December 2022

Rest and Renewal

"Joy is an act of resistance."

You may have heard this phrase at an event or read it while scrolling your social media feed. It may be embroidered on a good friend's pillow or hanging in an office you've visited once or twice before. What does it mean, and how do we intentionally find joy in ourselves amid doing difficult and important work to erase bigotry and prejudice from our communities?

Joy is something that many of us in non-profit do not consider as something we are allowed to have, and when we think about it, it usually comes with a side of guilt and shame. There is an expectation that we are the work causing us to push our limits, ultimately leading to burnout.


Even the smallest moment of joy can minimize complacency and make us more resilient. As we take moments for ourselves, we become rejuvenated and inspired to continue walking the path toward racial and social equity. This is why we have decided to close our offices now until January 2, 2023, and give time back to our staff for rest and renewal.

As we reboot, we wish you a safe and joyous holiday,

Cammy + Maggie

From left: Colin McGrew, Veronica Switzer, Lachelle Rankins, Robbie Quiñones, Ang Bennett, Dominic Green, Cammy Watkins, Brittany Wright, Maggie Wood, Drew Pauly

Not pictured: Nikki Smith, Katie Petry


Inclusive Communities is hosting the first annual Jane H. & Rabbi Sidney H. Brooks Conversations for Change speaker series in March 2023. Thanks to a gift from Miriam Brooks, the event will be free to the public and aims to continue her parents’ legacy of teaching through dialogue and building bridges between different cultures and identities.

The inaugural fireside chat will feature actor, writer, producer, and former Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, Kal Penn. Penn’s memoir, You Can’t Be Serious, highlights the challenges he faced growing up as a South Asian in New Jersey, and the obstacles to succeeding in Hollywood without being typecast.

Sponsor and partnership opportunities are available by contacting either Lachelle Rankins, Director of Strategic Partnerships, or Dominic Green, Director of Programming.


This month, we took this time to host a weekend volunteer leadership retreat with our camp counselors and CITs. The retreat was a time for our volunteers to grow their bond with each other and recharge as we head into 2023 and our upcoming spring camps. We were also able to pilot new activities that will be used in future camps. We want to give a huge shoutout to Drew, Katie, and the Programs team for organizing a brilliant and thoughtful weekend!


REGISTER for our January AAPI Table Talk

Health Barriers for the AAPI Community

Tue, January 17, 2023

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center

6400 University Drive South

Omaha, NE 68182


There is a virtual and in-person option to attend. If attending in-person, food will be provided.

Previously on Omaha Table Talk

How to Successfully Partner with Interpreters & Translators

Our 2021-22 Annual Report is out now!



by Brittany Wright

In the beginning of 2022, I was coming into my 30th year, excited for the milestone I was about to cross and the adventures to come. But, what I didn’t expect was the lessons in boundaries this last year has taught me. I will spare you the extensive details but, I found myself, for the first time since I was 15, not working, unsure of what I wanted to do with my life and not showing up for myself the way I should. With this abundance of time I now had, I was forced to confront some hard truths in my life; the first - I had a boundary problem. I was consistently willing to show up for those around me at the expense of showing up for myself. I've always been the type of person others could depend on, willing to help with any problem. Now don’t get me wrong, showing up for your loved ones is important and something I still enjoy doing (acts of service is my love language and I’m an enneagram two after all), but I got to the point that saying yes to everyone else meant I was saying no to myself.

There were people in my life that saw how passionate I was about DEI and took that as a green light to come to me about all things race, any questions they had or how they are working to be better. While sometimes I’m in the headspace to talk about those things and enjoy that dialogue, there was ZERO regard for the mental load or the thought to ask if I was in the headspace to have that type of conversation from those individuals. Time and time again, in efforts to help educate, I was allowing other people to take from my cup that was getting emptier and emptier by the minute.

Two things stuck out to me initially when trying to process and analyze my boundary problem; first, black women setting boundaries in this society is not something that is acceptable. Black women are held to a high standard while at the same time not having access to safe spaces or even being allowed to set boundaries. Although I knew this as a fact, I was forced to confront the fact that I have allowed this social standard to play a role in my life for a very long time. Second, I believed that I HAD to be everything for everyone at all times to have some sense of worth. I felt that saying no meant that I was a bad friend, a bad coworker, or a bad daughter, when in reality this was the exact opposite.

I finally got to a place where I was sort of able to name the problem (growth is a lifelong journey). With the help of a lot self-reflection, journaling and therapy I have come to understand, more importantly accept that having boundaries is a form of self-care and essential in feeling safe and respected in any relationship. Setting boundaries allowed me to operate from a place of abundance rather than lack or scarcity. If my cup is full I can keep the promises I make to myself and my loved ones. 

The hardest part for me was accepting that sometimes saying "no", or "not right now" does not negatively impact any of the identities I hold or my worth as a person but rather enables me to show up fully for those around me. Along my healing journey there have been two quotes that I refer back to often when I feel myself feeling guilty about setting boundaries:

"Lack of boundaries invites lack of respect." I show people how I allow them to treat me. If I don't respect me, who will?

"Safe spaces have boundaries. You are a safe space. So set your boundaries." - Bethanee Epifani J. Bryant

So, with that said, to my fellow black girl who feels stretched too thin and tired of saying yes, start saying no and give yourself all the time, effort and grace you show to others.

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