August 2023

09/13 at 5:30 p.m. - Volunteer Omaha Table Talk Facilitation Training

09/27 at 6:00 p.m. - Omaha Table Talk Community Kick-off

10/27 at 11:30 a.m. - Native Table Talk: Being an American Indian in the 21st Century

View Full Inclusive Communities Schedule Here

Perseverance, Progress, and Profound Gratitude: Reflecting on FY23 and the Journey Ahead

As we approach the conclusion of our FY23, it's a moment of reflection not only for Inclusive Communities but also for the broader region and the world. This year has been marked by a series of events that could have easily tested the determination of activists and changemakers. Yet, these challenges have not deterred individuals from continuing their crucial efforts to fight for a just society. Despite the weariness that many of us may feel, the spirit of resilience remains unbroken. This sense of persistence in the face of adversity is something that fills me with gratitude.

Gratitude, as I believe, is most meaningful when expressed during difficult times. It serves as a powerful reminder of our shared humanity and the importance of humility in our journey. Recently, we had the privilege of coming together for the annual Humanitarian Awards to celebrate, honor, and express our thanks to four exceptional individuals - Kyle Dey, Amelis Long, Echohawk Lefthand and The Urban Abbey & Rev. Debra McKnight. However, my gratitude extends beyond this group to encompass every person who contributes their time, talents, and resources to Inclusive Communities.

While we recognize that the vision of a more just society for all is yet to be fully realized, it's important to acknowledge the progress made. At times, the distance to that milestone might seem considerable, but it's the unyielding determination of countless individuals within our state and beyond that propels us forward. Despite the challenges that persist, it's this perseverance that allows us to carry on with a sense of profound gratitude.


from left: Rev. Debra McKnight (Otto Swanson Spirit of Service for Partner of the Year), Kyle Dey (Volunteer of the Year), Echohawk Lefthand (Humanitarian of the Year), Amelis Long (Mart Sedky Corporate Leadership), Cammy Watkins (Inclusive Communities Executive Director)

Register Here

Join us for our first Omaha Table Talk kick-off celebration! We've invited several organizations from Omaha and Lincoln to participate in a discussion centering on the importance of collective community engagement.

You'll meet with and learn about the wonderful work that each organization is doing in their respective communities, and participate in our traditional table discussions and share-outs. You'll also have a chance to hear from our Executive Director, Cammy Watkins, and meet the Inclusive Communities staff and board members.

The conversation starts at 6 p.m., at Buena Vista High School, but doors open at 5:30 p.m. to allow time to grab delicious eats from local food trucks, provided courtesy of Inclusive Communities.

We're excited to announce our fifth cohort of LeadDIVERSITY advocates! Since its establishment in 2019, LeadDIVERSITY has graduated over 100 advocates. The 24 selected advocates provide an inclusive representation of the diverse community in the Omaha metro, western Iowa, spanning to central Nebraska.

Meet our new LeadDIVERSITY advocates!

Bekka Byrne, Baxter Auto

Brenna Poindexter, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Nebraska

Caitlin Finn, RISE

Candace Schmidt, Ponca Tribe of Nebraska

Carol Horner, Synchronicity, Inc.

Demi Kulper, Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska

Elizabeth Ambrose, Omni Hotels & Resorts

Elizabeth Troyer-Miller, Heartland United Way

Erika Kirby, Creighton University

Jennifer Dang, Nebraska Alliance of Child Advocacy Centers

Katie Fourney, SHARE Omaha

Kira Mclean, Westside Community Schools

Krystal Fox, UNeTech Institute

Laura Schutte-Lundy, Nebraska Medicine

Leticia Gomez, Nebraska Medicine

M. Nicole Lewis, Heartland Workforce Solutions

Marquita Govan, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Moises Saucedo, Bellevue University

Nick O'BrienKoley Jessen, P.C. L.L.O.

Pati Carr, Carson Group

Samantha Jones, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Sheritta A. Strong, MD, MBA, DFAPA, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Dr. Tanishia JacobsBellevue Public Schools

Terrence M. Coleman, Urban League of Nebraska

For more information about LeadDIVERSITY or to learn how to become a sponsor, visit

We also re-launched Transformational Leadership, a program formerly offered in partnership with Bellevue University. Transformational Leadership is a five-session program that incorporates the foundations of diversity, equity, and inclusion into the leadership skills needed for success in the workforce of today and tomorrow.

Shari Collins, an alumna of LeadDIVERSITY Cohort 3, has consistently demonstrated her commitment to advancing the mission of Inclusive Communities through active engagement. Her valuable contributions extend to her role as a Programs Consultant within the faculty team, where she has played an integral part in various aspects, including facilitation support and curriculum development. Shari's impact is particularly noteworthy in her leadership role for orchestrating Inclusive Communities' participation in this year's Heartland Pride Parade, a significant endeavor.

Additionally, her collaborative efforts with fellow faculty member Andrea Joy Pearson in reshaping and launching the Transformational Leadership program underscore her dedication to driving positive change. Shari's unwavering passion for the Inclusive Communities mission and vision fuels her continued involvement, exemplifying her strong belief in the organization's purpose.

Thank you, Shari, for all of your amazing work!

Previously on Omaha Table Talk

Understanding Latine Diaspora

You can catch all of our past Omaha Table Talk events on our YouTube channel!

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