Virtual community

Racial Equity Movement in Omaha Hosts Virtual Community Forum

Sara Meadows

Polk shares her personal and professional experiences with racism and oppression that led her to engage in anti-racism. Photo courtesy of the Movement in Omaha for Racial Equity (MORE.)

Movement in Omaha for Racial Equity (MORE) will host a virtual community forum on April 12.

The forum will take place from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. via Zoom or Facebook live. The event is free and open to the public.

“Fighting for Native American Health and Wellness” will feature a conversation with Donna Polk, CEO of the Nebraskan Urban Indian Health Coalition (NUIHC).

MORE board members Alex Johnson and Karen Abrams will interview Polk about how her personal and professional experience of racism and oppression led her to engage in anti-racism.

Polk moved to North Omaha in 1964 where she was hounded for 17 years by the Nebraska Ku Klux Klan leader. Polk said it was an experience that led her to work on anti-racism and racial equity.

“We were a military family that moved to 2906 Patrick Ave. (OHA Projects) in separated North Omaha in 1964,” Polk said.

Although assigned to a Nike-Hercules missile site in Louisville, NE, Polk said her husband was told “people of color cannot live there.”

Polk was the first person of color to work in Northwestern Bell’s business office, as well as Nebraska’s first-ever Equal Opportunity Employment Officer.

Her volunteer work includes 26 years with the Nebraska Correctional Service and as a union activist.

“At the time, there was what we called ‘Black City Hall’ in the former Fair Deal restaurant on North 24th St., where community leaders – movers and shakers, regardless of income – were coming to talk about things,” Polk said. “That’s when you found out what was going on. This is where you decided how to get involved.

This year is Polk’s 31st year leading NUIHC. She says her personal experiences are what motivated her to work in anti-racism and racial equity.

Sign up for the forum here:

For more information, contact Karen Abrams at 402-215-5173 or [email protected]