Racial Equity movement in Omaha hosts virtual community forum


Sara Meadows

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

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

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

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

Alex Johnson and Karen Abrams, board members of MORE, will interview Polk about how her personal and professional experience with racism and oppression led to her activism in antiracism.

Polk moved to North Omaha in 1964 where she was stalked for 17 years by the leader of the Nebraska Ku Klux Klan. Polk said this was an experience that led to her work in antiracism and racial equity.

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

Although assigned to a Nike-Hercules missile site in Louisville, NE, Polk said her husband was told, “colored people can’t live there.”

Polk was the first person of color to work in the business office at Northwestern Bell, as well as Nebraska’s first-ever equal opportunity employment officer.

Her volunteer work includes 26 years at the Nebraska Department of Corrections and as a labor activist.

“Back then, there was what we called ‘Black City Hall’ at the old Fair Deal restaurant on North 24th St., where community leaders — the movers and shakers, regardless of income — came to talk things out,” Polk said. “That’s where you found out what was going on. That’s 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 antiracism and racial equity.

Register for the forum here: https://givebutter.com/Donna-Polk-Racism-Animates-Activism

For more information, contact Karen Abrams at 402-215-5173 or moreinfo@moreomaha.org.