About the Network
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Empowerment Network Mission: To transform the City of Omaha into a GREAT city, thriving and prosperous, where all citizens are engaged and empowered and have full access to the incredible opportunities that are available here.
The Empowerment Network is a collaboration of residents, elected officials, neighborhood groups, community organizations, philanthropists, educational institutions, faith communities, governmental agencies, and businesses, working together to Transform Omaha!
Vision of the Future: Omaha will be a GREAT city, in every zip code, by closing long-standing gaps in education, employment and entrepreneurship, housing, and quality of life, which have been traditionally based on race and geographic segregation.
EMPOWERMENT COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS: DO YOUR PART!
We Believe in:
A. Personal Responsibility (Individual Covenant)
B. Leadership Accountability (Leadership Covenant)
C. Comprehensive Collaboration (7 Step Empowerment Plan)
We address poverty, economic and educational gaps, and quality of life disparities by
Building Wealth & Income, Creating Strong Families, Preparing Successful Children, and Rebuilding Thriving Neighborhoods. Specific strategies using our experiences from the past five years are incorporated into the 7 Step Empowerment Plan. It is a holistic and comprehensive community building approach.
7 STEP EMPOWERMENT PLAN: COMPREHENSIVE COLLABORATION - DO OUR PART!
1. Employment and Entrepreneurship
2. Education and Youth Development
3. Sustainable Neighborhoods (Housing, Neighborhoods, and Transportation)
4. Faith, Hope, and Community Engagement
5. Violence Intervention and Prevention
6. Health and Healthy Families
7. Arts, Culture, History, and Media/Communications
INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND
The Empowerment Network is a united group of leaders, residents, and organizations working to facilitate positive, measurable, and dramatic change in the Omaha community. Launched in 2006, the Network works collectively, in a coordinated and comprehensive way, to improve the economic progress and quality of life of African-Americans, North Omaha residents, and the Greater Omaha region. The movement is based on 13 Covenant Areas and a strategic plan that focuses on the empowerment of individuals, families, leaders, and organizations that serve the community.
FORMATION & FRAMEWORK
Beginning in June 2006, the Empowerment Network hosted meetings, summits, conferences, and focus groups with residents and leaders to identify key issues and solutions. The community meetings ranged in size from 50 to over 300. The group has also hosted youth summits, small group sessions and one-on-one meetings. The primary purpose was to gain resident and stakeholder input on issues, solutions, and priorities. This strategy continues today. The Empowerment Network made a commitment to hold monthly meetings with the community to provide updates, answer questions, provide opportunities for engagement, and periodically assess priorities and make adjustments to strategies.
Since the original meetings and launch of Empower Omaha in April 2007, the Network and North Omaha community have made significant progress on a covenant (agreement) and strategic plan (action plan) to help address issues identified by the community.
The covenant follows the framework and model of the best-selling book, Covenant with Black America, produced by Tavis Smiley in partnership with PolicyLink and Angela Blackwell. We have worked hard to gather the thoughts, ideas and involvement of our community to localize, create and implement our own covenant. We have identified issues, but have focused our attention on solutions. We have said from the beginning that we will be positive, proactive, and build partnerships.
The Empowerment Network has emerged over the past four years as a catalyst for bringing together individuals and organizations to accomplish visionary and strategic objectives. The group has been successful in connecting groups and individuals from diverse backgrounds and rallying them around a common vision and mission. Significant milestones have been accomplished and the foundation is set for unprecedented collaboration and results. The Empowerment Network is a non-profit organization and received its 501 c 3 status in June 2010.
Strategies and plans have been developed in a number of areas including: community engagement; job development and training; education and youth development; business development and entrepreneurship; housing and neighborhood development; violence intervention and prevention; voter registration and participation; arts, culture, and history revitalization; and, communications and media expansion and enhancement.
The Empowerment Network is a collaboration of over 500 participating organizations and businesses, and a diverse group of individuals including elected and appointed officials, business executives, non-profit leaders, pastors and ministers, educators, violence prevention specialists, neighborhood leaders, community development experts, and residents.
The group has launched major initiatives including the Empowerment Covenant, Empower North Omaha!, Empower Omaha!, Omaha 360, North Omaha Village Zone, and the Rebuilding the Village Strategy – a comprehensive and coordinated approach to redeveloping targeted geographic areas in a holistic way.