July 2023 | Humanitarian Awards Issue

8.4.2023 | The Venue at the Highlander | 4 - 6 p.m.


Join us in celebrating our 2023 award recipients!

A Note from Event Chairs

Sarah and Adam Yale

Welcome to the 2023 Inclusive Communities Humanitarian Awards! We are thrilled to co-chair the event this year on August 4 at the Venue at the Highlander. We are proud to celebrate the work of several deserving community members, as Inclusive Communities honors them with awards as the Otto Swanson Spirit of Service Partner of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, and Humanitarian of the Year. In addition, Inclusive Communities will present the Mart Sedky Corporate Leadership Award for the second year, named in honor of the late Mart Sedky.


For 85 years, Inclusive Communities has helped youth, adults, organizations, and communities to open hearts and minds to worlds beyond our own, and to help us all figure out how to have meaningful, respectful, and challenging conversations around identity, bias, equity, and justice. The challenges and opportunities of tomorrow will demand more diverse perspectives and solutions than yesterday and even today. We invite you to help Inclusive Communities meet this need with the gift of your time or financial contribution. Let's continue the work to ensure that Nebraska has the most equitable communities that lead to a more just society..


We look forward to seeing you on August 4!



Sarah and Adam Yale 

Kyle Day

Volunteer of the Year

Since attending camp as a delegate, Kyle has been one of our longest-running volunteers. He has attended over 25 camps. Kyle grows and challenges himself to learn and model for the camp delegates and fellow camp counselors. His presence at camp is always highlighted by his fellow volunteers, staff, and delegates, and he has played a major role in recruiting new CITs (Counselors In Training) to the IncluCity program.

Kyle consistently communicates with IC staff about IncluCity, providing feedback and ways he sees it continuing to grow and improve. Kyle is someone we can always count on to attend meetings - mandatory or optional - and is always willing, if his work schedule permits, to volunteer his time to help with any of our other programs, like Omaha Table Talk. Kyle exemplifies what it means to be an Inclusive Communities volunteer.


The Urban Abbey & Rev. Debra McKnight

Otto Swanson Spirit of Service Award for Partner of the Year

Rev. Debra McKnight and The Urban Abbey are a quintessential example of real partnership. The Urban Abbey has not only been a great advocate and supporter of Inclusive Communities, but of SEVERAL organizations across the community. Rev. Debra McKnight can be seen at a multitude of events speaking or testifying in support of marginalized and disenfranchised communities ranging from those in poverty to the LGBTQ+ community. She is a living example of the Spirit of Service that Otto Swanson demonstrated when he founded this organization in 1938.

Debra, as the Founder of Urban Abbey, is a trailblazer much like him and it only makes sense in our 85th year to recognize someone who is leaving a similar legacy to that of our founder.

Amelis Long

Mart Sedky Corporate Leadership Award

We were introduced to Amelis when she was selected to be in the inaugural cohort of our LeadDIVERSITY program. She embraced the experience wholeheartedly and had noticeable development personally and professionally.

Amelis is the full embodiment of a leader who embraces DEI through both talk and action. You simply have to spend 15 minutes with her in her FNBO office to see how she is intentional in ensuring that there is a sense of belonging and inclusion for EVERY person she encounters.

Her desire to continue to advance the collaborative opportunities even through the pandemic is what made her stand out as the Mart Sedky Corporate Leader.

Echohawk Lefthand

Humanitarian of the Year

We were first introduced to Echohawk in 2017 while seeking panelists for our Omaha Table Talk series. Echohawk was described by his peers as an up and coming leader within the community that Inclusive Communities should be in collaboration with. They were correct. Echohawk is one of the most influential and humble individuals advocating for the rights of Native and Indigenous people in Nebraska. Echohawk moves in ways that are authentic to the people he serves and rarely in ways that take up space. He elevates the voices of women in his community and youth, while also striving to ensure others do the same.

We honor Echohawk, and the work he celebrates, as Humanitarian of the Year in this milestone 85th year of our organization.

Visit our website on August 4 for extra content highlighting our award recipients!


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