Revive! Omaha: Leadership Edition

Page 1

An African-American Lifestyle and Community Empowerment Magazine

Spirit, Mind & Body

Chris Rodgers:

A Passion for Changing the System

Omaha 360 Challenge: PLEDGE FOR PEACE

Becoming Extraordinary Leadership Edition


and calendar inside


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in this issue…

VOL. 5 | ISSUE 3


An African-American Lifestyle and Community Empowerment Magazine

President & Publisher Willie D. Barney Spirit, Mind & Body

Vice-President/Executive Editor Yolanda M. Barney Chief Financial Officer Greg A. Johnson Desktop Publishing & Design Kate M. Rice Research & Copy Editor Yvette Coppage Billing Manager Anita Johnson

Chris Rodgers:

A Passion for Changing the System

Contributing Writers: Tawanna Black Dr. Richard Brown Carl Christian John Ewing, Jr. Dr. Viv Ewing Dell Gines Dr. Cynthia Gooch Shelley Henderson Terrie Jackson-Miller Greg A. Johnson Angela Jones Doris Lassiter Teresa Negron Rev. Bruce Norris Contributing Photographers: Donnie Branson Herb Thompson Scott McIntyre Jason Fischer DotKom Studios Lovely Nai Photography

Revive! Omaha Magazine is a publication of SMBEnterprises, LLC and is distributed via mail and selected locations throughout the Greater Omaha area and beyond. ©2012 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.

Omaha 360 Challenge: PLEDGE FOR PEACE

Becoming Extraordinary COMMUNITY PHOTO REvIEw

and calendar inside

Leadership Edition

CHRIS RODGERS: A PASSION FOR CHANGING THE SYSTEM, page 22 Photo by Herb Thompson Photography

Letter from the Publisher


Events Calendar


Revive! Your Spirit


Renew! Your Mind


Restore! Your Body

FEATURES: Chris Rodgers: A Passion for Changing the System 22 It’s The System, Man



African-American Leadership Conference


Reclaim! Your Family


Becoming Extraordinary


Rediscover! Your Purpose


Reprioritize! Your Finances


A Community Call To Peace: End Gun Violence!


Rebuild! Your Community


Omaha Rewind



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

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REVIVE! Omaha | 1


from the publisher…

As we prepare to close out 2012 and move into 2013, we have much to celebrate and we have a lot of work ahead of us. In 2012, Revive! Omaha Magazine was able to produce some exciting issues and cosponsor a series of major community events. Our final edition for the year focuses on leadership and includes a cover story on Douglas County Commissioner Chris Rodgers. Rodgers is a strong player in many circles, though he prefers to work behind the scenes to get things done. Rodgers has found a way to delicately balance his advocacy for change by understanding the intricacies of how government actually works. He has a unique ability to find consensus on important areas where progress is possible. Though most in the community may not know it, he is on the forefront of the most urgent, impactful and necessary changes in our nation, keeping our young men and women from entering the jail and prison system. You will find encouraging and inspiring articles from our talented contributing writers covering topics from faith to family, health to careers, and finance to purpose. You will be challenged by the feature articles on A Community Call to Peace, The System and a piece called Becoming Extraordinary, written by guest writer Angela Jones, Vice-President of Human Resources at ConAgra Foods. This edition also highlights two other events that we co-hosted. The first AfricanAmerican Leadership Conference was held September 27, 2012 in partnership with the Empowerment Network and attracted over 270 leaders from Omaha and the surrounding region. It will become an annual event, held every September. And, finally, we partnered with the Empowerment Network and 80 other organizations to host the 2nd Annual Christmas in the Village at 24th and Lake! In just its second year, the event which is becoming a major holiday tradition and community celebration in North Omaha attracted over 2,000 participants. 2012 has been an extremely busy and productive year. We are walking with high expectations that 2013 will be even greater. In 2013, Revive! Omaha Magazine will celebrate five years in business. It has been an amazing journey. We want to thank you for receiving us with open arms. We’re truly blessed to mark this momentous occasion and look forward to amazing things. We’re planning to add some new components in 2013 and will need your continued support. Great things are happening in Omaha and across our region and country. We are focused on chronicling and telling the story of a full Revival among African-Americans across the nation! Thank you for joining us on the journey. We thank God for His incredible blessings, grace and mercy. Now is the Time for a Full Revival! See you in 2013! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Sincerely,

Willie D. Barney President/Publisher Revive! Omaha Magazine

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©2012 Revive! Omaha Magazine

community calendar Saturday, December 29, 2012

Principle: Ujamaa/Cooperative Economics Adult Kwanzaa Program with Story Actor Idu Maduli Location: Charles B Washington Library 2868 Ames Ave. Time: 2 pm Contact: 402-444-4849

December 25, 2012

Revive! Omaha Magazine wishes you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

December 26, 2012 to January 1, 2013 Kwanzaa 2012 – A Celebration of Family, Culture and Community

Wednesday, December 26, 2012 Principle: Umoja/Unity Location: Charles B. Washington Library, 2868 Ames Ave. Time: 6 pm to 8:30 pm Contact: 402-444-4849 Feature: African Culture Connection and Kwanzaa Ceremony with Idu Maduli, Kwanzaa Feast after the ceremony

Cooperative Economics Presentation Featuring: Dell Gines, Senior Policy Advisor Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Location: Love Jazz and Art Center, 2510 N 24th Street Time: 1 pm to 3 pm Contact: 402-502-5291

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Empowerment Network presents… 2013 Kick-off Community Meeting & Pledge for PEACE Rally! 8:45 am to 11:30 am North High School – Viking Center Working Together to Transform Omaha into a Great City in Every Zip Code and Neighborhood

January 17, 2013 to January 25, 2013

Thursday, December 27, 2012

MLK Week 2013 Presented by City of Omaha in partnership with the Empowerment Network, Revive! Omaha Magazine and other community partners

Players for Peace Basketball Tournament Location: Blackburn Alternative High School Gymnasium 2606 Hamilton Time: 8 am to 4:30 pm Contact: Theo Peters 402-216-5861

Midlands Mentoring Summit & Awards Luncheon Double Tree Hotel Keynote Speaker: David Shapiro, President & CEO, MENTOR Visit for more information.

Principle: Kujichagulia/Self-Determination

Kid’s Kwanzaa Crafts Location: Charles B. Washington Library 2868 Ames Ave. Time: 2 pm Contact 402-444-4849 Great Plains Black History Museum and Center for Holistic Development present… Feature: Presentation on Great Plains Black History Museum and showing of the movie “Black Candle” Location: Charles B Washington Library, in the SPOT 2868 Ames Ave. Time: 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm contact 402-444-4849

Friday, December 28, 2012

Principle: Ujima/Collective Work and Responsibility Players for Peace Basketball Tournament Location: Blackburn Alternative High School Gymnasium 2606 Hamilton • 8 am to 4:30 pm • Contact: Theo Peters 402-216-5861 Kwanzaa Families Pot Luck Location: Malcolm X Center 3448 Evans Time: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm Contact 800-645-9287 You must RSVP at this number. Presented by Black Men United

Read more online at

Thursday, January 31, 2013

SATURDAY, February 9, 2012

Empowerment Network Community Meeting Bringing the 24th and Lake District Back to Life! The Reemergence of North Omaha Arts and Culture presented by the North Omaha Arts Alliance Come taste and experience the culture of North Omaha! Food, music, entertainment and all forms of art! 8:45 am to 11:30 am North High School – Viking Center

Saturday, February 16 (4:30 pm) Sunday, February 17 (4:30 pm and 7:00 pm) Rose Theater and Performing Arts Center presents: The Premiere of the Play, “The Journey” Story of Aaron Douglas, First Black graduate from the art department at UNL, 1922 written by Peggy Jones, Professor of Black Studies University of Nebraska at Omaha Performed by Young, Gifted, and Black, an ensemble of African-American youth.

REVIVE! Omaha | 3

REVIVE YOUR SPIRIT by Rev. Bruce Norris

just for Hurry, hurry, step right up See the sideshow in town for only fifty cents Step right up, hurry, hurry before the show begins, my friends Stand in line, get your tickets, I hope you will attend It’ll only cost you fifty cents to see What life has done to those like you and me So let the sideshow begin Hurry, hurry, step right on in Can’t afford to pass it by Guaranteed to make you cry -(Blue Magic) 4 | REVIVE! Omaha

There are many people who, for lack of a better explanation, are consumed with the pretense of appearance. They purchase items for their homes or businesses and then put them on display for everyone to see. But when you want to use them you could be met with an irritated mom, dad, or business owner explaining that these items are not for use but just for show. You know what I’m talking about? Those “decorative pillows” on the bed; those really pretty bath towels with the little balls dangling from them in the bathroom; those “good dishes” in the China cabinet; most homes have “off limits” items or items that are “just for show.” They have an actual purpose, but in actuality serve no purpose. We can parallel these just for show items to behavior in our own lives. We all have just for show areas in our lives. Just for show when we are in the business environment. Just for show when we are entertaining or being entertained. Just for show when we are in a spiritual setting. We even have just for show in our local


and national political views. We all have various “just for show” disguises that we assume depending on the situation we are experiencing. These disguises do not truly illustrate who we are, but they also serve to hide who we are not. They provide a defensive mechanism to disavow any inclination that we are not capable of projecting the perceptions that others may have of us, or the perceptions that we wish others to have of us. Ponder for a moment about what in our lives is just for show. In what areas have we put up just for shows that prevent others from knowing who we really are? Some just for show disguises may be useful or helpful, or in some instances even necessary. But do we realize the detriment to our spirit man we incur with our deception? The Bible says to ‘let our yes be yes and our no be no.’ No deception – no white lies. Nothing to detract from our integrity and our character. We are to do nothing that would cause an internal struggle with our spiritual man: the REAL man.

©2012 Revive! Omaha Magazine

Ponder for a moment about what in our lives is just for show. In what areas have we put up just for shows that prevent others from knowing who we really are? Removing our just for show should also be done with our reciprocal experiences. We should not twist a lie into the truth because it validates our sense of pride or purpose. We should not allow any influence(s) to change what we know to be truth simply so that we appear to be in agreement with those who are just for show. The book of Philippians tells us that whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. If we do these things, we can eradicate a lot in our lives that is just for show. Just for show items may look good for a while, but after a few years they lose their allure. This is also true of the just for show in our own lives. Just for show eventually reveals itself as being just that–show. And when it does, the loss of respect is very close behind. Remember, it is better to be an honest enemy than a false friend. That means it is better to be a “no-show” than a “just for show.”

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RENEW YOUR MIND by Pastor Darryl Brown

nurture redefining nature ©2012 Getty Images

Perhaps it may seem insulting for some to be required to take a course on human growth and development. By the time we have reached adulthood, we may have already taken a course on the human body, its development, and reproduction. Therefore, taking a course on this subject in college may seem redundant. For some, there is the belief that experience with our own bodies or those close to us has taught us enough about the human body, so there is no need to study it again. While both of these attitudes described my recent experience regarding taking this course at the college level, I must confess there was much I did not know. One subject covered in the class was a subject matter that many of us have probably thought about at one time or another, but lacked scientific terminology to speak of it specifically. It is the nature verses nurture topic. Nature refers to what we, genetically and/or intrinsically or biologically do as human beings. Nurture refers to what is learned behavior by way of who and what we have been around and the

6 | REVIVE! Omaha

things they have exhibited before us and/or taught us. For years, scientists have debated over what particular portion of our human activity is based on nature and what is based on nurture. While many have yet to agree on the matter, two things are conclusively true. There is a portion of our functionality that is based on genetics and/or biology and there is a part of our functionality that is based on what we have learned. Nature and nurture both affect the development of the mind directly, which in turn affects our functionality. I believe we all would agree that there are some things that we do by nature that are unhealthy. In an extreme example, some babies are born desiring alcohol or drugs because genetically, they have been introduced to it while in the womb. In such cases, doctors seek to train the child’s mind not to desire or feel the need for such things. They nurture the child’s mind to go against their genetic nature. We must note that there are some things that we engage in that are unrighteous, unhealthy, destructive, counter-productive, less than par,

damaging, and/or outright contrary to God’s will for our lives. And some of our excuses are that it is “in us.” It is “simply a part of who we are.” Romans 12:2 does not refute that fact. Paul tells us, “be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The fact that he uses words such as “transformed” and “renewing” suggests that the original state or nature of the mind is not sufficient. As a matter of fact, it is deficient. However, he lets us know that we have methods available to retrain the mind. A scientist may say it this way: you can nurture your way out of some of your nature. Remember, nurturing is what we learn from outside influences around us. Here is a question to ask yourself: What influences are surrounding me? Your influences are what nurture certain behaviors, attitudes, etc. The condition of your mind doesn’t have to be your continued condition. You can nurture your way into a new nature. Paul stated it to be so in Romans 12:2. I challenge you to evaluate what is influencing you.

©2012 Revive! Omaha Magazine


tips for a

healthy holiday season Once again the holidays are fast approaching us. Christmas parties, programs, shopping, and other seasonal activities will soon fill our calendars. It is during this busy season that we tend to overlook certain areas in our life. Far too many times, these are the areas that can make for a healthy and stress free holiday season. Here are a few tips to stay healthy and happy during this season:

GET Rest

Far too often, sleep is not placed on the top of our priority list. It is normally one of the first things we tend to overlook when we are busy; however, a good night’s rest equals a healthy mind and body. The average amount of sleep per night varies from person to person. Speak to your doctor to get a better understanding of how much sleep you and your family should be getting based

8 | REVIVE! Omaha

on your age and lifestyle. A rested body not only helps us to fight off germs, it gives us a less stressful outlook on life.

Drink water Before you head out to the holiday party, eat a small salad or fresh fruit at home along with a glass of water to keep you from splurging on those appetizers and desserts at the party.

Get the family involved in healthy eating With an extremely busy season upon us, make sure to have fresh fruits and vegetables available for your family. Washed and cut up veggies and fruits make for quick, healthy snack choices. Prepare and freeze your meals ahead of time to ensure easy healthy dinners during busy nights. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and keep those germs away.

Eat dinner as a family

Studies have shown this not only allows us to control our food portions, it enables a stronger family bond and opens up dialogue with your children. Research has also shown that family dinners have helped to improve study habits in children.

Get moving!

If the weather permits, take a walk with your family or go by yourself to clear your head. Put on an exercise or dance DVD. Let each family member choose an activity to keep it fun and for everyone to be involved. You only need to put aside 30 minutes a day to make a difference in your health. When you are out shopping, don’t take the closest parking spot. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. With these small steps, you will sneak in a few extra forms of exercise a day. By following these simple tips, you can have a healthy and stress-free holiday.

©2012 Revive! Omaha Magazine


a virtuous


©2012 Getty Images

(Reprinted with permission from the Omaha World Herald)

As we think about the phrase “reclaim your family” it’s a reminder that virtuous fathers are a crucial part of the family. A good father is such a blessing as his role in the family is enormously important. Too often, for African Americans, we don’t hear nearly enough about the amazing black fathers in the home who love the Lord, their wives, and children. A good example is Shaun Francisco. He and his wife Tammy have two daughters and a son. They are a loving family, and both parents work diligently to provide for their loved offspring. Their children are involved in church, school, and other worthwhile activities, and mom and dad are a great support system to them. When their daughter ASha turned 16 years old, her father wanted to do something very special for her. The sixteenth birthday is such a milestone; he wanted to make it unforgettable. So he decided to take her on a father-daughter date. Shaun wanted to introduce his daughter to the way she should expect to be treated by her dates as she got older. He wanted to emphasize respect, attentiveness, great conversation, and basically make her feel like the queen that she is. His goal was to set the standard of value for a date with a young man so his daughter would have the values to compare future dates. Of course, there were some extra perks included on this date since he was her dad and it was her birthday! So on that evening, father and daughter dressed in their best attire as mom took photos. Dad presented his daughter with heart-shaped diamond earrings (her birthstone is a diamond) and both their eyes welled-up as she expressed her genuine happiness and appreciation for the gift. 10 | REVIVE! Omaha

©2012 Revive! Omaha Magazine

And who better than fathers can teach their daughters how gentlemen should treat ladies? After they walked to the car, he opened the door for her and helped her into the vehicle. As they drove to the Old Market, they marveled over the beautiful night. There were many people in the area so they had an opportunity to park the car fairly far away and walk arm in arm to the restaurant. Dad walked on the street side of the sidewalk, again demonstrating what she should expect from future dates. When they entered the restaurant,

his attention was on his daughter. There was no texting, cell-phone conversations, or IPods being used. He demonstrated the art of pleasant conversation on a dinner date. The two talked about school, boys, friends, and politics. And as Shaun looked across the table at his daughter, he realized that his baby was growing up into a beautiful young lady.

When the date ended, ASha gave her father a huge hug and a kiss. It was a blessed night for the both of them.

After dinner and a birthday dessert, Shaun surprised his daughter by presenting her with a diamond ring.

And who better than fathers can teach their daughters how gentlemen should treat ladies? ASha will no doubt remember that enchanted evening for as long as she lives. And the memory will always have a special place in her heart.

Filled with excitement, ASha was left speechless. This was an unbelievable night for her. She hated to see the evening end. For Shaun, the evening wasn’t over. He had one more surprise for his daughter. He took her to see a play she had expressed an interest in, after having told her the play was sold out. As they walked into the theater, they saw many family and friends. The attention ASha received was overwhelming. Shaun ushered her to their seats where they both enjoyed the play.

When young women are taught how they should be treated on a date, they can keep their standards high. And in the long run, they are rewarded by young men treating them with respect.

ABOUT THE WRITER Janice Gilmore Janice Gilmore is a motivational and inspirational speaker. She is a native of Omaha and currently writes a highly read bi-weekly column for the Omaha World Herald.

CONNECT WITH WHAT’S NEXT IN GRADUATE SCHOOL. Lashonna Kadavy, Class of 2010 | Taha Kapadia, Class of 2012 Master of Science in Management Information Systems

Did you know? UNO Graduate Studies offers the most competitive tuition rates in the Omaha area and provides a multitude of funding sources to help finance education. | | 402-554-2341


©2012 Getty Images

Most of us want to have a good reputation and want to be remembered long after we are gone. Ask yourself what do you want to be remembered for? What kind of legacy are you creating? Whether or not you intentionally create a legacy, you are still creating one by how you live and by what you do. I challenge you to live a positive life—giving life that creates the kind of legacy that you want to be remembered for.

Food For Thought

Make a conscious effort to live well, do well, and treat others well. Make a positive impact everywhere you go. Live a life of excellence. Remember that where you are, is not where you are going. When you are trying to get ahead in life, remember that delay is not denial. When you fall, get back up and keep going.

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When facing obstacles, realize that God will use them to promote you. Do not let your heredity stop your destiny. Choose to see the blessings in your life. When you live well and see the blessings in your life, then you are positioned to create a legacy for yourself. Here are six steps for creating a leadership legacy.

Put God First When you put God first, everything else will fall into place. The Bible tells us to seek the kingdom of God first and then everything else will fall in line. Far too often we put our job first, or another entity instead of God. The Lord wants to be first place in your life. Not only that, but you should allow Him to take control of your life. Putting God first is a part of creating a great legacy.

Make Family The 2nd Top Priority Many of us say that our family is one of our top priorities. Saying that our family is priority is one thing, but actually treating them as a priority is another. In fact, many parents and spouses do not actually practice giving their mate or kids top priority. If your children were asked whether or not they feel that they are a priority, what would they say? What would your spouse or significant other say? Would they say your career is more important? Would they say that your friends are more important? Make your family feel that they are very important to you. You have to tell them and show them. That is a part of creating your legacy.

©2012 Revive! Omaha Magazine


creating a lasting LEGACY

Treat Others With Dignity And Respect Another important part of creating a legacy is how we treat others. We should treat others with dignity and respect, no matter who they are. From the president of the company to the person cleaning the bathroom, both deserve respect. All too often we treat people by how they look. The challenge is to be consistent in treating others well and to do the right thing even when the right thing is not being done to you.

Create Balance In Your Life

Make time for all of the important areas of your life. We make time for the commitments that are on our calendar. Put yourself on your calendar and schedule your family time too. Whether it is time for a family movie, yoga, meditation, relaxing alone, pampering time or just reading a book, put it on your calendar. Plan some “me” time too. Take time to do something nice for yourself and put it on your calendar. I schedule time on the calendar for prayer,

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morning workouts at 6:00 AM, family time, lunch with my daughters, and date night with my husband. In a university commencement address several years ago, Brian Dyson, CEO of Coca Cola Enterprises, spoke of the relation of work to one’s other responsibilities: Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them—work, family, health, friends and spirit—and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon see that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls—family, health, friends and spirit—are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. You must strive for balance in your life. Having balance in your life is a part of creating a great legacy.

Count Your Blessings

Be thankful for what you have. We are often told not to count our blessings. I believe you should stop and count your blessings. Be thankful for what you do have and for how God has blessed you. Be thankful for your family, your health,

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e: 0 ChalleEng Omaha 36 R PEAC PLEDGE FO inary rd g Extrao Becomin ition ship Ed Leader

Make Time To Help Someone Else Regularly Creating a legacy involves helping others. Everyone must ask for help at some point along the journey of life, but each person also has an inborn need to serve others. The Bible tells us in Matthew that as you have done to the least of these, you have done unto me also. Those are great words to live by. Make it your aim to help someone on a regular basis. Creating a great legacy has to be intentional. You can create a great legacy for yourself by adopting these six steps. Make a conscious effort to consistently put God first, make family your next priority, treat everyone with dignity and respect, create a balanced life, count your blessings and be a blessing to others, and make time to help someone else. When you do this, you will have a great legacy.



An African-American Lifestyle and Community Empowerment Magazine

Spirit, Mind & Body

Unite & Transform:

gers: ChssirionsforRChoandging the System

job, car, home, and friends. A part of creating a legacy includes being thankful. When you count your blessings, you will bless others.

Working Together to Transform Omaha Into a GREAT City in Every Neighborhood

Empower North Omaha

Rebuilding the Village... Block by Block


African-American Empowerment Network:

vIEw Coming Together O RE ITY PHOT inside and Moving Forward COMMUN and calendar

North Omaha Collaborative Elected Officials

Empowerment Network 5th Anniversary Edition


it’s been 5 years!

In February 2013, Revive! Omaha Magazine will celebrate our five year anniversary. It has been an amazing journey. We want to thank you for receiving us with open arms. We’re truly blessed to mark this momentous occasion and look forward to even greater things ahead. Please contact us to advertise in the edition which will highlight many of the positive changes and major events that have taken place over the past five years. We will also take time to cast a new vision for the next five years. Please call 402-490-5627 or e-mail us at


planning for YEAR-END

©2012 Ryan McVay


2012 began with great uncertainty over federal tax policy and now, with the end of the year approaching, that uncertainty appears to be far from any long-term resolution. A host of reduced tax rates, credits, deductions, and other incentives (collectively called the “Bush-era” tax cuts) are scheduled to expire after December 31, 2012. At the same time, the federal government will be under sequestration, which imposes acrossthe-board spending cuts after 2012.

Expiring Incentives

Effective January 1, 2013, the individual income tax rates, without further Congressional action, are scheduled to increase across-the-board, with the highest rate jumping from 35 percent to 39.6 percent. The current 10 percent rate will expire and marriage penalty relief will sunset. Additionally, the current tax-favorable capital gains and dividends tax rates (15 percent for taxpayers in the 25 percent bracket rate and above, and zero percent for all other taxpayers) are scheduled to expire. Higher income taxpayers will also be subject to revived limitations on itemized deductions and their personal exemptions. The child tax credit, one of the most popular incentives in the Tax Code,

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will be cut in half. Millions of taxpayers would be liable for the alternative minimum tax (AMT) because of expiration of the AMT “patch.” Countless other incentives for individuals would either disappear or be substantially reduced after 2012. While a divided Congress may indeed act to prevent some or all of these tax increases, a year-end planning strategy that protects against “worst-case” situations may be especially wise to consider this year.

Year-End Planning

Income tax withholding. Expiration of the reduced individual tax rates will have an immediate impact. Income tax withholding on payrolls will immediately reflect the increased rates. One strategy to avoid being surprised in 2013 is to adjust your income tax withholding. Keep in mind that the current two percent payroll tax holiday is also scheduled to expire after 2012, so it is a good time to review if you are having too much or too little federal income tax withheld from your pay. As mentioned, traditional year-end planning techniques should be considered along with some variations on those strategies.

©2012 Revive! Omaha Magazine

Instead of shifting income into a future year, taxpayers may want to recognize income in 2012, when lower tax rates are available, rather than shift income to 2013. Another valuable year-end strategy is to “run the numbers” for regular tax liability and AMT liability. Taxpayers may want to explore if certain deductions should be more evenly divided between 2012 and 2013, and which deductions may qualify, or will not be as valuable, for AMT purposes.

Harvesting Losses

Now is also a good time to consider tax loss harvesting strategies to offset current gains or to accumulate losses to offset future gains (which may be taxed at a higher rate). The first consideration is to identify whether an investment qualifies for either a short-term or long-term capital gains status, because you must first balance short-term gains with short-term losses and long-term ones with long-term losses. Remember also that the “wash sale rule” generally prohibits you from claiming a taxdeductible loss on a security if you repurchase the same or a substantially identical asset within 30 days of the sale.

Education Expenses

Taxpayers with higher educational expenses may want to consider the scheduled expiration of the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) after 2012 in their plans. The AOTC (an enhanced version of the HOPE education credit) reaches the sum of 100 percent of the first $2,000 of qualified expenses and 25 percent of the next $2,000 of qualified expenses, subject to income limits. If possible, pre-paying 2013 educational

expenses before year-end 2012 could make the expenses eligible for the AOTC before it expires. Another popular education tax incentive, the Lifetime Learning Credit, is not scheduled to expire after 2012.

Job Search Expenses

Some expenses related to a job search may be tax deductible. There is one important limitation: the expenses must be spent on a job search in your current occupation. You may not deduct expenses you incur while looking for a job in a new occupation. Examples of job search expenses are unreimbursed employment and outplacement agency fees you pay while looking for a job in your present occupation. Travel expenses to look for a new job may be deductible. The amount of job search expenses that you can claim on your tax return is limited. You can claim the amount of expenses only to the extent that they, together with other “miscellaneous” deductions, exceed two percent of your adjusted gross income.

Charitable Giving

For many individuals, charitable giving is also a part of their year-end tax strategy. Under current law, the so-called “Pease limitation” (named for the member of Congress who sponsored the law) is scheduled to be revived after 2012. The Pease limitation generally requires higher income individuals to reduce their tax deductions by certain amounts, including their charitable deduction. A special rule for contributing IRA assets to a charity by individuals age 70½ and older expired after 2011, but could be renewed for 2012.

Kwanzaa 2012

Join the Celebration of Family, Culture and Community Wednesday, December 26, 2012 • Principle: Umoja/Unity Charles B. Washington Library, 2868 Ames Ave. • 6 pm to-8:30 pm • 402-444-4849 Feature: African Culture Connection and Kwanzaa Ceremony with Idu Maduli, Kwanzaa Feast after the ceremony Thursday, December 27, 2012 Principle: Kujichagulia/Self-Determination • Players for Peace Basketball Tournament Location: Blackburn Alternative High School Gymnasium 2606 Hamilton • 8 am-4:30 pm • Theo Peters 402-216-5861 Thursday, December 27, 2012 • 2 pm • Kid’s Kwanzaa Crafts Charles B. Washington Library 2868 Ames Ave. • 402-444-4849

See the Revive! Omaha calendar for additional Kwanzaa events.

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Thursday, December 27, 2012 • 6:00 pm-8:30 pm Great Plains Black History Museum and Center for Holistic Development presents… Presentation on Great Plains Black History Museum and showing of the movie “Black Candle” Charles B Washington Library, 2868 Ames Ave. • 402-444-4849

REVIVE! Omaha | 15


Christmas in theVillage at 24th and Lake

“amazing! ” “outstanding! ” “wonderful! ” “unbelievable! ” “This is who we are.” “This is the Village! ”

- Comments from parents and others who attended Christmas in the Village!

On the morning of Saturday, December 1, 2012, businesses wrapped poles with holiday ribbons and brought out the big brooms to clean and clear the way for shoppers and visitors. Sound systems were set-up, pumping the sounds of Christmas music up and down North 24th Street. Ribbons were attached to poles, tables set up, volunteers and vendors in place, hot chocolate brewing, and the final touch - a special chair for Soul Santa and gifts for children transported into position. 24th and Lake, a re-emerging arts, culture and entertainment district was ready for the 2nd year of Christmas in the Village. And then, God smiled on North Omaha, providing 50 degree weather. Christmas in the Village at 24th and Lake St. is an Empowerment Network community event in partnership with over 80 companies and organizations. It is a great example of collaboration at its best. In just its second year, the event attracted over 2,000 participants to the heart of North Omaha. This exciting holiday event is a part of the on-going North Omaha Village Zone Revitalization and the rebirth of the arts, culture, and entertainment district at 24th and Lake. The goal of the North Omaha Village Zone Revitalization Plan is to connect North Omaha’s rich history to a thriving and sustainable future. For young and “seasoned” visitors, it was a day to remember. The smiles. The handshakes. The hugs. The laughter. The music. The food. And, the fear…you know the kind when a 1 year old looks up at Santa, excited, but suddenly frozen and scared to death. This is North Omaha and Omaha at its finest. Families, friends, neighbors and residents from all over the city, came together

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©2012 Revive! Omaha Magazine

to enjoy the festivities of the village. There was a time when these days were not just one day events. People of all incomes and backgrounds, living together, working together, shopping together, eating together, supporting each other and just plain having fun together on a daily basis. That is the vision of the future and the reason why so much energy, discussions, planning, work and finally preliminary financial investments have been going into the 24th and Lake district. The traditional heart and soul of the African-American and North Omaha neighborhood provides the launching pad and can be another catalyst for the continued rebirth of the community. Christmas in the Village is a visual experience and illustration of what’s possible when we work together and focus on our most important assets, our children and families. Building on our cultural strengths, the vision that we’re committed to is connecting the rich history of 24th and Lake to a thriving and sustainable future! Joy. Peace. Love. They were all present on this day. Christmas in the Village will be an annual event held on the first Saturday of December. We have already tagged it as a holiday tradition and community celebration. That is exactly what it is. Think about the memories that have been created for our children. Coming down to North 24th Street and seeing a Soul Santa and receiving an early Christmas present - priceless! Children eating cotton candy, popcorn and candy canes. Decorating their own cookie and receiving a gift bag from a little elf that looked like them. Playing mini-golf, computer games and old school holiday games. Getting their face painted and receiving a free balloon. Riding in a horse drawn carriage straight down 24th Street. Using their hands to create a piece of art and receiving a candy cane from a police officer. The opportunity to see a camel, donkey and a real life nativity scene. Wow, to be a kid again and experience it from their perspective. One day they will be able to bring their children down and tell them about all of the things they did back in 2012.

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The adults along with the kids were able to enjoy original holiday jazz creations and traditional Christmas songs from some of Omaha’s top artists; the Last Few, Dani Cleveland, Doriette Jordan and spirit-filled church choirs, steppers, and other singing groups. Doing some Christmas shopping and supporting unique North Omaha artists and businesses such as Styles of Evolution, 4 Real Wireless-Boost Mobile and others. Eating delicious food from North Omaha restaurants including Big Mama’s Kitchen, Chef Mike’s Café, Brotato’s, Ty’s Amazing Southern Cuisine, Black Bottom Biscotti, Chi-town Chicken, and Skeet’s Bar-B-Q. Seeing childhood friends, making new friends, and meeting neighbors from across the city. And, don’t let them fool you, they enjoyed the hot chocolate, carriage rides, candy canes, camels and games, too. In addition to everyone having a great family time, one of the main goals is to generate commerce and support for businesses in North Omaha. In order for the community to thrive, we must have successful small and large businesses.

One of the businesses in the 24th and Lake District informed us that their sales quadrupled as a result of Christmas in the Village. They generated 4 times what they did the year before! Think about implications. Imagine being able to have these opportunities available in North Omaha, not just once, twice or three times a year, but weekly, if not daily. This is the future that is before us. It will not happen overnight, but it doesn’t have to take another 40 years either. It won’t be easy, but together, in collaboration, working together, supporting each other, rising above our differences and focusing on our children and families with great focus and consistency, we can make it happen. We can accelerate the pace of change in our community. God has given us everything we need. As George Fraser says it, “all we need now is each other.” On behalf of the Empowerment Network and all 80 plus community partners, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and let’s make 2013 the best yet.

REVIVE! Omaha | 17

Omaha Rewind

Empowerment network african-american leadership conference

Empowerment network african-american leadership conference Photos by Surreal Media

Empowerment network african-american leadership conference

Empowerment network african-american leadership conference

Empowerment network african-american leadership conference leadership conference panel session

Photos by Surreal Media

leadership conference panel session

18 | REVIVE! Omaha

leadership conference panel session

leadership conference panel session

Š2012 Revive! Omaha Magazine

a review in pictures... AAYP leadership conference Photos by Surreal Media

AAYP leadership conference Photos by Surreal Media

AAYP leadership conference Photos by Surreal Media

AAYP leadership conference Photos by Surreal Media

AAYP leadership conference Photos by Surreal Media

100 black men


100 black men midwest regional conference



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REVIVE! Omaha | 19

Omaha Rewind OEDC’s Fair Deal Urban Village GroundBreaking

OEDC’s Fair Deal Urban Village GroundBreaking

conestoga place 25 year anniversary

conestoga place 25 year anniversary

conestoga place 25 year anniversary

conestoga place 25 year anniversary

benedict club Photos by Lovely Nai

benedict club Photos by Lovely Nai benedict club Photos by Lovely Nai

north high school championship

benedict club Photos by Lovely Nai

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©2012 Revive! Omaha Magazine

christmas in the village photos by surreal media

a review in pictures...

christmas in the village christmas in the village

christmas in the village

urban league equal opportunity luncheon ©2012 Dotkom Studios Photography

urban league equal opportunity luncheon ©2012 Dotkom Studios Photography

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urban league equal opportunity luncheon ©2012 Dotkom Studios Photography

urban league equal opportunity luncheon ©2012 Dotkom Studios Photography

REVIVE! Omaha | 21

Chris Rodgers:


CHANGING THE SYSTEM measurable impact

through partnership

and negotiation

Born and raised in East St. Louis, Illinois, Chris Rodgers knows what it is like to live and grow up in a tough external environment. It is one of the things that fuels his passion to make real and tangible changes in urban America. Rising from one of the poorest—and at the time—most notoriously violent communities in America, Chris Rodgers is now the Douglas County Commissioner representing District 3 that covers North Omaha and surrounding neighborhoods and President of the National Association of County (NACo). Over the past few years, without much fanfare or recognition, Rodgers has been working with others to lead efforts to address and reform the juvenile justice system. He loves his district of North Omaha and he is quietly changing one of the institutions that has unfortunately snagged too many of his young constituents. Marian Wright-Edelman has labeled it the “cradle to prison pipeline.” It has led to the U.S. having the highest rate of incarceration of any nation in the world. Standing at 6'7", Rodgers is hard to miss in a crowd, yet most of his hard work goes unnoticed because he focuses on strategically making important systems changes that positively impact hundreds, if not thousands of lives, especially African-American young men and women. Revive! Omaha Magazine is blessed with the opportunity to share more about this behind the scenes change agent. 22 | REVIVE! Omaha

©2012 Revive! Omaha Magazine

The Early Years

As a young child, Rodgers experienced firsthand what it meant to be surrounded by poverty and unemployment. His hometown was once the poster child for all that had gone wrong in urban America. “I didn’t realize what East St. Louis was until I left and came back. It was all I knew,” said Rodgers. “I have and still have great pride in my hometown, but my circumstances didn’t really hit me until I came back to the city after being at Creighton.” Rodgers grew up in a strong and stable, two-parent household. His father, James, had moved from Morehead, Mississippi and worked in a factory until it closed and relocated. Rather than uproot his family, Rodgers decided to stay in East St. Louis and made the switch to construction. Rodgers’ mother, Maggie, completed secretarial training and was the administrative aide to the director of a local college campus, connecting family and neighbors to important educational opportunities. Rodgers was able to successfully navigate through the challenges that plagued his home city and devastated his community. Surrounded by difficult external conditions, Rodgers grew up in a time period where adults didn’t allow the physical surroundings to limit the dreams and aspirations of youth. Like many African-Americans, Rodgers was positively impacted by his extended family including his grandparents, aunts and uncles. After the loss of high paying manufacturing jobs, some family members took negative routes; but they made sure that Rodgers stayed on the right path. “They wouldn’t let me get involved in anything negative. They knew my mother and father weren’t going to have it.” Rodgers was also challenged by some of the same stereotypes that exist today. As a young student, it wasn’t cool or popular to carry books home from school, but Rodgers’ mother would not let him follow the crowd. “She told me to bring a book home every day whether I had homework Read more online at

or not. One day I forgot to bring a book home and she sent me back to school. I had to knock on the glass to get a custodian’s attention, just to get my book. It only took one time walking all the way back to school before I got the idea she was serious,” Rodgers said, recalling the incident like it just happened yesterday. “My mother’s influence still impacts me today. I’m always carrying a book or reading something even to this day.”

High School and College Years

While in middle and high school, Rodgers played basketball and was a solid student in the classroom by following his mother’s advice. He can point to specific decisions that have made a major impact on his life, like choosing to go out for basketball in 6th grade even when his friends decided not to try. He also points to making the most of whatever you have and not being afraid to take risks. This point is probably best illustrated with his first significant basketball try out. Not aware of the date for basketball tryouts, Rodgers showed up in dress pants, dress shoes and a sweater when he was told that the last day of tryouts was that day. After removing his sweater, he did what he had to do, shooting jump shots and running the court in dress shoes. Despite the lack of proper clothing, he made the team. He went on in high school to become a state champion and an honorable mention McDonald’s All-American. It’s that type of determination and focus that has helped Rodgers in many key situations throughout his life. In his neighborhood, going to college seemed like a far away dream for most African-Americans; but with support and reinforcement from his parents, family and friends, he received a scholarship to play basketball at Creighton University. It’s important to note that he chose Creighton University because they were one of the only schools that emphasized class size, availability of academic counseling, and made it clear that he would graduate if he worked

As a young student, it wasn’t cool or popular to carry books home from school, but Rodgers’ mother would not let him follow the crowd. She insisted on him bringing a book home from school every day. hard and did his part. While playing basketball for Creighton, he was part of two conference championships and NCAA qualifying teams in 1989 and 1991. After a knee injury ended dreams of becoming a professional athlete, Rodgers moved on to what he called “Plan B”, focusing even more intensively on his studies. He achieved a significant milestone by graduating from Creighton University with a degree in Journalism. It was especially meaningful to Rodgers because he had seen many great athletes from his home town go to college, only to return months later unable to adjust to college life and the academic rigor. He had always said to himself, “If I get the chance, I will make the most of it and I won’t come back.” Armed with his journalism degree, education and passion, he set out to make a difference in the world. He had long held visions of having a positive impact in the community. (continued next page…) REVIVE! Omaha | 23

Entering the World of Politics

He had been inspired to study journalism because of his love for Hip Hop. Beyond basketball, inspired by MTV’s Fab Five Freddy, his dream was to be an onscreen television journalist and make enough money to start a foundation. After short stints at the Omaha World-Herald and an advertising agency, Rodgers got his first taste of politics and community leadership. He had the opportunity to work alongside Lonnie Michael, Sonny Foster, Brenda Council, Carole Woods Harris and other political leaders. He was exposed to some of Omaha’s most powerful and influential AfricanAmerican leaders and absolutely loved it. “I wanted to do whatever it took to get in that room where the “big decisions” were made. I was amazed at the relationships and experiences that connected them. Sonny, George Dillard from the Urban League, Brenda, Bob Kerrey, Ben Nelsonthat’s how I got the itch for politics.” He helped with a number of political campaigns. Then, realizing he needed to get more business training, Rodgers went back to school to complete a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from

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Creighton. By this time he had gained more work experience at the Omaha Small Business Network and became a Director of Community Outreach at the United Way. In addition to his work schedule and growing involvement in political campaigns, Rodgers was asked to be the treasurer for the Douglas County Democratic Party. This added even more fuel to his fire as he learned the internal workings of how money flowed within campaigns and within a political party. From there, he became an avid and dedicated student of the political process and structure and mechanics of government. “I would watch hours and hours of CSPAN. I watched the discussions on the floor. I watched Meet the Press and Face the Nation every Sunday. I read everything I could get my hands on regarding the political process and some of America’s most prestigious political figures. In the meantime, my work at the United Way was helping me to understand how money was allocated.” In addition, Rodgers was getting exposure to the politics of how money was distributed and connected. As his interest in public policy and business grew, he decided to attend the

University of Nebraska at Omaha, earning a second Master’s Degree, this time in Public Administration. In the back of his mind, he had started to entertain the idea of going to law school. But when he tapped into the structure and process of government, he knew he had found his niché. It wasn’t until 1999, that Rodgers would become an elected official. “Throughout my life, I haven’t sought these different types of leadership positions. I have always been approached by others to consider something, but I haven’t been afraid to step out of my comfort zone to give it a try.” After being appointed to a seat on the Metropolitan Community College Board, he ran for the seat in 2000 and won his first race by 10 points. From there he assisted with Mike Fahey’s mayoral campaign and was subsequently asked to join Fahey’s staff after he was elected as Mayor. From the Mayor’s office, Rodgers was encouraged by Carole Woods-Harris to put his hat in the ring for the Douglas County Commissioner position that she was planning to vacate. Rodgers was elected with 54% of the vote and has been elected twice since that time. (continued next page…)

©2012 Revive! Omaha Magazine


Investing in People and Projects

High on the list of unsung heroes in North Omaha’s revitalization is the Omaha Economic Development Corporation (OEDC). Serving the Community since 1977, OEDC has sincerely and earnestly practiced community and economic development in North Omaha because service is central to its mission. OEDC has served because serving is the right thing to do. OEDC has more than three decades of dedicated commitment to North Omaha. No big deal, its mission is “To implement economic development projects and community revitalization programs that create housing, jobs, training, business ownership opportunities and other economic benefits for area residents.” Most recently, OEDC partnered with NIFA, the Empowerment Network, the City of Omaha and others in the development of a comprehensive North Omaha Revitalization Plan. In 2011, as a major part of the rebuilding process, OEDC constructed four new healthy, green homes in the Prospect Hills area and substantially rehabilitated The Margaret; making it the State’s first energy independent, multi-family, affordable housing complex. This year, OEDC is on the move in the Fair Deal Urban District, developing a new 40 unit multi-family complex and five new single family homes; and, partnering with the City of Omaha and the Empowerment Network to launch the Step Up Omaha Program for youth ages 14-24. OEDC is on the move and North Omaha is Rising!

Omaha Economic Development Corporation

Michael B. Maroney, President • 2221 North 24 Street • Omaha

(402) 346-2300 •

Changing the System from Inside Out

Over the past eight years as a Commissioner, his areas of focus have been juvenile justice, community corrections and health. Rodgers has worked to push for a full assessment of the juvenile justice system in Douglas County. Data shows that Douglas County and the State of Nebraska have some of the highest rates of incarceration in the country. And like most urban areas, African-Americans are overrepresented within the population. Rodgers has pressed for change by working closely with the Board of Commissioners, law enforcement, justice experts, community leaders and residents, and with the active support of Senator Brad Ashford and Senator Brenda Council at the state level. One of the initial areas of focus was the overcrowding at the Douglas County Youth Detention Center. After extensive task force work, the all-time high of approximately 200+ youths has been reduced to the high 90’s. Before the task force, the average number of days for youth in the center had skyrocketed. The best solution to reduce the amount of time that kids were waiting in jail was to keep them out of the system. Rodgers has been a significant player with the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI). It is already beginning to produce process changes. Rodgers has consistently worked to address the concerns of ex-offenders reentering society. As the leader of the privately funded Transformation Project at UNO, Rodgers worked to help remove barriers for ex-offenders as they tried to move towards productive lives. The Project was adopted by the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services and the experiences are being used to fuel the development of a more comprehensive and sustainable reentry strategy. He has championed Douglas County’s Reentry efforts and advocated for the 2nd Chance Reentry Funding on a regional and national level.

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As one of the original members of the Empowerment Network’s Economic and Crime Prevention Covenant Teams, Rodgers has been a key advocate as the violence prevention group evolved into the Omaha 360 Collaboration. The Omaha 360 plan is now officially recognized by the City of Omaha, Douglas County, and state Office of Violence Prevention. Rodgers and Commissioner Mary Ann Borgeson have encouraged the county to partner with the Network and as a result, the Omaha 360 violence intervention and prevention plan has been officially adopted as the youth violence strategy for the county. Recently, County Commissioners and City Council, led by Borgeson and Councilman Ben Gray, have signed a resolution in support of the Omaha 360 Challenge: Pledge for Peace and are currently examining additional ways to actively partner to reduce violence in the city and county. Regarding health issues, Rodgers has worked with the health department to focus efforts on improving Access to Healthy Foods and addressing the STD/ HIV crisis in Omaha. Research has shown that North Omaha is what’s considered a food desert where it’s difficult to find fresh fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods. The Douglas County Health Department worked with community partners to establish school and community gardens and partnered with the Empowerment Network to transform eight existing food outlets into healthy neighborhood corner stores. The stores expanded healthy merchandise that has been well received by North and South Omaha residents. While there’s still much more work to do with access to healthy foods and the STD/HIV crisis, Rodgers and the County have been active partners in the community efforts to address both. Rodgers will be the first to admit that a focused and properly funded effort to significantly address the STD epidemic is still needed. Previous efforts have suffered from a lack of funding.

Community Engagement

Rodgers’ work in the community doesn’t stop with his position as commissioner. He continues to play significant roles in small and large scale collaborative efforts throughout the city and county. His past and current board involvement includes: The Omaha Sports Commission, Omaha Health Kids Alliance, Heartland Workforce Solutions, and United Way of the Midlands He has been recognized with several local and regional awards, including the Omaha Jaycees 10 Outstanding Young Omahans’ in 1997 and the African-American Leadership Award. He has worked with City Councilman Ben Gray and State Senator Brenda Council on the Historical Grants Committee, funding the Malcolm X Foundation purchase of its headquarters building and supported many other organizations including, but not limited to the Love’s Jazz and Arts Center, Great Plains Black History Museum, John Beasley Theater and Juneteenth Nebraska. He’s an active member and supporter of Urban League of Nebraska, Empowerment Network, 100 Black Men, and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. A strong advocate for education, Rodgers has provided leadership for the OPS Student Accountability Committee and he consistently takes time to present positive role models to our children through his work with the Black Male Summit hosted by the Urban League of Nebraska, 100 Black Men and Empowerment Network. He frequently participates as a panelist and speaker in many community meetings. Rodgers has also been active with Building Bright Futures and other education initiatives.

Commitment to Family A devoted family man, Rodgers has been married to his wife, Sharlon, for 11 years. Sharlon is a Service Leader at Methodist Hospital and also has a strong commitment for working in the community. She has consistently led efforts to improve the health outcomes

©2012 Revive! Omaha Magazine

in North Omaha and among AfricanAmerican women. Their family attends Salem Baptist church where they are both active members. While they are both strong supporters of their fraternities, sororities, and church, they are most proud of their two sons, Ellis Christopher Rodgers, seven, and Evan James Rodgers, three. As active as they both are with work and serving the community, they always take time to make sure that their children are the top priority. As a visible sign of his commitment to community and family, Chris is often seen at Saturday meetings with one or both of his sons on their way to a practice, game or school related activity.

Closing Words

“I don’t take lightly the privilege of public office. I don’t take for granted the responsibility of representing 73,000 people.” “You will always have detractors, but at the end of the day, I hope people understand, there are alternative and long-term views. The best way to set policy is to make sure everyone has their role in the system. My approach is more so the structure and policy. At the end of the day, I want to make sure people are able to get a fair shot. If you work as hard as you can, I want to make sure the system is as fair as possible for you.”

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Step up for your school. Call me for any insurance quote and Allstate will donate $10 to the Tom Joyner Foundation to support students at HBCUs. Then vote for your school to help them win a $50,000 bonus donation from Allstate. James Stinson (402) 498-2718 719 N. 132nd St. Omaha, NE, 68514

Quote today. And spread the word! No purchase necessary. For each quote received, $10 will benefit the Tom Joyner Foundation, maximum donation $150,000. The historically black college or university (HBCU) with the most votes will be awarded a separate $50,000 donation. Program begins August 1, 2012 and ends December 31, 2012. THIS PROMOTION IS NOT AVAILABLE IN ALASKA, MAINE, MASSACHUSETTS, NEW YORK, NORTH CAROLINA AND UTAH. Tom Joyner Foundation name and rights are used with permission which in no way constitutes an endorsement, expressed or implied, of any product, service, company or individual. © 2012 Allstate Insurance Company

REVIVE! Omaha | 27

it’s the system man…

something is wrong with the system. Today’s economic situation and the state of the African-American community are creating a feeling of deja vu. It’s reminiscent of a scene from a movie, where a brother from the street stands up and says, “There’s something wrong with the system, man, there’s something wrong with the system.” Back then it was made to sound humorous and to others it seemed like an excuse. It seemed as if someone didn’t want to take responsibility for changing his own circumstances. It was hard to accept the “there’s something wrong with the system “ argument, when previous generations had done whatever it took to assure every new generation surpassed the previous one. But now, it’s become obvious that the brother on the corner was on to something. 28 | REVIVE! Omaha

It seems everywhere I go these days, across the country, people are beginning to admit that something is wrong. They don’t always say it’s the system, but now we have groups focused on policy, structural racism, and other terms like opportunity indexing. When you boil most of the complex models and case studies down, you will find a common theme, “something is wrong with the system.” Yes, personal responsibility still has its place. We are still in control of much of our destiny, especially when we each do our part and just as importantly, we work together on a common vision and mission. Even in the face of the darkest realities, we have always come together to surpass what was expected of us. We have overcome slavery. We have overcome lack of voting rights and

legal segregation. We have overcome doubts about our ability to participate and lead in sports and run successful businesses. We have always been a race of people that have overachieved through persistence, intelligence, hard work, collaboration, and faith. Even with structural obstacles in our way, it’s vitally important despite any situational condition or circumstance that we do our part. What I mean by that, is that we must read to our children, become members of our neighborhood association, participate actively in the voting process, support stores in our neighborhoods, become mentors and coaches, and attend school board and council meetings to voice our concerns and offer solutions. Even when we didn’t have more than dimes and dreams, we still took care of ©2012 Revive! Omaha Magazine


by Willie Barney

business and took care of each other. We can’t be the world’s most conspicuous consumers while producing and selling less than 5% of the goods and services in our own community. We must save a percentage of our income whether it’s a little or a lot. We need to support businesses in our community. We have to invest in things that accrue in value, instead of things that lose value immediately. We need to clean up our neighborhoods and make sure that trash doesn’t accumulate. As adults, we must model better behaviors before our children. And, though it’s a touchy subject, we must address the high percentage of our children (75%) born to unwed parents. There are things that we must address to help improve ourselves and help our community. When we work together to use what is in our hands and pool our resources, we can reverse many negative trends and over time make measurable, tangible change in our communities. Addressing these issues and working together to develop and implement these solutions will have a significant impact on our community. In addition, there is a growing consensus and acknowledgement that we didn’t get in this position by ourselves. Whether intentional or not, systems, policies, laws, and structures have been put in place that have made it increasingly difficult for people of color and people from specific geographic areas that have severely limited pathways to success and “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” This is not to say that people cannot overcome poverty, lack of education, unemployment or living in a violent neighborhood, but research and data is increasingly showing the repercussions of being raised in neighborhoods that do not have access to healthy foods or adequate health care, schools that are not fully preparing students for success, urban areas lacking livingwage employment opportunities, neighborhoods with high levels of violence, and homes with excessive levels of environmental issues. 40+ years after the successes of the civil rights movement, in most urban areas, AfricanRead more online at

Americans are still living the reality of the “tale of two cities” and the enduring “separate, but not equal” status. We should have paid more attention when the comment “there is something wrong with the system” was echoed more loudly in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. These street philosophers and social justice advocates were on to something. While politicians and others were quick to accuse African-Americans of not having family values, laziness, poor work ethic and so many other unflattering and untrue descriptions, what they missed were some of the underlying causes of the family and community breakdown—high unemployment and underemployment. If we closely examine the trends and rates of employment and unemployment in urban areas, we will see a direct correlation with violence, drug use, the breakdown of the family, and a rise in other social issues. Most have argued that the breakdown of the family created the environment of violence and unemployment. I would suggest that structural racism, disinvestment, lack of access to employment, and the flight of white and black residents from our urban communities have led to many of the social issues that we are facing today. Dr. john powell goes so far as to say that if the nation would have paid more attention and diagnosed what was really happening to African-Americans in urban areas, we may have had more time to prevent the coming economic crisis that we are facing now. He said in a presentation that we should have realized that it was just a matter of time before the economic depression started to spread throughout our nation. Instead, the people in need became vilified and the focus shifted. The effort to address the poor people of the nation was put on hold to fight the Vietnam War. The War on Poverty turned into the War on Drugs. Funding for job training and summer jobs was reduced while investments in police, the justice system and prisons increased dramatically. The urban manufacturing economy turned into the Information Age and Service Industry and left African-American men on the sidelines. Brown vs. the

Even with structural obstacles in our way, it’s vitally important despite any situational condition or circumstance that we do our part. Board of Education and the end of legal segregation produced a massive move to the suburbs and the formation of new school districts. The movement to help African-Americans achieve economic equality turned into a successful campaign for women to enter into the workforce in record numbers. While there’s this common undertone that tells African-Americans to “get over it,” you have your civil rights, the reality is that the masses of African-Americans are no better off or marginally better off than 40 years ago. In order for Omaha and our country to be at their best, we must fully embrace solutions that address all citizens. If we fully engage all parts of our community and nation, we can turn our diversity into a competitive advantage. The future of our cities and nation rest on our ability to collaborate with people of all incomes, from all backgrounds, from all parts of our nation - urban, suburban, exurban and rural - to innovate on job creation, job training, entrepreneurship and business development, while reinvesting in education, housing, health, infrastructure and providing much needed social services for those most impacted by economic instability. REVIVE! Omaha | 29


leadership conference by Willie Barney

PHOTO BY SURREAL MEDIA On Thursday, September 27, 2012, over 270 African-American leaders gathered for the first African-American Leadership Conference held in Omaha, Nebraska. George Fraser, recently inducted into the African-American Business Hall of Fame, was the keynote speaker. The participants left inspired, encouraged and ready to continue moving forward with specific actions, strategies and solutions. Participants gave the conference rave reviews and were clearly energized by the experience. Responses included these comments: “It was one of the best days of my professional life.” “To see that number of leaders in one room, at all levels that looked like me, was incredible.” The conference attracted AfricanAmericans ranging from college students and emerging leaders to neighborhood activists and executives. They came

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from different industries and fields, including, business, faith, non-profits, neighborhoods, government, education, and others. The first year conference also attracted regional leaders from the Twin-Cities, Des Moines, St. Louis, and Kansas City. The conference featured Fraser’s keynote presentation, a panel with some of Omaha’s leading AfricanAmerican business executives, leadership and career development workshops, and community-building sessions. One of the most powerful and highly rated parts of the conference was the business leadership panel featuring Eric Butler, Executive Vice President at Union Pacific Corporation, Angela Jones – Vice President at ConAgra Foods, Sherrye Hutcherson – Vice President at OPPD, Ken Hunt – Vice President of Operations at Union Pacific Corporation, Robert Watson – General Manager at the Hilton Downtown Omaha, and Dana Washington–Assistant General

Counsel at Mutual of Omaha. The leaders shared their perspectives and answered questions on leadership, career development, what it takes to be successful in corporate Omaha, principles for advancement, challenges facing African-Americans, and strategies to build strong connections between corporations and the community work at hand. Butler and Jones have both been named by Black Enterprise magazine as some of the most powerful executives in the nation, and other panelists are the highest ranking African-American leaders in their respective businesses. Afternoon sessions featured other key business, non-profit, and faith leaders. Topics ranged from career development, communicating a compelling vision, and leading towards results to employment, entrepreneurship, cultural districts, education and urban policy. The purpose of the event was to connect African-American leaders

©2012 Revive! Omaha Magazine

within all sectors, expand the number of business professionals and young professionals engaged, identify and develop more leaders, and inspire all to continue moving forward with building their careers and advancing their communities. The final session of the day featured a well attended reception at the Hilton Omaha, an insightful panel of AfricanAmerican Young Professionals, and a final word of empowerment by George Fraser. The African-American Young Professionals shared their thoughts on bridging the gap between the generations, efforts they are making to improve the community, and expressed the need for more mentors and more opportunities like the Leadership Conference. The AAYP Engagement

Initiative was launched by Symone Sanders in partnership with the Empowerment Network six months ago. They have hosted numerous events and activities that have now included hundreds of AAYP’s. The group has hosted forums, workshops, social networking events and has been actively engaged in neighborhood outreach, presenting positive community events, and they were a key partner on the Raise the Vote! Campaign. Fraser’s third and final presentation of the day emphasized the importance of building strong relationships. He also provided the African-American Young Professionals a three part strategy to making a difference and reaching their goals. “Step Up, Ramp Up, and Speak Up,” said Fraser, “That’s what you’re doing

tonight and you need to keep doing it.” The events were presented by Revive! Omaha Magazine, African-American Young Professionals, African-American Professionals Network and the AfricanAmerican Empowerment Network. Not a typical conference, the focus of the event was to build on the success of current work in the community. “This group is about action. I could see connections being made and people making plans to do something right away,” said one of the participants. The African-American Leadership Conference is now an annual event held the last week of September. Next year’s conference will be held on Thursday, September 26 and Friday, September 27, 2013.

BEAUTILLION 2012: Our Destiny Is Not Defined For Us… But By Us! Saturday, November 24, 2012 • Mid-America Center Grand Ballroom

The Beautillion Court

BACK ROW (L to R): Nadia Williams, Najee’ Mitchell, Jordyn Carter-Johnson, Anye’ Francisco, Akil Cook, Kathleen Langley, Isaiah Austin, Brianna Nielsen, Jonathan Sanders, Kahla Barnes, Ki-Jana Moore, Antionette Herbert, Montralius Thomas, Brittany Payne, Kameron Bradford-Gamble, Amara Meeks, Kristoffer Bridges, Naki Brizendine, Chelsea Oliver, Alden Blake, De’Ja Combs, Frederick Blount, Jr., Angel Sumpter, Calvin LynCook II, Joi White, Brandon Dittiger, J’Lynn Ray, Brandon McGary II, Gabrielle Jones, DeWill Jones, Chelsea Baker, Keon McKay, Aalishiya Figures, Jaden Wrightsell, Truth Ross, Courtni Johnson MIDDLE ROW (L to R): Marquia Stogner, LaDonna Brown, Michelle Austin, Angela Sanders, Angela Moore, Denise Thomas, Kimberly Bradford, Penny Tinner, Matkesha Blake, LaDonna Logan-Blount, ShoShann LynCook, Laurel Dittiger, LaChandra Kellogg, Sebrina Taylor, Coeta Hampton, Leonna Blake, Christina Short FRONT ROW (L to R): Gervais Lessley, Jr., Reginald Gunter, Devon Thompson, Kupre Mitchell, Isaiah Merriweather-Murrell, Dinairo Walker, King Brown, Keon Blake, Calib Willis, Andres Willis

For more information, please contact us by e-mail at or

Read more online at

REVIVE! Omaha | 31



by Angela Jones, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at ConAgra

What does it mean to be extraordinary? Some may believe it’s about achieving honor or glory. Others will argue it’s about being successful in the eyes of other people. I challenge you to consider that being extraordinary is about being your very best self. Think back to a moment in your life when were so amazing that you were actually proud of yourself. It could have been a situation where even if there was a crowd cheering your name or singing your praises, you didn’t even notice because you felt so alive. You may even have been humbled as well as in awe of your accomplishment because, while you had worked so hard to reach the goal, you weren’t quite sure you could actually get there. 32 | REVIVE! Omaha

Now, think back again to that extraordinary moment. Did it affirm your sense of purpose? Were you able to use the strengths you brought to the situation to create value in the lives of others? It is important to note that value creation comes in many forms. It could be as human as causing positive feelings such as joy, peace, hope, confidence, or gratitude in someone’s life; or, it could be as tangible as closing a big deal or completing a major project on time and below budget. The key is that when you are at your very best - having an extraordinary experience – your excellent actions and outcomes are transformed into something that is bigger than that single moment or accomplishment itself.

This implies then that you can in fact be excellent, without being extraordinary. Many of us only set our goal for excellence. Trust me, excellence is indeed a noble and difficult pursuit in and of itself. Many fall short. But the standard of excellence is primarily an objective measure based on the benchmarking of those who have come before – someone was recognized as the best, and you set upon a path to do as good or better. Being excellent at something you are not passionate about. Accomplishing something that came so easy to you that you didn’t work very hard to attain it. Achieving something where you left dead bodies in your wake. Or, reaching a goal but you still came away feeling like “now, ©2012 Revive! Omaha Magazine

what do I do?” These are not paths to becoming extraordinary. Better than most? Perhaps. Excellent? Maybe. The absolute best? It doesn’t matter! Because to be extraordinary is to be your best self. When you strive to be your very best self, you do so in a pursuit without regard to obstacles. You don’t blame your circumstances – a bad boss, more responsibility than “the other guy”, a setback. In fact, you welcome the obstacles because you know the skills and experiences that you gained by overcoming them makes you just that much more amazing. I bet there are many of you who thought I was going to say “makes you stronger”. While it does, sometimes we look at strength as a burden that we have to bear – and wish things could be easier so as not to have to be stronger. But when you are amazing (and, yes, strong), you feel inspired and that inspires others. So how does one set upon a journey of becoming extraordinary? Think of it as a four step process: 1. Believe that you can be extraordinary. Think back to that amazing moment again. It doesn’t matter how big or small the accomplishment was. Remember how it made you feel about yourself. Remember how others were inspired (even if that inspiration was only reflected in a warm smile, a hug, a thank-you, or a cheer). Recall what made that moment so special. Why was it that you were at your very best in that moment? Recognize that in that moment, you may not have been the best ever … but you were at your own personal best. Then set out on a path that will allow you to achieve that feeling again, on a daily basis. For most of us who are not independently wealthy, that means pursuing a career path that allows us to sustain ourselves while not settling for a path that we can be good at – and instead going after one that will bring back that feeling of awesomeness. Note that I didn’t say “choosing” a career path. Making a career choice implies that a firm decision has been made to choose “this one” over “that one”. The “pursuit” of a career leaves the door open for change. Read more online at

And change may be a necessity in the pursuit of the extraordinary because journeys don’t always follow a straight path. 2. Stay positive. If you focus on positive emotions, you remain open to new ideas. The playfulness that comes from joy helps you imagine new possibilities. The exploration that comes from interest creates new knowledge. The self-reflection that is enabled by peace accelerates growth. Positive emotions help keep you resilient when the obstacles do come. And, they will come – because that’s a part of life. A colleague recently asked, “So, how can I keep from bringing ‘the angry Black man’ to work”? Just do it. Leave that part of you at home. Ground him! That anger closes you off. It makes it difficult to see the curve balls that might be thrown at you. So, you don’t benefit from having him (or her) show up. Moreover, the innocent by-standers don’t deserve to have to deal with Angry Man. And, those who may have released Angry Man from his cave probably couldn’t care less about him (or you). Nobody wins. More importantly, you lose. So stay positive and focused on the possibility of getting back to that feeling of amazement – when you were extraordinary, if only for that one moment before. I promise you, when you are extraordinary, pathways will open up that will enable you to rid yourself of the circumstances – or individual- that conjured up Angry Man in the first place. And it is even possible that you could be the inspiration that evokes a positive change in the circumstance – or individual – to the benefit of all. 3. Surround yourself with people that support you. That means making sure you have people in your life that will encourage you – who will think about you and your needs, first and foremost. It could be a mentor. A friend. A spouse. Sister. Uncle. And so on. But more importantly, minimize the negative, non-supportive relationships. Note that I didn’t say eliminate all of those. Lord knows we all have our share of crazy friends and family members – whom we love and adore – that are a drain challenge

to you is to be that extraordinary leader that brings out the extraordinary in those who have the courage to follow. on us, none the less. The fact remains, however, that the more positive relationships help buffer us from setbacks and stressors. 4. And finally, be ready to do the work. We all know when we really did our best versus when we only set the bar to be better than the other person. We know when we have settled because we are comfortable. We remember a few times when we lacked courage but were afraid to admit that vulnerability, so we pretended everything was fine – when in fact, we had stalled. Stay the path. Put in the time. Stretch and challenge yourself. It’s worth it. The really great thing about the path to extraordinary is that each of us already has it in us. We have already been there. It’s waiting for us to remember it. To want it. To not believe it was just a fleeting moment that slipped away. My challenge to you is to set out on a journey to always be that extraordinary, as measured by being the best possible you. Your organization will benefit. Our community will benefit. But most importantly, the joy and pride (and humility) that comes with living your best life will sustain you! For those of you who are already leaders of organizations, my challenge to you is to be that extraordinary leader that brings out the extraordinary in those who have the courage to follow. REVIVE! Omaha | 33

A Community Call to PEACE! It’s time to end the gun violence! by Willie Barney

IT’S UNACCEPTABLE! Gun violence in our city and nation is totally unacceptable. In Omaha, we have experienced declines in gun assaults, and violent crime has been reduced over the past six years; but it’s still not enough and not fast enough. And after years of declining homicides among teens, the shocking high profile deaths of two totally innocent 16 year olds, Eviana Carr and Montrell Wiseman, brought the community to its knees. Youth, adults, community organizations, and other supportive groups have renewed their commitment and are taking the call for peace to a whole new level. We will not allow these deaths to be in vain, and we will not forget them and hundreds of others who have died as a result of gun violence. When we work together, we see tremendous results and measurable reductions in gun violence. We need more people and organizations to step up and get involved. Solutions that have been proven to work are being expanded. Additional new ideas are being generated. Youth and adults, neighborhood associations, churches, businesses, community groups, elected officials, government agencies and foundations are all being called on to Take the Omaha 360 Challenge and Sign the Pledge for Peace and Action.

34 | REVIVE! Omaha

©2012 Revive! Omaha Magazine

A City United for Peace & Prosperity in Every Zip Code and Neighborhood

I AM TAKING THE OMAHA 360 CHALLENGE: PLEDGE FOR PEACE! I am answering the call! I am taking a stand for peace. I agree that we have lost too many of our friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and community members to gun violence. I am joining the efforts to help save lives and transform our community. We all deserve a safe and peaceful place to live. We will work together to keep our neighborhoods and community safe! I will do my part! I will stand for PEACE.

Individual and Family Pledge for PEACE Form (I/WE),_____________________________________________, am/are committed to the Omaha 360 Challenge! I/We will:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

Participate in the ___ Parents for Peace or ___ Youth for Peace Group Make a family commitment to peace and non-violence. We have the greatest influence. I will encourage family members it's time to put down the guns. Make a commitment with friends and peers to peace and non-violence. Talk to my friends about keeping the peace. Make a commitment to peace, solve issues in a non-violent way, and get connected with groups and organizations that are providing positive alternatives and opportunities. Become a mentor. Join my neighborhood association, neighborhood watch or citizen patrol. Support job programs. (Ex: Step-Up Omaha!, Urban League or Heartland Workforce Solutions) Support positive alternatives, after school, recreation, etc. (Ex: Village Basketball Alliance) Adopt a class or school. Partner with my church on adopt-a-block or prayerwalking. Speak Up and Step forward with information and make the commitment to work with the Omaha Police Department to prevent and solve violent crimes.

Name:____________________________________________ Date: _________________ Signature: _________________________________________ Organization (if applicable):____________________________________________________ Position/Title: _______________________________________________________________ Address: ____________________________________________________________________ City: _________________________

State: _________

Zip: __________________

Phone: ______________________ E-mail: _____________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Return to: EN/Omaha 360 105 N. 31st Ave. Suite 101 Omaha, Nebraska 68131 402-502-5153 Fax: 402-502-0757


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

Annie’s Tax Services Inc. Individual & Business Preparation Fast Refund • Professional Service

6501 Ames Avenue • Omaha, NE 68104 (402) 453-8124 • cell (402) 630-0730 e-mail: May 1st - Dec: 31st Wed, Thurs and Fri: 9am-2pm Jan 10th-April 30th Mon-Fri: 9am-7pm • Sat: 9am-5pm Other times by appointment.

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.

Psalm 127:3 Child Care Ministry

“Behold children are a Heritage from the Lord. The fruit of the womb is His reward.” Open 24 Hours Ages: 6 weeks - 14 years old Bibilical and Educational teachings 3020 Huntington Ave. • Omaha, NE (402) 614-4257 • (402) 850-3729 Transportation provided.

Worthy Dental Dr. Justin Jones, General Dentist We value your smile! 6530 Sorenson Pkwy. • (402) 571-7200

4 Real Wireless Carl M. Christian “I’m never too busy for your referrals.” (402) 689-9453 • (402) 731-5008

Big enough to serve you, small enough to know you! 2520 N. 24th Street • Omaha, NE 68110 (402) 991-0277 or (402) 598-5941 •

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, 36th & L) Broadmoor Market and Wohlner’s Grocery (402) 455-MAMA (6262) • Tues-Thurs: 8am-2pm •Fri-Sat: 8am-7pm • Sun: 10am-5pm • Mon: Closed Coming in 2013… Big Mama’s Sandwich Shop • 2416 Lake Street

Styles of Evolution Clothing for Men, Women and Students

Need a special order? We can help! 2522 N. 24th Street (402) 455-2426


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

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)

Salem Baptist Church

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

Dayspring Ministries Christian Center

Pastor Edward and Juanita King Sunday Morning Worship 9:00AM 6068 Ames Avenue • Omaha, NE 68111 402-573-5188


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. Midweek Service Tues. 7 p.m. 3020 Huntington Ave (Main Campus) • (402) 390-6036 Sunday Service 11:30 a.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 •

Be extraordinary‌

Join an ERN At ConAgra Foods, Employee Resource Networks (ERNs) are a key ingredient in creating a culture that nourishes, challenges, and engages. More than just social networks, our ERNs are valuable business resource groups. We embrace these networks to provide business and organizational insights, to deliver extraordinary development experiences, and to provide community support through volunteer opportunities. If you’re looking for an exceptional leadership development opportunity, join or start an ERN in your organization.

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