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Published:  Sunday, March 13, 2022

Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Hall of Fame basketball champion and one of the world’s leading business executives, entrepreneurs and philanthropists will keynote the Empowerment Network’s 15th Anniversary Rebuilding the Village Conference on Friday, May 20, 2022.

Tickets are now available at

“We couldn’t be more excited about the way it has worked out,” said Willie Barney, CEO and founder of the Empowerment Network.  “He was initially scheduled to speak in 2020, but to have him here as we celebrate 15 years and focus even more on community and economic development, entrepreneurship and wealth building, who better to have than Magic himself?”

Magic Johnson is best known for his legendary performance on the basketball court.  He and the Lakers transformed the NBA in the 80’s with a new style of basketball.  The showtime Lakers dominated with one of the greatest lineups of all time.

The historic rivalry between Magic and Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics elevated the game to new heights.  Television ratings skyrocketed and the NBA became a juggernaut.   Magic and Bird built the platform for basketball to become America’s top sport and paved the way for Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls to seal the deal.

Beyond the basketball court, Magic is still making headlines.  After retiring early because of an HIV diagnosis, Magic once again became Earvin.

As he puts it, Earvin is building a legacy through developing urban communities, business and sports team ownership and investments in advanced technology.

“We are thrilled to have Earvin “Magic” Johnson with us on May 20th for the Empowerment Network’s 15th Anniversary during the Rebuilding the Village Conference. Mr. Johnson has been at the forefront of urban development and has been instrumental in making urban communities better for the underserved throughout the country. His experience and insight will be invaluable to what we are building in Omaha and beyond.”

The Rebuilding the Village Conference promises to be the best ever.  In addition to Magic Johnson, the Network will feature two new keynote speakers and a host of national strategic partners.

Anna Barber is a national fund development consultant who has raised in excess of $100 million from donors for various projects including the African-American Museum in Washington, DC. Barber will share her wisdom and knowledge on raising funds to support your vision and mission.

Suzan Hart is an international leader in the areas of Health, Wealth and Entrepreneurship   She will help attendees to confirm their purpose, become their best selves physically and mentally and prepare for the next phase of their journey.

Dr. Pamela Jolly, Dr. George Fraser, Tawanna Black, Dr. Randal Pinkett, Sondra Samuels and other national strategic partners will also be in the house.

Plus, network with representatives from 10 regional and national cities looking to replicate the Empowerment Network collective approach.

The conference will also featured a full scale Revive Black Business Expo including dozens of Omaha’s Black business owners, innovators and entrepreneurs.  Collaborative partners organizations will also highlight their services as well.

Major sponsors include:

Weitz Family Foundation
CHI Health
ConAgra Brands

Union Pacific
American National Bank

Mutual of Omaha

Children’s Hospital
US Bank

Get your tickets locked in today.

Register for the Empowerment Network’s 15 Year Anniversary Rebuilding the Village Conference here.


Empowerment Network 15 Year Anniversary featuring Magic Johnson

Timothy and Carmelita Christian, Honorary Co-Chairs for 15th Anniversary Conference

Published:  Sunday, March 13, 2022

Timothy and Carmelita Christian serve as the Honorary Co-Chairs for the 15th Anniversary Conference. The Empowerment Network thanks them for their generous support and Tim for his leadership as the Board President.

Timothy L. Christian is a film financier, producer and entrepreneur. He serves as CEO of the Omaha based film finance and production company, Night Fox Entertainment and Past-President of the Nebraska Film Association.

Formerly, Tim was Executive VP of Operations for The MixCast Network; a global distribution and entertainment platform. In this position, he helped pioneer the online video space and achieve a presence in 20+ global markets. Christian then spun-off a strategic brand development firm which executed campaigns on behalf of major media clients ranging from VIACOM to Warner Brothers Records to the Professional Sports Wives Association.

Tim has extensive experience in the entertainment industry. His start in the entertainment world came from interning for Grammy Award winning music artist and producer, Teddy Riley. His dedication and hard work afforded him increasing levels of responsibility. He ultimately found his place in business and strategic development for many record labels and artists. Christian has earned the respect of some of the biggest entertainers and executives in the music industry and is highly regarded as one that can deliver results.

Tim is the current board president of the Empowerment Network and board member for Nebraska Appleseed and the James Phillip Foster Hope Resource Center. He also serves on the Development Committee for the Malcom X Memorial Foundation. He is extremely active in his church, New Hope Apostolic Temple, serving as a Deacon and youth ministry leader. Christian also gives a large portion of his time to teenagers and young adults that need mentorship.  Tim studied Finance and Economics at The Pennsylvania State University.

Carmelita Christian is a passionate mental health professional with an innate gift for helping others reach their fullest potential. She has over a decade of experience working with adults, families, and children from all walks of life.

Carmelita specializes in crisis intervention, severe trauma, addiction, abuse, and domestic violence. Her empathetic nature has been a bridge to emotional healing for many and she relishes in seeing her clients overcome their personal hardships to prosper in all areas of their lives.

She is the owner of a thriving, mental health practice, Holistic Counseling LLC,that she started in 2014.  She earned her Masters of Counseling and Masters of Public Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

She is also very active with their church, New Hope Apostolic Temple, and plays key roles in the community.  One of her commitments is board member for the Jesuit Academy.

Carmelita is a devoted wife and mother.  Tim and Carmelita are the proud parents of daughter, Breonna.

Get your tickets for the Rebuilding the Village Conference locked in today.

Register for the Empowerment Network’s 15 Year Anniversary Rebuilding the Village Conference here.


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Empowerment Network 15 Year Anniversary featuring Magic Johnson

Conference Schedule: 15th Anniversary Rebuilding the Village

Published:  Sunday, March 13, 2022

Thursday, May 19, 2022

8:00 AM             
Special Pre-Conference Intensive
Regional and National Partner Cities (Only)

Contact Willie Barney @


5:30 PM              
Conference VIP Reception at 24th and Lake


Friday, May 20, 2022
Conference at CHI Health Center Omaha


7:00 AM              
Registration, Breakfast and Revive Black Business Expo


8:00 AM              
Conference Opening Session


8:30 AM              
Morning Keynote:  Suzan Hart
International Consultant:
Health, Wellness and Entrepreneurship


9:00 AM              
EmPower Talks with featuring National Strategic Advisors and Local Partners



Violence Prevention

Home Ownership


Arts and Revitalization



10:00 AM          
BREAK and Revive Black Business Expo


10:15 AM            
Collaboration Breakout Sessions

Advance Omaha! Diversity & Inclusion Strategies

Cradle to Career Solutions, Back on Track to 95%

Violence Prevention:
Omaha 360 – Past, Present and Future

Home Ownership:
Launching the Omaha 1,000 Home Owner Campaign

Moving Beyond COVID with a Holistic Approach to Health

Arts and Revitalization:
24th and Lake…The NEXT Phase

Black Businesses…Reaching $1 Billion in Collective Sales


11:15 AM            
Break and Revive Black Business Expo


11:30 AM            
15 Year Anniversary Celebration

Luncheon Keynote featuring Earvin “Magic” Johnson

Empowerment Champion’s Awards

EmPower Talk Introductions for Afternoon Sessions

Book Signing and Photos

Revive Black Business Expo


1:30 PM              
Capacity-Building Breakout Sessions

Featuring National Strategic Advisors and Local Partners

Leadership & Succession:
In and Through the Crisis

Casting Vision and Telling Your Story

Developing and Maintaining High Performing Teams

Data-driven Strategies:
Using and Presenting Data for Better Decision-making

Bringing Creativity and Energy to Your Organization and Efforts

Youth Voice and Leadership in the Community


2:15 PM              
BREAK, Snacks and Revive Black Business Expo


2:30 PM              
Afternoon Keynote:  Anna Barber

National Fund Development Consultant


3:00 PM              
Musical Guest and
Transformation 2025: Phase II Launch


Get your tickets for the Rebuilding the Village Conference locked in today.

Register for the Empowerment Network’s 15 Year Anniversary Rebuilding the Village Conference here.


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Empowerment Network 15 Year Anniversary featuring Magic Johnson

Special Rates will be available at the Hilton Omaha Downtown

Published:  Sunday, March 13, 2022

The host hotel for the Empowerment Network’s 15th Anniversary Rebuilding the Village Conference featuring Earvin “Magic” Johnson is the Hilton Omaha Downtown.

Stay in the heart of downtown Omaha

Hilton Omaha Downtown
1001 Cass Street
Omaha, Nebraska  68102

Find us in downtown Omaha, directly connected via sky bridge to CHI Health Event Center, a block from TD Ameritrade Ballpark, and less than a mile from the Old Market Entertainment District. We’re also an official Creighton University partner, which is just over a mile away. We have a health club and spa with an indoor pool and whirlpool.

The Hilton Omaha Downtown is just across the street from the CHI Health Center Omaha where the conference will take place.  The hotel is also minutes away from 24th and Lake where the Thursday Night VIP Reception will take place.

Reserve Your Room


Get your tickets for the Rebuilding the Village Conference locked in today.

Register for the Empowerment Network’s 15 Year Anniversary Rebuilding the Village Conference here.


Continue Reading