December 2019
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

As another year comes to a close, I think back on our activities and how together we worked to make John Lennon's immortal lyrics resonate in 2019.

These words are almost 50 years old, but still strikingly relevant today as Inclusive Communities strives to believe and and work towards a society that is strengthened by diversity, inclusion, respect, and justice for  all  people - a world that everyone can share in peace.

We have accomplished so much - but a quick glance at current events shows that there is still so much to do. As you plan for the new year, please remember Inclusive Communities and consider making a commitment to furthering our mission. Whether you give your time volunteering, participate in our programming, or support us financially, your contribution matters and we are grateful for it - thank you!

Peace, love and joy - see you in 2020!

You may say that I'm a dreamer - but I'm not the only one.
Maggie Wood, Executive Director
A Fond Farewell to Zanna - We'll Miss You!
The Inclusive Communities team is sad to announce the departure of Administrative Assistant Suzanna George. Zanna has been gracing us with her light and love for almost two years, and those who have stopped by our offices have likely sampled her exceptional homemade baked goods and received one of the best hugs you'll ever get!

Zanna is moving on to pursue other opportunities, but she will be missed at Inclusive Communities. As Dr. Seuss said, "Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory."
Thank you, Zanna for all the memorable moments and work you have put in to bring us to where we are today. Good luck in your next adventures!

Lozier Omaha
Table Talk
Join the conversation at these upcoming events:
#SomosElFuturo: Immigration & the Crisis at the Border
December 17, 2019 | 6:00-7:30pm | Weitz CEC


Women & Wisdom: Social Justice in the Pages of the St. John's Bible
January 14, 2020 | 5:00-7:30pm | Joslyn Art Museum
Includes Joslyn Art Museum exhibit access before the event!
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER (registration opens Dec. 14)



Omaha Table Talk is free and open to the public, with registration required by visiting  www.inclusive-communities.org . Registration opens one month prior to each event. American Sign Language interpreters are available at all OTT events.

Questions? Contact Katherine MacHolmes at  katherine@inclusive-communities.org .
Precious Brady-Davis to be Featured Speaker at 2020 Humanitarian Brunch!
Lauded internationally as an award-winning diversity advocate, communications professional, and public speaker, Precious finds deep meaning in examining the roots of what proliferates bias, bigotry, and prejudice in our world. Through celebrating the beauty of coexistence, uplifting/centering the stories of those who are most marginalized, and seeing that all issues that affect the human condition are interconnected, she invites all who come in contact with her to see the resilience that lives within us all.
 
Originally from Omaha, Precious attended Inclusive Communities’ IncluCity program as a teen, and she will share how this formative experience shaped her life and future work as a diversity advocate.
 
“I am ecstatic to be able to return to Omaha to speak at the Humanitarian Brunch. Attending Unitown (Inclusive Communities’ four-day retreat now known as IncluCity) was one of the most powerful experiences of my life and still influences my work today. I am so excited to share the effect Inclusive Communities has had on my life!”
- Precious Brady-Davis
  
Tickets will go on sale in January, but for now:
Save the Date - April 19, 2020!
3rd Annual FriendsGiving Keeps the Laughs Coming

Thank you to everyone who attended our 3rd Annual Friendsgiving on December 1! We are so fortunate to have had a FULL HOUSE of amazing and wonderful supporters and advocates.

A special thank you to Amber Ruffin, who joined us for the second year in a row - we are still giggling about our time with you on stage!
LeadDIVERSITY Session 4: Institutional Inequities

Our fourth session was yesterday and LeadDIVERSITY Advocate John Staup from OPPD took over our Facebook page. This was a powerful day focusing on Institutional Inequities, including redlining, health care, and more. These are complex issues, but ones that can be broken down into workable problems and movable metrics. This is tough work that takes a long time, but we explored what can be done today to set future generations up for success. Thanks to our presenters for the truth bombs! For an inside look go to Facebook by clicking here.
Volunteer Spotlight: Haji Weliyo
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR!
Haji Weliyo has been a member of the Inclusive Communities family ever since his original delegate Camp in 2014. Prior to Camp, Haji was a different person. “I wasn’t someone who talked about things. I didn’t want to be a burden to my mom. I would keep it all bottled up.” Haji’s path could have been very different if it were not for an influential educator who saw something special in Haji.

“One day, Mr. Steck asked if I was going to prom and I said no, I didn’t really do too much. Mr. Steck then said, "Actually there’s this Camp I think that would be great for you.” From that moment on, Haji has made IncluCity and Inclusive Communities home. “I keep going back to Camp because it’s important for people to be true to themselves and share their feelings without judgement or ridicule. I want to show everyone that it is ok to not be ok. A lot of kids just need someone to talk with and to listen and to be with them in the moment. I believe Camp is changing the world.”

Haji exemplifies what it means to be a passionate and committed advocate. Haji is the first one up in the morning and keeps all our delegates on time and on task. His infectious personality shines through everything that he does! From singing “Oh Alligator!” to leading group discussions, Haji always exudes a cool and confident presence. As the father of an adorable two-year old, Hawa, Haji has become the unofficial Camp Dad. From sharing the best dad jokes to making sure our delegates adhere to their bedtimes, Haji helps everyone feel like they belong and are cared for.

The success of IncluCity is thanks to our amazing volunteers who come back every year! Haji has been to Camp 22 times and shows no signs of stopping! Thank you Haji for your continued dedication to Inclusive Communities!
2019 Wraps Up with IncluCity

We just finished December IncluCity 2019! Students from Omaha North, Marian, Creighton Prep, and Todd County High School in South Dakota had a busy four days learning about what it means to be inclusive.

Highlights included presentations to our delegates about the importance of "people first" language and a discussion about healthy relationships and gender identity. So many wonderful conversations!

Special IncluCity Shout Out to everyone's favorite camper, Lucy the service dog! Lucy is a member of the Todd County High School delegation and provided comfort to everyone at camp - Thanks Lucy!