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.
Ted Lampkin: Rising to Meet the Challenge
Charles Drew Health Center
Growing up down the street from Charles Drew Health Center, Inc., it was no question for Ted Lampkin to give back to the community that helped raise him.
“I’m passionate about public health because I am a product of public health services. Coming up, my family and I used the services at Charles Drew.”
As the Associate Director of Behavioral Health Services, Ted has been on the front-line teaching and training team members in new approaches to behavioral health. It’s no surprise that when COVID-19 struck, Ted was front and center.
“My role was to help transition the Behavioral Health department from doing face-to-face therapy to telehealth therapy.”
While COVID-19 began to escalate, increasing evidence highlighted racial and ethnic minority groups are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
“We made it easy for the patients, providing traditional face-to-face, telehealth, and when needed telephonic sessions. A lot of patients had anxiety about COVID-19 and being in the middle of a pandemic, in addition to their other stressers.”
“The benefit of telehealth is we can continue to provide quality service during a pandemic. You take out the barriers to care with telehealth.”
Brenda Avant: Providing Quality Healthcare in the Midst of COVID-19
Charles Drew Health Center
As a North Omaha native, Family Nurse Practitioner, Brenda Avant, understands educating her patients about their healthcare choices is a foundational principle to accessing safe and quality healthcare.
When the pandemic shut down Omaha metro schools, Brenda and the team members at Charles Drew Health Center, Inc. School-based Health Centers had to switch gears. While still providing in-person care, the SBHC Medical providers began utilizing telehealth to remain in contact with their patients.
“The telehealth program at Charles Drew really grew at that time. As Medical providers, we were able to continue serving our student patients through telehealth. The parents really enjoyed it because they felt even through a pandemic their child’s provider is still in tune with their needs.”
As the pandemic surged, the healthcare inequalities within the American health system began to come to the foreground. “It made me proud to see that Charles Drew was a front runner in COVID-19. The community was looking to us to help guide them through.”
“Charles Drew made it very easy for the population we serve to continue receiving care. We may be small, but we are mighty.”
Larry Duncan: Resiliency in the Face of a Crisis
Charles Drew Health Center
Hailing from the south side of Chicago, Larry Duncan, Director of Behavioral Health Services at Charles Drew Health Center, Inc. has always had a passion for helping others. “My passion, at first, started off with a drug and alcohol emphasis based on my own experiences and knowledge. As I grew and received more education, mental health became the next umbrella. It rests with my understanding that there are unique issues that affect black and brown people, and people who are marginalized.”
Within the first year serving at Charles Drew, Larry faced his biggest challenge yet, leading a team while in the mists of coronavirus. “The number one thing we did quickly was become active.” As COVID-19 began to highlight the care gaps within marginalized communities, the Behavioral Health team at Charles Drew looked to bridge those gaps within the community.
“For our population it was a dual threat. On one side of the coin, the crisis becomes an additional stress to a population of people who already live with stress. On the flip side of the coin, the lack of community and social interaction increased depression, anxiety, and a sense of hopelessness.”
The message was simple, but practical: Practice the Five Cs–Connection, Commitment, Communion, Contain, and Continue.
Looking back, one of the greatest strengths of Charles Drew, in Larry’s eyes, was the ability to remain active. While most were waiting, frozen in their activity, Charles Drew advanced forward.
“We got better and better at it. We were doing testing on the front line when testing was just starting. As masks began to be required, we were handing them out to the community members in need. Whatever needed to be done in the face of this virus, we did it.”