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100 Black Men of Omaha: 19th African-American History Challenge

The 19th African-American History Challenge (AAHC) was held on Saturday, February 2, 2019, at North High STEM Magnet School. The AAHC, a collaboration between the 100 Black Men of Omaha and Omaha Public Schools, was sponsored in part by Cox Communications and the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

This year’s winners were Beveridge Magnet Middle School in the Junior Division and Northwest High Magnet School in the Senior Division. The National competition will be held at the 100 Black Men of America Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, which will take place, June 12th – June 16th.

Morton Middle School and Monroe Middle School earned second and third place in the junior division. Central High School and Benson High School earned second and third place in the senior division.

This education reading program, designed by the 100 Black Men of America, Inc., is used to enhance the study of African-American history and culture among middle and high school students.

Eric L. Ewing and Edgar Hicks served as co-chairs; Bill Alexander and Sherman P. Willis served as moderators, all of whom are members of the 100 Black Men of Omaha. Judges for the event were Granville Welch, Vice President and Treasurer of Human Resources, Incorporated and Jennifer Harbour, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Black Studies Department, University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Since 2001, the AAHC has provided over $400,000 in awards and prizes to deserving Omaha area middle and high school students. The AAHC is the result of months of intense preparation each year by dedicated 100 Black Men of Omaha members, Omaha Public Schools staff and students.

The 100 Black Men of Omaha’s mission is to improve the quality of life in Omaha by helping our youth to be Respectful, Responsible, and Ready to Lead. We seek to achieve our mission through Mentoring, Education, Health & Wellness and Economic Empowerment programs. Our programs include Leadership and Mentoring Academy, Pathways to Success, African American History Challenge, 100 Saturday Academy, Real Men Read, and Real Men Greet.

Today, the 100 Black Men of Omaha is one of over 100 chapters nationally and internationally that make up the 100 Black Men of America, Inc., an alliance of leading African-American men representing a myriad of professions including community, business, education, public affairs, and government.

Winners of the 2019 AAHC
Senior Division First Place:
Northwest High Magnet School

Front row (left to right): 100 Black Men of Omaha’s Senior Division, Northwest High Magnet School, HToo Say, Tehya Wynne, and Lal Nun and Coach Miss McCoy. Middle row (left to right): John W. Ewing., Jr., 100 Black Men of Omaha, Eric Ewing, Co-Chair African American History Challenge, Janet Rodriquez, Cox Communications and Dr. Shavonna Holman, Vice President OPS Board of Education. Back row (left to right): Bill Alexander, Moderator African American History Challenge, David Johnson, Cox Communications, Richard Webb, Executive Director, 100 Black Men of Omaha and Sherman P. Willis, Moderator African American History Challenge.

Winners of the 2019 AAHC
Junior Division First Place:
Beveridge Magnet Middle School

Front row (left to right): 100 Black Men of Omaha’s Junior Division, Beveridge Magnet Middle School, Dee Dee Djon, Briana Reza Rivera, Kennedy Alati and Romina Herrera Baro. Middle row (left to right): Chad Carlson and Michaela Jackson, Beveridge Magnet Middle School, Eric Ewing, Co-Chair African American History Challenge, Janet Rodriquez, Cox Communications. Back row (left to right): Bill Alexander, Moderator African American History Challenge, David Johnson, Cox Communications, Richard Webb, Executive Director, 100 Black Men of Omaha and Sherman P. Willis, Moderator African American History Challenge.

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Community Features

2024 Revive Omaha Black Business Guide

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Community Features

New cohorts prepare to launch…Leadership, Fund Development, Wealth Building & Career Advancement

OMAHA, Neb.

Great News!  After announcing four cohorts late last year, the Empowerment Network decided to delay the launch of the initiatives as they ran into the holiday season, received formal notice of their award of $10 million through the North and South Omaha Recovery Plan and continued the national collaboration with their partner cities introduced at last year’s African-American Leadership Summit.

The Network is now prepared to move forward with the four capacity-building cohort opportunities and their national strategic partners and advisors will be in Omaha for the Rebuilding the Village Conference.

Keys to Fund Development to Make Your Vision a Reality & Intro to Cohort

Anna Barber, fundraising expert that has helped to raise hundreds of millions of dollars including for the Smithsonian’s National Black History Museum in Washington D.C., will lead a six-month cohort on Fund Development:  building a donor base to make your vision a reality.

Barber will share insights gained through her work with major universities, the Museum, Obama Foundation and other national clients.  Participants will develop a comprehensive step by step plan to build and maintain a strong, diversified donor base.  In this session, Barber will provide an overview of key elements to fundraising success and share an overview of the upcoming fund development cohort.

 

Collaborative, Transformation Leadership and Powerful Storytelling & Intro to Cohort

Suzan Hart, one of world’s top storytellers and presenters, will launch a Collaborative Leadership and Storytelling cohort:  Maximize Opportunities with the Power of Your Story.

Participants will learn more about the transformational power of collaboration and enhance their presentation skills by defining purpose, understanding their value, and releasing the power of their story.  In this session, Hart will share key concepts to help you develop a mindset to maximize your leadership opportunities and provide an overview of the new cohort.

 

Advancing Your Career with Key Principles from Redefine the Game & Intro to Cohort

Dr. Jefferey Robinson of BCT Partners will return to Omaha to help launch the 5th Cohort of the Redefine the Game Institute, an innovative career advancement and leadership development program. Over 150 have participated with most receiving promotions and increased compensation, expanded career opportunities or leadership positions within new organizations.

In this session, Dr. Robinson will guide you towards growing and making the most of your network and provide an overview of the next RTG cohort. You will also hear from RTG Alumni regarding their own path career paths and stepping into impactful leadership roles.

 

Understanding Your Wealth Building Code and Developing Your Plan & Intro to Cohort

Dr. Pamela Jolly a nationally recognized wealth-building strategist returns to launch the third cohort of the Legacy Wealth Initiative.  Graduates of Legacy Wealth have developed wealth plans, saved thousands of dollars, become homeowners, launched and purchased businesses, invested individually and collectively and made contributions to their community.  Dr. Jolly will review the key elements to develop and implement your own wealth building plan and provide an overview of the upcoming Legacy Wealth Cohort.

Register for the 17th Annual Rebuilding the Village Conference and come join us for the introduction of the new cohorts.  Learn More and Register here

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Community Features

Dream Big! Eric Thomas coming to Omaha June 7th

OMAHA, Neb. –  On June 7, the Empowerment Network will take over CHI Health Center Omaha & Hilton Omaha Downtown for the 17th Annual Rebuilding the Village Conference and Luncheon. This year’s event also features the highly anticipated Revive Omaha Black Business Expo, highlighting the importance of supporting and empowering black-owned businesses in the community. The conference kicks off at 8:00 am.

Big Dreams and Collective Visions!  The luncheon will feature an energizing session from keynote speaker from New York Times best-selling author, educator, motivational guru and international business phenomenon, Eric Thomas, Ph.D.

As an inspirational speaker, Thomas has made a successful career working with and coaching Fortune 500 companies, top athletes, students and audiences around the world. A visionary, Thomas helps others walk in their purpose. Through a thorough examination and application of these same principles, his conference attendees continue to maximize their successes both in the workplace and at home. As a husband, father and philanthropist, Thomas aims to improve the lives of others through self-empowerment, self-assessment and consistent execution.

The Rebuilding the Village Conference and Luncheon has long been recognized as a premier gathering for community leaders, activists, entrepreneurs and stakeholders to come together to address key issues facing underserved communities. With a focus on career advancement, leadership development, DEI, wealth building, entrepreneurship, community building and more, the conference aims to foster collaboration and drive positive change in Omaha and beyond.

“The Rebuild the Village Conference and Revive Omaha Black Business Expo continues to evolve,” said Willie Barney, CEO and founder of the Empowerment Network. “Through this year’s event, we are focusing on the best ways to build economic strength and equity, support business owners, encourage homeownership, and invest in economic development and revitalization. Our community wants to be a part of the development of our city. Our Conference and Black Business Expo will equip attendees with the tools needed to thrive.”

Dream Big video from Eric Thomas

Central to this year’s event is the Revive Omaha Black Business Expo, a dynamic showcase of black-owned businesses from across the region. Attendees will have the chance to network with entrepreneurs, learn about innovative products and services, and support the local economy.

Backed by the Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, the Empowerment Network works to build a safer environment for all residents by increasing educational and career success and reducing violent crime. The My Brother’s Keeper Alliance leads a cross-sector national call-to-action focused on building safe and supportive communities for boys and young men of color where they feel valued and have clear pathways to opportunity.

In 2023, the Rebuild the Village Conference attracted more than 1,100 attendees. Of those attendees, nearly 40 percent were students. With the help of last year’s keynote speaker, businessman, NBA legend and philanthropist Erving “Magic” Johnson, Rebuild the Village was able to raise $90,000 during an unexpected auction at the end of Johnson’s speech. Last year’s event also drew in leaders from across the nation, including key cities like Atlanta, Ga., Chicago, Ill., Denver, Co., Kansas City,  Mo., New Orleans, La. and Tulsa, Okla.

In addition to the Black Business Expo, the conference will feature keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and interactive sessions led by industry experts and community leaders. To learn more about the event, including ticket prices and sponsorship opportunities, please visit https://www.rtvomaha.com/. Registration closes Monday, June 3.

 

About the Empowerment Network

The Empowerment Network is a nonprofit organization committed to advancing economic, social and civic progress within Omaha’s African American community, North Omaha and the region. Through collaborative efforts and innovative initiatives, the Empowerment Network strives to create opportunities for empowerment and transformation in every zip code and neighborhood in the City of Omaha and other national communities.

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