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On behalf of the Revive Omaha family, we want to officially welcome you to Omaha.

As a person new to the city, we are sure you have lots of questions.  Where can I go to get a haircut or get my hair done?  Where do African-Americans gather socially?  Are there opportunities for me to advance?  How can we find a great church?  If you have children, you may want to know more about the school system and a great place to send your students.

Yolanda and I moved to Omaha 20 years ago, March of 2000.  We didn’t know a single person outside of the Vice-President who had recruited us here.

We went through all of the various scenarios a black family experiences when moving to a new city.  For us, the first question we asked before we decided to move to Omaha was, “What church will we attend?”  Once we identified a strong church where we thought we could raise our family, we felt a lot better about the city.

Next, we wanted to check out different neighborhoods.  The real estate agent took us all over the city, primarily to west Omaha and midtown.  After a couple of days of visiting, I turned and asked the driver, “Where are the black people?  I know they are here somewhere, we saw them at the church we visited.”  He turned red and said, “Oh, Oh, let me show you a few places.”  Finally, we went through a few neighborhoods on the North side and Northwest.  (FYI.  African-Americans live all over the City of Omaha.  40% live in the traditional boundaries of North Omaha.)

Fast forward.  It’s been an amazing 20 years.  We bought a house 19 years ago and started our family.  Both of our children were born here.  Our son has graduated from high school and now studies film at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.  Our daughter is in 8th grade and headed to high school next year. They both have attended Omaha Public Schools and have done very well with outstanding academic and extracurricular activities available.

We have launched several businesses, non-profit organizations and ministries.  Because of that work, we now know thousands of people in Omaha.  People of every race and ethnicity, from all parts of the city.  God has truly blessed our family with great friends and partnerships.

Getting to know the city:

We invite you to start with the Revive Black Business Guide and Directory on this web-site.  You can find hundreds of stores and black owned businesses.

There’s also a North Omaha Guide if you would like to learn more about  the historic heart of the African-American community.  You will find a great listing of African-American churches and organizations for your review.

Check out the Empowerment Network website to learn more about community initiatives and corporate diversity and inclusion work, special events and much more.  empoweromaha.com

Also check out the Urban League of Nebraska’s website for more great opportunities.  urbanleagueneb.org

Looking for things to do?  Check out this list of annual events.  Calendar of Events.

You will find Omaha is a small big city.  You can still get to most parts of the city within 20-25 minutes.  Overall the economy is very strong.  There are good jobs and advancement opportunities.  The schools are for the most part very good.  Once you get to know the city, there are a lot of things to do.

Like most urban communities, Omaha has challenges.  The great thing is African-American leaders and residents are not waiting on someone else to provide the solutions.  We have worked hard over the years to improve employment, improve educational outcomes, reduce violence and enhance overall health for African-Americans and other people of color.

We believe in doing our part first and then partnering equally with others to make positive change.  Before the pandemic, data and trends highlighted positive progress that we were making in each of those areas.

We have also launched major efforts to move forward with career advancement and build wealth through entrepreneurship, home ownership and strategic investments.  There are literally hundreds of organizations working together to make the city a great place for all citizens to work, live, play, worship, raise a family, launch a business and build wealth.

You can make Omaha what you want!  You will get what you give.  If you see something that is missing, the city is the right size for you to work with others to create it and make it happen.  There are excellent networks that you can plug into.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to connect you.

Welcome to Omaha.  We are excited to have you here.

Willie Barney
President and Co-Publisher
SMB Enterprises and Revive Omaha Magazine

Yolanda Barney
Vice-President and Co-Publisher
SMB Enterprises and Revive Omaha Magazine

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Community Features

Where do we go from here? Take 10-15 Minutes to Complete the Transformation 2025 Survey

We need your input to help set priorities and update the Transformation 2025 Plan to positively impact African-Americans, North Omaha and the Greater Omaha area.

Please take 10-15 minutes to complete this survey: https://bit.ly/3qRAePa

 

Transformation 2025 Background and Progress:

The first phase of the Transformation 2025 plan formally launched in 2015 had specific goals, strategies and benchmarks.

Over 4,000 adults and 4,000 youth have provided input on the initial plan which has been updated with recommendations from the community and leaders from every sector on an annual basis.

Collectively, we were able to make measurable progress for African-Americans and North Omaha residents which has had a positive impact on the entire region.  Hundreds of organizations and thousands of residents have participated in the work to create the momentum and these results:

Collective Results 2009-2019 (Before COVID):

  • Reduced unemployment from a high of 20% to 7.5%.  Connected over 2,000 residents to employment.
  • Increased youth employment.  Connected over 6,500 youth to career exploration, jobs and internships.
  • Increased household incomes.  From a low of $34,170 to a high of $39,434.
  • Reduced poverty.  32% to 22%.
  • Increased high school graduation rates.  64% to a high of 80%.
  • Increase the number with college degrees.  16% to a high of 22%.
  • Increase the number of housing units in North Omaha.  Over 1,000 new mixed-income units developed.
  • Reduced gun violence.  Decreased as much as -74% before spiking again in 2020 in the midst of COVID.
  • Started the process of rebuilding the arts, culture, entertainment and business district at 24th and Lake.
  • Increased visits to the North Omaha Village Zone area (16th to 36th, Cumings to Pratt).  Hosted events attracting over 5,000 to the district.
  • Served as catalysts to generate hundreds of millions in public/private redevelopment in North Omaha.

(Data Sources:  American Community Survey, Census; UNO Research; Omaha Public Schools; Nebraska Dept. of Education; Omaha Police Department, City of Omaha – Planning Department and others)

There’s a lot more work ahead.  Together, we can create more positive change.

Help set the priorities for the next five years by updating the Transformation 2025 Plan.

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Welcome to Omaha

Buying a Home or Finding a Place to Rent: Black Real Estate Agents

Buying a Home and Finding a Neighborhood

An African-American real estate agent can help you find the perfect home and a great neighborhood.

Black Real Estate Agents and Owners

Featured Photo:  Miami Heights

Source:  Revive Omaha Magazine

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Welcome to Omaha

Finding a Beauty Salon in Omaha

Beauty Shops in Omaha

Finding a place to get a your hair done is one of the first priorities when relocating to a new city.

Check out these local establishments.

Beauty Shops focusing on African-American clients

Featured Photo:  Felicia’s Beauty and Barber Salon

Source:  Revive Omaha Magazine

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