Two years ago, the Omaha Community Foundation partnered with the Center for Equity and Inclusion (CEI) to lead a year-long racial equity journey allowing white staff members to begin or deepen their understanding of race, white supremacy, and privilege while cultivating safe space for staff members who identify as BIPOC (black, indigenous, or a person of color) to share their experiences and insight.
At the conclusion of the CEI training sessions, the Foundation established an internal Equity Team, ensuring all departments were represented. Current Equity Team Members are:
- Russell Johnston (Human Resources)
- Emily Nguyen (Community Investment)
- Devin Owens (Communications)
- Juan Padilla (Donor Services)
- Emily Prauner (Donor Services)
Currently, the Equity Team meets twice a month to review internal processes and procedures, respond and prepare learnings based on the climate of the country, and elevate ways to center race equity in our work with the community. In light of recent events, such as the murder of George Floyd and a global pandemic disproportionately impacting communities of color, the Equity Team has reserved time for staff members every other Friday to virtually gather and share thoughts.
The Foundation acknowledges that understanding the complexities of racism and actively dismantling the systems/structures which uphold it is an ongoing journey and one that challenges staff in varying ways based on their respective identities and lived experiences. Our team believes that the sharing of these experiences is one of the best ways to aid others in their journey of race equity.
To provide this resource to the community, OCF staff members have began writing blog posts to share reflections of their experiences with race. These posts will be published on our new Equity Journey tab on OmahaFoundation.org in addition to social media and relevant newsletters.
We encourage readers to share these upcoming posts within their networks with the hope of making our community a more equitable and inclusive place for all residents.