IPL has teamed up with OTOC and the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance to organize an Interfaith Solidarity Service on Thursday, August 4th from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Augustana Lutheran Church (3647 Lafayette Ave).
This will be an evening that will include song, reflection and prayer from Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other faith communities in Omaha. Leaders from diverse congregations will gather together to reflect on our common humanity, appreciate our different faith traditions and customs and re-commit to working together toward creating a peace-filled community for all families.
The Interfaith Solidarity Service will be led by Rabbi Steven Abraham of Beth El Synagogue, Rev. Jan Peterson of Augustana Lutheran Church, Rev. Tony Sanders of Koinonia House of Worship and IMA, Rev. Marshall Johnson of St. Luke United Methodist, and other clergy and lay leaders.
Following the service, there will be refreshments and an opportunity to create new friendships in the Church Hall. Please let us know you will be attending by clicking this link.
OTOC and Institute for Public Leadership will hold 3 workshops this summer to help Omaha leaders prepare for “Leadership in an Election Year.”All sessions will be from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Augustana Lutheran (3647 Lafayette Ave).
Monday June 13–Listening and Telling our Story: Creating a Narrative for the change we want in our communties
Monday July 11–Sharing our narratives and agenda for change with voters; how to organize successful non-partisan voter education campaigns
Monday August 8–holding a large accountability session with candidates for office; how to make our agenda the candidate and successfully win their commitment to support it
IPL is working with leaders of the Refugee Health Collaborative to organize a workshop on Saturday, May 21 from 10:30 to Noonat Augustana Lutheran for refugee leaders entitled “Women’s Health: What everyone needs to know!” Refugee women will meet with Libby Crockett, MD of the UNMC College of Public Health while the men will meet with Dr. Armando de Alba.
Both physicians will be assisted by refugee leaders who will interpret their teaching into several common refugee languages including Karen, Burmese, Nepali, Arabic and Somali interpreters who will assure that participants are able to understand. These are interactive workshops designed to help refugees learn how to access health care appropriately, understand the complex US health care system and how to keep their families healthy. To download a flyer, click on the link below:
Community Meeting about Property Valuation in Northeast Omaha
IPL is also working with OTOC leaders to help organize a community meeting on Tuesday, May 24 at Clair Memorial United Methodist to discuss why tax valuations in the Northeast area of Omaha have been reduced so drastically, first by the Douglas County Assessor’s Office and again the Nebraska Tax Equalization Commission. Residents will learn what they need to do if they want to protest a valuation they consider to be too low or too high. They will also hear from Attorney Gary Fischer of Family Housing Associates about how families can build and protect the equity in their home, and how to avoid losing value.
IPL will also lead the group in discussing how congregations and community groups can work together to increase the demand for affordable housing in Northeast Omaha, thus increasing the value of that housing.
For a flyer about this meeting, click on the link below:
Want to increase your impact by 50%? The IPL Board will add 50% more to your tax deductible contribution…so your contribution of $100 will mean $150 to IPL for leadership development.
Time means money! Give on line to IPL after 4:00 p.m. CST on May 25th so we can compete for a Participation Award of up to $3,000 during the last 8 hours… that means after 4:00 pm (but before Midnight) on May 25th.
Split your total contribution between spouses and/or family IPL is more likely to win a Participation Award if you split your total family contribution between the members of your household, each giving on line.
IPL helped OTOC leaders organize an Issue Conference on February 27 at First United Methodist that was attended by 150 people from 41 congregations and community organizations. IPL helped OTOC leaders prepare eight different workshops. Twenty five to 40 people attended each of the leader lead workshops.
All of the workshops invited those present to take “next steps” to improve our community. Five of the workshops were organized by leaders of existing OTOC Action Teams and these leaders distributed information to participants about what they have learned about the issues they are working on together. The Five existing OTOC Actions Teams are:
Housing and Community Revitalization
Health Care for the Working Poor
Support for Immigrants and Refugees
Improving Behavioral Health Care in Omaha and the State
For a copy of some of those handouts, click on the link below:
This Fall and Winter, IPL worked with students involved in the Northwest HS Thrive Club on a service project to help educate refugee and immigrant communities about mental illness and how to find behavioral health care when you need it.The students wrote and filmed their own informational video to help other teens learn more about mental illness. Take a look at their work at the link below:
IPL worked with leaders of the local chapter of National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), Refugee Empowerment Center (REC) and Lutheran Family Services (LFS) to work with the 55 members of the Northwest HS Thrive Club on their 2015-16 service project. Thrive Clubs are at 5 OPS high schools and provide refugee and immigrant youth with weekly club activities where they learn leadership development skills.
The officers at Northwest met during the Summer and decided they wanted to work with IPL and our collaborators to learn more mental illness. They met with IPL and our partners several times over the semester. The students are producing a video and some simple posters with positive mental health messages which they will post around the school. More importantly, this group of young leaders will begin to know how they can help other members of their better understand that there is no stigma in seeking care for our minds when it is necessary.
IPL worked with the Refugee Health Collaborative to organize a workshop on Healthy Minds for leaders of Omaha’s refugee communities on Saturday, February 20 at Augustana Lutheran Church.
Claire Herzog of Ready in Five and Alana Schriver of the OPS lead an informative and engaging workshop attended by fifty refugees from 6 different countries and groups. The workshop focused on helping refugees understand what mental illness, how to maintain good mental health and how to get help for yourself or a loved one if you realize that help is needed
IPL has worked with the Refugee Health Collaborative over the last two years to develop educational programs to help refugees learn how to access preventive and primary health care in a timely manner and in an appropriate way. IPL and OTOC leaders have worked with a number of community organizations including UNMC College of Public Health, Refugee Empowerment Center, LFS, Douglas County Health Department and Embrace the Nations on this ongoing effort to improve health care for refugees in Omaha.
IPL worked with leaders of Omaha Together One Community (OTOC) to hold three summer training sessions about the principles and practices of community organizing. Over 90 people over 35 congregations and community organizations attended at least one of the sessions and average attendance was over 50 for the three sessions which occurred on the 2nd Monday of June, July and August. The final training session was led by IPL Director Joe Higgs and several OTOC leaders including Carol Beaty, Kevin Graham, Gloria Austerberry and Karen McElroy. The final session focused on:
Developing a Core Team of Leaders: How you identify and develop a team of leaders in your own church or organization so you can work with them for the common good.
Preparing for a listening campaign: How can we organize a series of small group meetings to listen carefully to the issues that affect the families in our congregation and community? OTOC plans to engage in a listening campaign this Fall and will hold a meeting in each member institution to review the work of OTOC Action Team and determine if there are new issues and new leaders who want to work for the common good.
OTOC is an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation and leaders who are active in OTOC member institutions are welcomed to go to regional and national training programs in community organizing.
The next IAF National training program scheduled is set for:
Monday, Nov. 16th at 3:30 p.m.
Until Friday, Nov. 20th at 12:00 noon
Loretto Spirituality Center Littleton, Colorado
Cost is $700 for room and board for those staying at the Spirituality Center
Seminars for Leaders involved in Organizing
IPL is affiliated with the Interfaith Education Fund which organizes educational seminars with leading academics about topics that are relevant to leaders involved in community organizing. The next scheduled seminar is February 5 and 6 in Dallas, Texas with two leading theologians:
Charles Mathewes is Carolyn M. Barbour Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia where he teaches religious ethics and religious thought. He is the author of Evil and the Augustinian Tradition and A Theology of Public Life, The Republic of Grace, and Understanding Religious Ethics.
Luke Bretherton is a Professor of Theological Ethics and Senior Fellow, Kenan Institute for Ethics at the Duke Divinity School. He is the author of Hospitality as Holiness: Christian Witness Amid Moral Diversity. His recent work has focused on faith-based organizations, the church’s involvement in social welfare provision, community organizing, the treatment of refugees, and fair trade.
Contact the IPL office is you are interested in attending either of these great opportunities to learn.
Institute for Public Leadership (IPL) and OTOC worked with our Iowa-based sister organization, AMOS IPL, to organize and conduct a three-day leadership training program in Des Moines on August 2-4.
Thirteen people from Omaha and 30 from Iowa attended the training to help them better understand the conceptual framework and fundamental practices of community organizing during three days of engaging training sessions, meeting new people and sharing stories about their work for the common good in their own communities. Participants from Omaha included:
Institute for Public Leadership (IPL) collaborated with several other local organizations to organize a workshop on July 28 to educate refugee families living in North Omaha about the dangers of methamphetamines and alcohol abuse. The need for these workshops first emerged in discussions of the Refugee Mental Health committee which IPL helped organize in 2014. Heartland Family Services and Oma
Omaha Police Department took the lead in organizing the event.IPL and several of our collaborators have worked together to develop a number of ways to help refugees learn about the dangers of drug and alcohol use.
OPD Captain Shana Ray was the subject of a recent front page story about her work with refugee communities and their reporters took pictures at this event.
Click on the link below to read the story about Captain Ray and see more pictures from the workshop: