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Omaha Community Council for Racial Justice and Reconciliation (OCCRJR)

Continuing as a member of the Omaha Community Council for Racial Justice and Reconciliation, Institute staff helped organize several hybrid and virtual community meetings:

  • December 2021 Community Meeting: Facts and Myths about Critical Race Theory
  • January 2022 National Day of Racial Healing: Interest Convergence as a Tool for Racial Healing
  • March 2022 Community Meeting: Censorship and “Book Bans” in Education

Pictured above: National Day of Racial Healing panelists: Barry Thomas, BCT Consulting; Erika Kirby, PhD, professor of communications studies, A.F. Jacobson Chair in Communication, Creighton University; Nuriel Heckler, JD, PhD, assistant professor, School of Public Administration, University of Nebraska Omaha; and Janique Hayes, MPA, assistant director, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and Mission and Ministry, Creighton University.

In addition, the Council was presented with the opportunity to provide updated information for the National Register of Historic Places entry for the Douglas County Courthouse to include the 1919 mob lynching of Will Brown. The Council’s efforts have focused on recognizing victims of racial violence in the Omaha area, including a ceremony in 2019 installing a historical marker memorializing Brown at the courthouse.

Despite this historical event, only the physical architectural features are detailed in the original entry as rationale for the building’s historical significance. Charise Alexander Adams drafted additional documentation with help from a graduate student and faculty member at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Architecture and History Nebraska. The additional documentation was accepted by the Nebraska State Historic Preservation Board in September 2021. A mention of this effort appeared in the December 24, 2021, issue of the Omaha Star newspaper.