

REVIVE! Omaha | 31

The North Omaha Village Zone: MOVING FORWARD WITH MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS Over the years there have been numerous plans to rebuild North Omaha. There are estimates of 20 to 30 different plans that were developed for North Omaha. Early in the process, the partners on the Village Plan made a commitment that the initiative would not end with beautiful pictures on the wall, but start with tangible, iconic projects that would be catalysts to the revitalization of North Omaha. The group also committed to making sure that current residents are involved in the design, implementation, and every phase of the redevelopment process. The vision is to attract people of all incomes to the Village Zone, while assuring that residents who currently live in the area benefit as much as anyone else.

philanthropic organization to move forward on the first portion of the vision. The Empowerment Network identified the 30th and Parker area as the primary area of focus. At the time, the area was home to the Pleasant View Housing Project and a high level of gun violence. ABC partnered with the Empowerment Network, faith community, Highlander and Prospect Hill/Place neighborhood associations, and other partners to begin prayer walks, neighborhood cleanups, neighborhood outreach events and block parties, and summer job opportunities for young adults in the area. These partnerships led to the creation of the first “village area” and stakeholder meetings nearly 4 years ago.

“The major difference with this plan and others that have been put together is the extensive amount of community engagement. We didn’t come in with preconceived ideas, but started with a blank slate that participants drew on and made their own recommendations. The consultants took those ideas back and checked them for validity and reality based on their experiences. If it wasn’t possible, we came back and informed participants and the advisory groups. The result is a vision where everyone can be involved.” – Michael Maroney, President of OEDC

One of the most immediate needs identified in the area was to address the abundance of vacant lots. The group determined that a housing in-fill strategy would help bring more stability and much needed revitalization to the area. Using the initial funds that had been raised, ABC acquired over 80 lots in the area, raised additional funds, and built 21 new homes in the area. In addition, as the initial village strategies were moving forward, the Omaha Housing Authority announced that it would be tearing down the Pleasant View Housing Project. A short time later, the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority partnered with ABC to commission what would become the North Omaha Village Zone plan. The idea was to partner with the City of Omaha, North Omaha Development Project, and Omaha Housing Authority to create a comprehensive vision for the traditional heart of North Omaha. As a result, the North Omaha Village Zone Revitalization Plan was unanimously approved by the Planning Board and Omaha City Council. Instead of a “patchwork” approach, the Village Zone is a comprehensive vision for redevelopment and is now part of the city master plan. While there’s a lot of work ahead, the plan is beginning to generate interest from a variety of potential partners.

The Evolution of the Village Plan

As a part of the Empowerment Network Housing and Neighborhood Development Strategy, with Maroney and Teresa Hunter as Co-Chairs, a Housing Consortium was created in 2008. From that housing team, Alliance Building Communities, a coalition of local non-profit housing developers including Omaha Economic Development Corporation, Family Housing Advisory Services, and Holy Name Housing, was reactivated. Working in a collaborative way, the group made funding presentations and was supported by a substantial initial investment from a

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©2011 Revive! Omaha Magazine


Schemmer & Associates to create a comprehensive plan for transforming the Malcolm X area into an international destination. The plans will be revealed to the community in December. The community has consistently prioritized the Malcolm X development as one of the top opportunities for North Omaha.

The City of Omaha, in partnership with the Empowerment Network and OEDC, recently received approval to build 80 additional homes in the Prospect Hill/Village area.

Another key piece to the revitalization of North Omaha and the Village Zone area is to maximize the potential and redevelopment of Adams Park. A number of plans have been developed by different groups over the years. The City of Omaha Parks Department took all of the input from these various studies and plans and worked with H3 Studio and the community to develop an integrated plan. A highly functional, urban agricultural and green development is envisioned. A final plan will be released within the next few months. It will also include an overview of how Adams Park and Malcolm X developments connect.

Change is in the air. In July 2011, the City Council unanimously approved the North Omaha Village Zone Revitalization Plan. Since the approval, recent announcements have highlighted significant new potential projects for North Omaha.

A recent newspaper article introduced a new non-profit community development group, Seventy-Five North, which discussed plans to replicate the Purpose Built Communities model in North Omaha. The model includes mixed-income housing, cradle to college education, health and wellness, and comprehensive support services. In early November, OEDC held a grand opening for its most recent project, the complete restoration of the historic Margaret apartment building, located on 16th Street. The Margaret has already received national attention as the only affordable housing project in the state of Nebraska that utilizes solar power, geothermal heating and cooling, and energy efficient appliances. It will reduce the tenant’s bills by up to $1,200 per year. The organization has integrated leading edge sustainable and green technologies into its work. In addition to the Margaret, OEDC has recently completed four green homes in the Prospect Hill/Village area and recently won approval and raised funds for five additional energy efficient homes in the Long School neighborhood. The organization is also closing in on a number of projects, including the Fair Deal Urban Village, that align with the overall North Omaha Village Revitalization Plan. It’s a sign that things are not slowing down in North Omaha, especially in the Village Zone area. The Malcolm X Foundation is closing in on a new long-term vision for its property. The Foundation actively participated in the Village Zone planning process and has worked with

The larger redevelopment projects will join significant work already in progress. The City of Omaha, Holy Name Housing, NeighborWorks, Jesu Housing, Habitat for Humanity, EXCEL, Greater St. Paul’s Bethesda Urban Development Corporation, and others are continuing their efforts to provide quality, green and affordable housing in the area. These developments with the addition of mixed-income housing and mixed-use projects are vital aspects of making the Village Zone vision a reality. While the redevelopment process always takes longer than originally planned (and there will unquestionably be delays and struggles), the energy, experience, and financial commitment from many sectors of the community will make sure that plans continue to move forward. It will take the support of the entire city, especially the residents and stakeholders of North Omaha to make the developments successful long-term! It’s time to DREAM AGAIN in NORTH OMAHA. It won’t be easy, but together we can CONNECT THE RICH HISTORY OF NORTH OMAHA to a THRIVING, SUSTAINABLE FUTURE. Imagine the possibilities.

The Planning Board and Omaha City Council unanimously approved a 30 year vision for the rebuilding of key areas of North Omaha. The vision of the plan is to connect the rich history and legacy of North Omaha to a thriving, sustainable future. Over 25 residents, community leaders, elected officials, neighborhood association leaders, pastors and ministers, and others attended the city council public hearing to show their support. A dozen of the supporters stood and presented the case for North Omaha. “Today is a new day for North Omaha and the City of Omaha,” said Willie Barney, President and Facilitator of the Empowerment Network. “Now is the time to unite and transform Omaha!” A number of the City Councilman took the opportunity to congratulate the participants on a history making accomplishment. Several made specific comments about the plan being driven by community-based, bottom-up involvement and engagement. “This is history making legislation,” said Ben Gray, District II City Councilman. Councilman Franklin Thompson quoted from a World-Herald editorial in support of the plan, “every Omahan has an interest in seeing North Omaha prosper.” And, he also reminded the attendees of a quote attributed to Shirley Franklin, former mayor of Atlanta, “in order for the city to win, North Omaha has to win.” “I’m excited to see that the arts is included as a vital economic aspect in the plan.” -Deb Bunting of the Nebraska Arts Council Charles Drew is happy to support this plan. We have made a four million dollar investment in our recent expansion right in the middle of this zone. We are still here and ready to continue serving the community. -Dr. Richard Brown, CEO of Charles Drew Health Center Read more online at

REVIVE! Omaha | 33

STUDENT ACHIEVER by Janice Gilmore

It is always exciting when a young African- American man is a role model for other young men. Anytime young boys can see young men achieve success it can be very inspiring to them. Garyth James Barnes made a conscious decision to work hard as a student, and with God’s guidance has proceeded to continue making wise decisions. Garyth comes from a strong Christian family who has instilled excellent values in him. They are a church-going family with a strong sense of community. It is quite apparent that his home environment has had a positive effect on him. When he attended Burke High School he lettered in swim, cross country, and track team, as well as giving back to the community by volunteering for the Goodwill. When Garyth lived in Jacksonville, Florida as a young boy, he spent time with a neighbor who was a Federal Express pilot. He could hardly wait to hear the neighbor’s stories about his experiences as a pilot. He was enthralled by the possibility of one day flying the friendly skies. So when Garyth had an opportunity to be a part of Burke High School’s inaugural Introduction to Powered Flight class, he was ecstatic. In this class he was taught the fundamentals of flying. By October of 2010, Garyth and his classmates were flying at altitudes of 9000 feet above ground. Garyth attends the University of Oklahoma as a freshman and is active in the ROTC. He is pursuing a military aviation career with the goal of one day becoming an officer in the United States Marines. He is also working on obtaining his private pilot’s license. His goals in life are well planned, and he is not afraid to work hard to achieve them.

Ain’t Got No Shame BOOK REVIEW Ignorance a memoir by Tracy Lenore Jackson by Janice Gilmore

Ignorance Ain’t Got No Shame by Tracy Lenore Jackson is an inspiration, particularly for young women who are going through challenging times in their lives. Jackson tells of her life growing up in Kansas City, Kansas. Her writing is compelling. Some of the stories are hilarious; some are tragic. She shares incidents that many African American women can identify with. For example, her feelings about getting her hair straightened with a straightening comb brought back memories. Her book is sprinkled with everyday things that we can all identify with, even as she explores deeper issues. What is particularly fascinating is her candidness. There is a sense of how real her stories are. It is not about being impressive, but about being honest and true. The purpose of Jackson sharing her story is to inspire others and to bring to life some of the challenging issues that many women are struggling with. This book tells how she struggled with conflicting emotions that can be paralyzing and how she overcame these impediments that were detrimental to her success in life. Jackson said, “The journey of writing both my books helped me to learn how to love my husband completely by figuring out what has been bothering me all these years. It had nothing to do with my marriage or my husband. My hope is for other women to find the same freedom to love as I have.” Jackson’s inspiring book can be bought on Amazon or through her website at She also has a sequel to this book that can also be purchased. You won’t be disappointed with this delightful read!

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©2011 Revive! Omaha Magazine


MEINEKE car care center What types of services does Meineke provide?

Meineke Car Care Center provides full service automotive maintenance and repair. We offer advanced diagnostic service, all factory scheduled maintenance, alignments, tires, brake service, exhaust repair, fluid and filters, etc. Basically anything that needs repair or maintenance on most cars or trucks. In addition, we offer nationwide warranties on all repairs, and free inspections on cars and trucks.

How long have you been in business and tell us about your locations?

We’ve been in business for 8 years. In 2003, our first location opened in Lincoln, Nebraska–on the corner of 48th and O. Our second location opened in 2009 in West Omaha, on 165th & Maple St. Both locations have knowledgeable and friendly staffs.

You both have engineering backgrounds. What made you decide to start a franchise?

I have always been interested in owning my own business. My grandfather always dreamed of owning a business, but never had the opportunity. I believe he passed this desire down through my mother, and it took hold of me at an early age. Also, my father has always had great business acumen, and constantly pointed out business opportunities when I was growing up. My wife Alisa grew up seeing her grandfather run a successful small business for decades, so she supported my vision for us to do the same. She is so strong and covers my blind spots so well, that I felt like we had all the bases covered to pursue the American dream.

What recommendations do you have for others wanting to start their own franchise?

Do your homework. A franchise is intended to increase your chances of business success. They are not all created equal. It is a partnership, so the values and business practices of the franchisor will inevitably seep into your business. A person interested in a particular franchise should obtain the UFOC,

Read more online at

a document required by law that gives full disclosure of the particular franchise. You should also talk to as many current franchisees that you can, not just the successful ones, but those who failed or had a hard time. Next, put together a realistic financial plan for the next five years.

What would you consider to be your biggest success/ accomplishments in business?

The goal of any business is to make money, but how you go about this has always been very important to me. I take great pride in how I treat my employees, and how they treat our customers. My dad always speaks of honesty, integrity and credibility as a litmus test for a job well done. Our greatest accomplishment has been creating a business where the employees are cherished like family and our customers trust us. It is an on-going process that we continually work towards, but for the most part we’ve been able to accomplish this in two different locations 60 miles apart. It’s no small feat. LOCATIONS:

165th & Maple Street, Omaha (402) 289-3395 48th & O Street, Lincoln (402) 466-2077

REVIVE! Omaha | 35


Directory To advertise, call: 402-490-1542 or email: For subscription information, please visit

Count Cook Realtor®

Anding Family Dental Dr. Michelle Chang 402-933-4632

Cell: (402) 415-3374 Office: (402) 547-5125 email: 13340 California St. Omaha, NE 68154

Psalm 127:3 Child Care Ministry

“Behold children are a Heritage from the Lord. The fruit of the womb is His reward.” Monday- Saturday: 6am-7pm Ages: 6 weeks - 14 years old Bibilical and Educational teachings 3020 Huntington Ave, Omaha NE. (402) 614-4257 • (402) 850-3729 Transportation provided.

Styles of Evolution Clothing for Men, Women and Students Need a special order? We can help! 2522 N. 24th Street (402) 455-2426 •

Mary Mudd, Realtor® Mobile: (402) 980-4987 • Voice: (402) 697-6844 I can help you to BUY, BUILD or SELL your HOME as well as RELOCATE anywhere in the United States.

Big Mama’s Kitchen and Catering As seen on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives and the Travel Channel 3223 N 45th St. (Turning Point Campus Bldg A) Big Mama’s Sweet Potato Pie Ice Cream on sale at Hyvee (79th & Cass, 145th & Stonybrook, 156th & Maple) Broadmoor Market, J-N-J Grocery, and Wohlner’s Grocery (402) 455-MAMA (6262) • For hours, visit

James Stinson, Jr. Allstate Insurance Company

719 N. 132nd Street, Omaha NE 68154 (402) 498-2718 Get any insurance quote today and Allstate will give $10 to the Tom Joyner Foundation that supports students at HBCU’s. Call or visit today.


CHURCH Directory To advertise, call: 402-490-1542 or email: For subscription information, please visit

Dayspring Ministries Christian Center

Morning Star Baptist Church

Rev. Dr. Leroy E. Adams, Jr. Senior Pastor 2019 Burdette Street 402-342-0018 Sunday Service 7:30AM & 10:15AM (First Sunday 10:15AM Service Only) Sunday School 8:45AM (excludes 1 Sunday)

Pastor Edward and Juanita King Sunday Morning Worship 9:00AM 8920 Curtis Circle, Omaha 402-573-5188


Salem Baptist Church

Rev. Dr. Selwyn Q. Bachus, Senior Pastor (402) 455-1000 • 3131 Lake Street Sunday Worship 8:30AM & 11:30AM

Bible Truth Ministries Pastor Rordy Smith & Pastor Ramona Smith PO Box 1703 2402 Franklin Street • Bellevue, NE 68005 (402) 292-9499 Sunday Service/Sunday School: 9:00AM Morning Worship: 10:00AM Wed. Bible Study/Adult & Youth Classes 7:00PM

Joy of Life Ministries, Inc. COGIC Pastor Eric L. Butler 6401 N. 56th Street • Omaha, NE (402) 399-9628 •

Sunday: 9:30AM Sunday School (all ages) • 10:30AM Sunday Worship 6:00PM Sunday Evening Worship Wednesday: 7:00PM Adult Bible Study / Chosen Generation Coalition (youth) “Come where we say… the joy of the Lord is our strength.”

Joy of Life Ministrie

6401 North 56th Street Omaha Phone 402-399-9628 ~Fax 402-502-2447 ~ “For the joy of the Lord is your strength



Jehovah Shammah Church International Pastor Edna Perkins, Pastor, Prophetess One Church, Two Locations • 5401 N 90th (NW Campus) • 402-502-7752 • Sun Service 8:30 a.m. Beginning January 2012 Midweek Service Tues. 7 p.m. 3020 Huntington Ave (Main Campus) • (402) 390-6036 Sunday Service 11:30 a.m. • Midweek Service Wed. 7 p.m.

Sundays: 9:30am Sunday School (for all ages) 10:30am Sunday “WhereWorship Life is for Everyone!” Martin & Lynnell Williams, Founders & Senior Pastors 6:00pm Sunday Evening Worship Sundays

Corporate Worship 10AM Children’s Ministry 10AM (6 Months-5th Grade)

Wedne 7:00pm 7:00pm


Corporate Prayer 6PM

“COME WHEREWorship WE SAY…THE & Word 7PM JOY OF THE LOR Youth Ministry (6th-12th Grade)

Come experience life at the next level!

103rd & Fort Streets • 402-341-1866 •

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