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Race Matters Conference: Putting Race on the Table


Registration is now full for the Race Matters Conference December 3-4 at the UNO Alumni Center!

The conference agenda is attached here.

Click here to learn about our keynote speakers.

Objective of the Race Matters Conference: For more than 28 years, Voices for Children in Nebraska has been working on issues facing children in the areas of juvenile justice, child welfare, economic stability and health. Through the data in our annual KIDS COUNT report, we have become increasingly concerned about racial disparities in all these areas.  Our concerns were further validated recently with a national Race for Results report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation showing that Nebraska is performing below average in opportunities for children of color.

Our state’s performance is particularly troublesome when you consider our changing demographics. Projections from the Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Nebraska at Omaha show the percentage of people of color will nearly double from 17.9% in 2012 to 38% by 2050. So the current racial disparities in the levels of prenatal care, lower reading and math scores, higher poverty and greater involvement in the child welfare and juvenile justice system will continue to effect more people as the demographics change. We are literally in a race against the clock to ensure children of all racial groups have the opportunities to become successful adults.

As we all know, there are various approaches to race. These approaches include racial equity which is focused on policies and practices, prejudice reduction, anti-racism, healing, reconciliation, diversity, multiculturalism and civic engagement. While all of these approaches are important and part of a multi-pronged approach to addressing racial disparities, the approach of this conference will be racial equity— focusing on policies and practices. Racial Equity uses systems thinking.  Individuals are not viewed as “bad actors” but as an interconnected system that involves everyone. We all play a part in what is occurring in Nebraska and we can all help to change it.

It is our goal that the upcoming conference will provide awareness on our Nebraska racial history, an awareness of what is happening now and a vision for necessary change in the future.  The conference is also intended to provide training on tools such as the Racial Equity Impact Analysis and to develop an action plan for moving forward in the years to come.

Voices for Children is hosting this conference in conjunction with the Partners for Race and Equity.

A special thanks to our presenting sponsor, the Cooper Foundation:





Other sponsors of this event include:

The Sherwood Foundation

The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Boys Town

Nebraska Families Collaborative

Metropolitan Area Planning Agency

University of Nebraska Omaha Academic and Student Affairs, Division of Inclusion & Multicultural Affairs

Creighton University

Urban League of Nebraska



Heartland 2050 Pre-conference Event 

You are also invited to join us for the Race Matters Pre-Conference Release of the Heartland 2050 Equitable Growth Profile for the Omaha-Council Bluffs Region! The Omaha/Council Bluff’s region’s growing, diverse population can be a major economic asset– if its leaders invest in ensuring all of its residents can access good jobs and contribute their talent and creativity to building a strong next economy. The region has demonstrated economic resilience through the Great Recession, but persistent inequities for its communities of color and low-income residents are a threat to future prosperity. Our data analysis suggests focusing on certain priority goals to spur more equitable growth in the Omaha region. Click here to register for the Heartland 2050 Event.

Click here for the Heartland 2050 Event Agenda.

Date: December 2

Time: 2-5 pm

Location: UNO Alumni Center

Questions? Contact Shelley at 402-597-3100 or via email at shenderson@voicesforchildren.com 

Thank you to taking the time to share!

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