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Published:  July 20, 2020

“This is a pivotal moment for our country,” said Dr. Randal Pinkett, CEO and Co-Founder of BCT Partners.  “If we work together, as the Network says, we can transform the country and transform Omaha.”

Three years ago, Damita Byrd and Willie Barney of the Empowerment Network and WDB Resultants worked with Dr. Pinkett & Dr. Jeffrey Robinson of BCT Partners to convert their bestselling book, “Black Faces in White Places,” into a year long curriculum and cohort.  The response and results have been overwhelmingly positive.

Pinkett is no stranger to Omaha.  He has been a featured keynote speaker and strategic partner with the Empowerment Network for the past five years.

“Omaha is like a second home for me,” said Pinkett.  “The Redefine the Game Institute is expanding nationally, especially with the racial equity and diversity issues facing our country, but it started in Omaha in partnership with the Empowerment Network, WDB and BCT Partners.”

One of the goals of the program is to help facilitate the movement of African-Americans into leadership positions within corporations, organizations and to the next level with entrepreneurial endeavors.  Over half of the original participants have received promotions or moved into new positions that are more aligned to their purpose and life mission.

The program has captured the attention of local and national media.  Julie Cornell, co-anchor for KETV Channel 7 in Omaha, featured the Redefine the Game Institute on Thursday, July 16th in a 2 minute news story.  Cornell was so intrigued and impressed by the program and the results that KETV decided to dedicate a 30 minute Chronicle edition to it on Sunday, July 19th.

The special segment includes interviews with Dr. Pinkett and two graduates of the program, Maurice Kimsey II, an Electrical Engineer with OPPD, and LaKeisha Gatson-Dunham, a Senior Director with Union Pacific.

“Redefine the Game can be whatever you need it to be,” said Kimsey.  “The program takes high potential African-Americans and helps them grow in managerial and leadership skills.”  In his interview, Kimsey focuses on building trust and creating pathways and pipelines for African-Americans.

“The group process allows you to learn strategies from others in different sectors and organizations who are like you that have similar experiences,” said Gatson-Dunham, who started with Union Pacific right out of college and has been promoted to Senior Director of Commercial Strategy and Pricing.  Gatson focuses on common voice, strategies and the classroom perspectives brought by different personalities.

Now headed into its third cohort, Redefine the Game works with African-American professionals, community leaders and entrepreneurs to maximize their gifts and strengths, enhance their leadership skills, build their network and advance their careers, businesses and communities.

“I believe it is more important now, than ever before, to teach black business professionals how to organize, strategize, network, plan and create a successful career plan,” said Damita Byrd, Sr. Director for Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at BCT Partners.

Applications for the 3rd cohort are open until July 31st.  To learn more or to apply:  Redefine the Game Application

Here’s the link to the 2 minute news story:  Redefine the Game Story

Here’s the link to the 30 minute Chronicle story:  RTG Chronicle

The Redefine the Game Institute is part of the Empowerment Network‘s Advance Omaha Racial Equity and Diversity initiative in partnership with BCT Partners.  To learn more more:  Advance Omaha

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Careers

Keith Station appointed as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager for City of Omaha

Published:  July 25, 2020

Mayor Jean Stothert has named Keith Station to lead the City of Omaha’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy.

“Keith is an experienced and respected leader,” said Mayor Jean Stothert.  “His lifelong connections to Omaha, our community partners and our business community will be a great asset to our focus on building a more inclusive city government and City.”

On June 25, Mayor Stothert announced a series of actions to solicit public input, and develop a strategic plan for diversity, equity and training throughout city government.  Station’s responsibilities will include these initial steps:

  • Name a Community Advisory Board
  • Name a City Employee Advisory Board
  • Develop a strategic plan for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in city government
  • Expand diverse representation on city boards and commissions
  • Expand racial diversity in all departments including police and fire departments
  • Complete mandatory bias training for all city employees

Station is currently the Director of Business Relations at Heartland Workforce Solutions.  He has experience in employment, fair housing, bias training and education, strategic planning, non-profit administration, and volunteer work.

“I can’t fully describe how much of an honor it is to be able to serve my community in this role.  I’m thinking of so many family, friends, mentors and colleagues who have contributed to helping me prepare for this moment,” said Station.  “Working to help make the City of Omaha a more equitable community for all of its citizens is the opportunity of a lifetime. I am grateful to Mayor Stothert for entrusting me with this awesome duty, and I am excited to meet my new colleagues, and to get to work!”

Station holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Masters  Degree from Indiana University-Bloomington.

Station will start on September 7.

Source:  Press Release, City of Omaha

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Careers

Keith Station appointed as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager for City of Omaha

Published:  July 25, 2020

Mayor Jean Stothert has named Keith Station to lead the City of Omaha’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy.

“Keith is an experienced and respected leader,” said Mayor Jean Stothert.  “His lifelong connections to Omaha, our community partners and our business community will be a great asset to our focus on building a more inclusive city government and City.”

On June 25, Mayor Stothert announced a series of actions to solicit public input, and develop a strategic plan for diversity, equity and training throughout city government.  Station’s responsibilities will include these initial steps:

  • Name a Community Advisory Board
  • Name a City Employee Advisory Board
  • Develop a strategic plan for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in city government
  • Expand diverse representation on city boards and commissions
  • Expand racial diversity in all departments including police and fire departments
  • Complete mandatory bias training for all city employees

Station is currently the Director of Business Relations at Heartland Workforce Solutions.  He has experience in employment, fair housing, bias training and education, strategic planning, non-profit administration, and volunteer work.

“I can’t fully describe how much of an honor it is to be able to serve my community in this role.  I’m thinking of so many family, friends, mentors and colleagues who have contributed to helping me prepare for this moment,” said Station.  “Working to help make the City of Omaha a more equitable community for all of its citizens is the opportunity of a lifetime. I am grateful to Mayor Stothert for entrusting me with this awesome duty, and I am excited to meet my new colleagues, and to get to work!”

Station holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Masters  Degree from Indiana University-Bloomington.

Station will start on September 7.

Source:  Press Release, City of Omaha

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Careers

Dr. Sheritta Strong named as Director of Inclusion at UNMC, reporting to Chancellor Gold

Published:  July 25, 2020

Effective July 1, Sheritta Strong, M.D., became the director of inclusion at UNMC, reporting to Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D.

Dr. Strong, an assistant professor in the UNMC Department of Psychiatry, became director of inclusion on an interim basis on Feb. 1. She now takes the role on a permanent basis.

Dr. Strong took over the new position, designed to help UNMC meet and expand its goals in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion, at a time when the nation as a whole was continuing to come to grips with the longstanding effects of structural racism.

As protests were held over the deaths of Black men and persons of color — including George Floyd in Minneapolis and James Scurlock and Zachary Bearheels in Omaha — Dr. Strong was working with campus leaders and the UNMC community to foster a more inclusive and welcoming environment that is receptive to the changes required to increase diversity, equity and inclusion.

“This is a pivotal moment in the history of race relations in the United States,” Dr. Strong said. “With initiatives such as a leadership listening sessions, campus participation in the nationwide ‘White Coats for Black Lives’ event, creating this position and prioritizing inclusive space on campus, UNMC has shown it is open to being part of a positive change. I could not step away from this position now, when so much still needs to be done and so many people at UNMC are working hard to be part of making things better for the entire community.”

Dr. Strong said she has been asked multiple times about where to start.

“To begin having these tough conversations about racism and inclusivity, I recommend the resources from the McGoogan Health Sciences Library,” she said. “To further these conversations, we all must have a basic understanding of the forces in place that oppress marginalized groups in our society.”

UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., who appointed Dr. Strong in February, said the campus already has benefited from her work.

“Dr. Strong is an accomplished and passionate leader, and UNMC is fortunate to have her in this role,” he said. “We are a health care leader in the community, the state and the nation, and we need to lead in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as attacking health disparities in the communities that we serve. Dr. Strong is well positioned to help UNMC become a more inclusive campus that provides serious medicine and extraordinary care tothe people of the entire community.”

Source:  Press Release, UNMC

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