‘State of Civic Affairs’ panel is Dec. 14

Experts in the civic spheres of education, policy, and civic health in Nebraska – as well as the national civic landscape – will weigh in on where we are and what we need to do next.


As election season fades, so begins the important work of bringing our communities together. We can achieve this by strengthening our social connections, giving back to our towns and cities by volunteering, building trust in our institutions, and staying meaningfully engaged with our elected officials (not just during election years).

As Nebraska’s pre-eminent democracy-building organization, Civic Nebraska invites you to join us on Dec. 14 for The State of Civic Affairs in Nebraska, a panel discussion on where we are in our quality of civic life, and what specific steps every Nebraskan can take to strengthen our civic life.

The virtual panel discussion and interactive Q&A session, which will be hosted on Zoom, will offer key insights into the current state of democracy in Nebraska and our nation. We’ll learn from experts in the civic spheres of education, policy, and civic health in Nebraska as well as the national civic landscape.

As of Nov. 18, panelists include:

Amanda Barker, deputy executive director, Civic Nebraska. Amanda, the head of Civic Nebraska’s Civic Health Programs, focuses on helping Cornhusker State communities of all sizes create a vibrant civic infrastructure through social connectedness and community engagement. Growing up on a farm near Nebraska City, Amanda learned firsthand the value of being an active community member.

Amanda has developed a background in nonprofit work and community development through her time at MindMixer, the Nebraska Tourism Commission, and the Arbor Day Foundation.

Jeff Cole, network lead, Beyond School Bells. Jeff is an expert in expanded learning opportunities, having coordinated after-school and summer learning opportunities at New York City’s High School for Environmental Studies. He led the Lincoln Public School Foundation’s program to launch the city’s Community Learning Center initiative.

Jeff’s work with Beyond School Bells has focused on building partnerships and policies that support more high-quality, sustainable expanded learning opportunity programs across Nebraska.

Westin Miller, director of public policy, Civic Nebraska. Westin is Civic Nebraska’s point person for policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels and leads the organization’s efforts in the Nebraska Legislature lobby. Westin conducts research, oversees Civic Nebraska’s coordinated legislative strategy, and assists state senators and their staff with research and strategy.

Also: We’ll be adding an expert panelist from outside Nebraska to share insights on the national civic landscape. Stay tuned for more information on this addition to our panel in the coming weeks.

Interested in reserving your space for this important and timely discussion? Spots are limited, so don’t delay. RSVP via Eventbrite at your earliest convenience, and we’ll send you information on how to join the virtual gathering closer to Dec. 14.

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