What's the buzz? This is where you'll find recent news about Civic Nebraska.

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Introducing Mark Harris, director of operations
Mark collaborates with senior-level management and solicits feedback from all staff to develop daily performance goals and long-term operational plans.
October 21, 2020
262,000 and counting: Early vote-at-home ballots soar
Can Nebraska break its all-time general-election record of over 860,000 votes cast? We're off to a fast start.
October 19, 2020
Pocket Democracy: A Civic Sermon
Pocket Democracies rely on moral certitude and ideological purity and force us to do citizenship backward. We must break free of this trap, Steve Smith told our Civic Saturday participants on Oct. 17, 2020.
October 17, 2020
Census 2020 is over. Here’s how Nebraska added up.
Nebraska outpaced the national average, surpassed 2010's effort, and finished fourth among U.S. states and territories in self-responding to the 2020 U.S. Census.
October 16, 2020
Confronting change: Lessons from a brave and proud people
Melissa Garcia reflects on a pre-pandemic trip to Panama, and lessons from indigenous peoples in an era of disruption and change.
October 16, 2020
Guest blog: Busting vote-by-mail myths
Election officials in Cherry County – an all-vote-by-mail county – tackle the most common vote-by-mail myths.
October 15, 2020
Supplant the media slant: Identify, verify and diversify your news
As the most connected humans in history, it's important to understand how we get information is just as, if not more, significant than the core message.
October 9, 2020
It’s official: a record number of Election Protectors
Civic Nebraska's volunteer Election Protectors play an important role in defending our institutions by making sure that Nebraska elections are fair and free.
October 8, 2020
Join us Oct. 17 for ‘Civic Saturday: Pocket Democracy’
Join us for music, poetry, reflection, and a 'civic sermon' on the theme of 'Pocket Democracy' – how our ever-fragmenting, ever-isolating lives lead us to sort into like-minded groups.
October 7, 2020
It’s October – time for Election Protection trainings
Open, fair elections are the bedrock of democracy, and Civic Nebraska's volunteer Election Protectors – nonpartisan election observers and attorneys around the state – are preparing for an election like no other.
October 1, 2020
Button up to say I VOTED BY MAIL!
Donate $5 or more to Civic Nebraska in October and we'll fashion you with our "I VOTED BY MAIL" button.
September 30, 2020
What if? A guide to early voting-at-home
Early vote-at-home ballots are hitting mailboxes this week. Here are answers to some of the most-asked questions about how it all plays out.
September 29, 2020
Mural victory: Building Oshkosh one brush stroke at a time
The town's latest mural is a vibrant piece of public art. It's also a tribute to community relationships, support, and taking advantage of existing local assets.
September 28, 2020
Reclaiming ‘We’: A Civic Sermon
During Civic Saturday on Sept. 26, 2020, Steve Smith delivered a "civic sermon" entitled "Reclaiming We." Here's the full text.
September 26, 2020
Civic Saturday in Nebraska: Reclaiming ‘We’
Relive Civic Nebraska's Sept. 26, 2020, Civic Saturday with songs, poetry, readings, and a "civic sermon" from Steve Smith.
September 26, 2020
Midwest living
Nebraskans have taken to the streets to protest racial injustice and discrimination. We should pay attention and seek to understand why.
September 25, 2020
On National Voter Registration Day, celebrate civic art-icipation
We're celebrating National Voter Registration Day all week. Join us from 3:30 to 6:30 pm daily in Lincoln through Sept. 25 for a traveling community art project encouraging registration and participation in the 2020 census.
September 22, 2020
Our 2020-21 annual report: STAND FAST!
For meaningful progress, we must stand together in mutual responsibility. We must stand out and create the world we imagine. We must stand guard to protect democracy. And most of all, we must stand with purpose. WE MUST STAND FAST.
September 22, 2020
Stricture picture: ‘All In: The Fight For Democracy’
The documentary, released Sept. 18, provides snapshots of voter suppression yesterday and today and carries an urgent message – vote!
September 18, 2020
My country, right or wrong?
Andy Long asked his social network what true patriotism meant to them. The responses displayed a diversity of thought – and a unity of purpose.
September 18, 2020
Democracy’s Dozen: Movies for Constitution Day
Celebrate our supreme law of the land with these films in which the Constitution plays a supporting role.
September 17, 2020
Voter confidence: Early mail-in ballot requests top 230,000
Assuming those ballots are returned, that is close to surpassing the number of total early votes cast – in person or by mail – in 2016.
September 15, 2020
Nebraska lawyers: Join us Sept. 28 for Election Protector training
Civic Nebraska will host an online training from 5-6:30 p.m. Sept. 28 for lawyers who wish to volunteer with our Election Protection Program.
September 14, 2020
Home, grown: 19 years on, a sense of connection and…
Astrid Munn on geographic insulation – a source of safety on Sept. 11, 2001 – amid ever-increasing interconnectedness and awareness.
September 11, 2020
Civic Saturday returns with ‘Reclaiming We’
Join us at 11 am CDT Sept. 26 for song, poetry, readings, and a "civic sermon" delving into our urgent need for "Reclaiming We."
September 10, 2020
Unsolicited vote-by-mail applications: Spam? Scam? Legit?
That mailing from the Center For Voter Information is real, but largely unnecessary. Nebraska has made it easy to vote by mail in 2020.
September 10, 2020
Beyond the chagrin of losing our smiles
Kevin Shinn on the newfound challenge of relating with other humans in an age of face masks.
September 4, 2020
Census: Where do we stand? What’s next?
As a leader in Nebraska Counts, Civic Nebraska is invested in ensuring a successful census. Here's where things stand as September starts.
September 2, 2020
Voting isn’t like going to Walmart. Here’s why.
As the election approaches, be wary of the idea that it's somehow a cop-out if you vote early from home. Hold fast to your right to vote however you want.
August 31, 2020
In our new normal, a new definition of ‘self-control’
We must acknowledge we have no control over many things in our lives – and we can turn our attention to what we *can* control, Jordan Martin writes.
August 28, 2020
‘Make a plan to vote’: What it means
You're increasingly hearing this phrase as Election Day approaches. What does it mean for Nebraskans as they prepare to cast their ballots?
August 27, 2020
Save the date: Civic Saturday returns to Nebraska on Sept.…
Civic Saturday delves into American civic religion – the values and practices of being a contributing member of civic life in the United States – to provide the tools, inspiration, grounding, and opportunity to engage powerfully as citizens.
August 24, 2020
Out of many, one?
Charlyne Berens on managing the age-old struggle between individual liberty and the common good.
August 21, 2020
Civic Nebraska applauds state making vote-by-mail more accessible in 2020
Providing every Nebraska voter with a request for a mail-in ballot is the right decision for Nebraska and it’s great news for democracy.
August 19, 2020
On Aug. 25, let’s start a conversation on safety
Collective Impact Lincoln is creating a space for neighborhood residents to talk about safety, and the impact it has on their vision of a vibrant community.
August 19, 2020
19 plus 100: Celebrating a century of women’s suffrage
Happy Birthday, 19th Amendment! Margaret Marsh and Phyllis Salyards of the League of Women Voters of Hastings discuss the road to its ratification in 1920.
August 18, 2020
8 important facts about vote-by-mail
Political attacks, confusing terminology, and headlines about the Postal Service have created vote-by-mail confusion. Inoculate yourself and others from the infodemic with these facts.
August 17, 2020
Civic Nebraska @ The Statehouse: That’s a wrap
Amid the chaos, partisanship, and unexpected impacts of COVID-19 at the Legislature, we have good news to report on the elections and voting rights front.
August 14, 2020
Your community needs you
Doing something good can shift feelings of helplessness and uncertainty into those of happiness, gratitude, and connectedness. Here are four ways to get started – now.
August 14, 2020
Cooperation, connection and mutual confidence in a crisis
If a time of crisis is the make-or-break fourth quarter of a big game, how a community works together in the day-to-day is the practice field where winning habits of resilience are built. 
August 10, 2020
How change hangs in the balance (and the imbalance)
Without hope, we will never take the first meaningful step forward. And without conviction, we will settle for a lesser compromise.
August 7, 2020
Go time: 2020 Election Protection Program lifts off Aug. 25
Our first online Election Protector training will be 5 pm Aug. 25, and jam-packed with relevant information, useful resources, and specific calls to action.
August 6, 2020
Groups combine to ‘Speak Up for Housing Rights’
The SPEAK UP initiative, launched Aug. 4, invites local residents and leaders to take decisive action on a growing and urgent crisis in Lincoln.
August 4, 2020
If you lose faith, you lose all
Repeated attacks on the legitimacy of vote-by-mail damage our confidence in democracy. We can't allow that to happen.
July 30, 2020
Season’s Greetings! Request a mail-in ballot today
On 'National Vote-By-Mail Day,' get started early on the process required to vote from home for the general election.
July 28, 2020
An echo in time and marching through history
Will 2020 be one of those years someone reads about in a history book and admires our tenacity and recovery?
July 24, 2020
Join the long march forward
Reflecting on the life of Rep. John Lewis reminds us that the struggle for the ballot was not easily won, nor something to take for granted.
July 23, 2020
Civic Nebraska joins Together, One Lincoln project
For a stronger, more equitable community, we must talk with and listen to one another. Together, we're ready.
July 23, 2020
Overcoming bias and putting in the sweat equity
Liz Codina on putting irrational thoughts aside during the pandemic – and recommitting to build strong communities wherever we may be.
July 17, 2020
Civic Nebraska @ the Statehouse: Christmas in July
The Nebraska Legislature is reconvening on Monday, July 20, to pick up right where we left off.
July 16, 2020
How to be the Legislature’s ‘Second House’
What to expect when testifying, the most effective way to contact state senators, and ways to conduct innovative and effective communication campaigns.
July 14, 2020
Introducing Michael Bandy, our new Rocket CLC leader
As Civic Nebraska's school community coordinator for Lincoln Northeast's CLC, Michael advocates for students, families and neighborhood residents.
July 13, 2020
This election year, take action beyond the factions
Andy Long on the power of political parties – and the importance of summoning the courage to buck them.
July 10, 2020
A declaration of independence, dependence, and interdependence
On July 4, pondering three principles that over the centuries have been essential to the idea of America.
July 4, 2020
For community, swipe left on Memeland for a while
In the latest edition of the Civic Nebraska Writers Group, Astrid Munn explores the separation between screen and (real) space.
July 3, 2020
Civic Nebraska, Lincoln CLCs offer community improvement mini-grants
Through Aug. 12, Lincoln CLC families can apply for mini-grants of up to $350 to put toward a project that helps engage and improve their neighborhoods.
July 2, 2020
Collective Impact Lincoln extends community-building reach in third year
Organizers engaged over 6,000 residents, trained over 120 neighborhood advocates, and activated Lincolnites to advocate for pro-neighborhood policies.
July 1, 2020
Let’s talk about voting rights: A live Q&A
The June 29 forum is in partnership with the Let's Talk Alliance, a discussion group consisting of members of OLLI and historically underrepresented communities.
June 24, 2020
Join the club: CIVIC U. live events for middle and…
Our CLCs are partnering with talented local residents to host interactive virtual clubs to help connect our middle- and high-school students this summer.
June 23, 2020
Confronting racism’s legacy, from town to country
It is important for all Nebraskans, but especially for those of us who were raised away from cities and unaware of our state's history of racism, to come to grips with this reality.
June 19, 2020
Meet Renae Ninneman, leader of our Lincoln CLCs
Renae will lead Civic Nebraska's six before- and after-school programs in Lincoln and the Greater Lincoln area.
June 18, 2020
Speak up and be heard: We’ll show you how
On June 20, Collective Impact Lincoln will share how to navigate local power structures – preparing public comments, testifying at forums, and contacting officials.
June 17, 2020
Frequently-asked questions about the 2020 election
The Nov. 3, 2020 general election is approaching. From now until Election Day, we'll share the latest voting-related questions and answers.
June 15, 2020
Breaking through and calling the Declaration’s bluff
The civic awakening following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis may be the breakthrough that moves our national experiment to a new level.
June 12, 2020
It’s official: Democracy wins
Nebraska smashed voting records in May. Can we do it again in November? With the growth in vote-by-mail and continued COVID-19 concerns, it's possible.
June 11, 2020
Census Day plus 70: Where does Nebraska stand?
Nebraska is in the Top 5 nationally for self-response rate, but we're still trailing our rates from both 2000 and 2010.
June 9, 2020
Seize this moment – help register new voters
There are many areas to continue to funnel this energy. One is to register to vote and to participate in our democracy via the ballot – and to help others register, too. Here's how.
June 8, 2020
Beyond the Three Rs: the importance of schools in communities
Tammy Day on the importance of schools in our towns, cities, and neighborhoods to meet basic needs – something that has become glaringly apparent in a pandemic.
June 5, 2020
Make it a civic summer at CIVIC U.
School’s officially out, but CIVIC U.’s virtual campus is buzzing. For young Americans, defenders of democracy, and community advocates ages 6 to 106.
June 4, 2020
Lincoln: Collective Impact Lincoln is here and listening
We don’t pretend to have all the answers. We're continuing to listen, so we can learn, organize and mobilize alongside our communities for lasting change.
June 3, 2020
For equality before the law, Black lives MUST matter
Civic Nebraska renews our pledge to build a more inclusive and just society. We stand with Black Nebraskans and Americans, whose peaceful protests have shone a light on the ongoing violence directed at them and their communities. We affirm that Black lives matter.
June 2, 2020
In Nebraska and around the U.S., vote-by-mail dominates
With 31 states having already held primary elections, those using mailed-out ballots – including Nebraska – are dominating the Top 10.
May 29, 2020
Atop our voices: Listening, learning, and acting for community
As individuals in a larger system, we can help nurture a culture of caring, consideration, and thoughtful compromise – but that takes a consistent pattern of communication over time.
May 29, 2020
On Give To Lincoln Day, shine for your democracy
Your gift to Civic Nebraska on May 28 will be matched dollar for dollar by a generous donor circle. Give early and often to double your impact.
May 26, 2020
The 2020 Summer of Democracy Reading List
We asked, and you delivered. Here's Civic Nebraska's 2020 Summer of Democracy Reading List, as nominated by Nebraskans and selected by our staff.
May 25, 2020
It’s never too late: Let’s regenerate
Dawaune Hayes on ensuring that our collective decisions contribute to a sustainable environment for all.
May 22, 2020
Strengthening Democracy redux: Bonus Q&A
Our May 14 interactive live stream with Amber McReynolds was such a hit that we ran out of time to answer all of your questions. We're addressing that today with this wrap-up Q&A.
May 21, 2020
Our work continues: Collective Impact Lincoln earns new funding
The three-year, $900,000 grant will continue the partnership's work of lifting up Lincoln's core neighborhoods and helping to enact meaningful, resident-led, positive change.
May 21, 2020
Omaha Gives!: Help us build democracy in the Metro
Give early and often! Your May 20 OMAHA GIVES! contribution will be matched by a group of donors to help power our democracy-building efforts in the Metro.
May 18, 2020
Creating community in a pandemic: Our virtual Community Builder Workshop…
Now more than ever, communities matter. Join the Collective Impact Lincoln team for a virtual Community Builder Workshop from 10 am to 2 pm Saturday, May 16. This ... Read more
May 15, 2020
Watch it again: Strengthening Democracy 2020
Our May 14 interactive Q&A with Amber McReynolds of the National Vote At Home Institute.
May 14, 2020
Join our Zoom-in affordable housing discussion
A pandemic can’t stop Lincoln from speaking up for affordable housing! Join Collective Impact Lincoln on Zoom at 5 pm today [May 13] for an affordable housing information session. ... Read more
May 13, 2020
Record-breaking primary shows the power of vote-by-mail
County election officials showed May 12 that it's certainly possible to conduct Nebraska elections on a large scale with the vote-by-mail standard.
May 12, 2020
The primary at mid-day: Light in-person voting, thanks to record…
Faced with the continued spread of COVID-19 in the state, nearly 500,000 Nebraskans had requested mail-in ballots for today’s primary election.
May 12, 2020
Democracy’s Dozen: Commencement Addresses
These 12 graduation speeches include inspiring calls to action – to build, strengthen, and sustain our democratic way of life.
May 8, 2020
Meet Kara Nelson, our Raymond Central Before- and After-School Program…
Kara advocates for Raymond Central youth, families and residents. She plans, schedules and directs daily routines, activities and operations of each elementary site.
May 8, 2020
Give Grace. We’re in a pandemic.
As the pandemic wears on, Civic Nebraska Writers Group member Liz Codina examines what it means to truly be "all in this together."
May 8, 2020
Strengthening Democracy 2020: Your essential cocktail list
We're hosting a virtual happy hour May 14 during our online Strengthening Democracy 2020 celebration. Here are six cocktails to try from Westin Miller.
May 7, 2020
On #GivingTuesdayNow, donate to democracy
On #GivingTuesdayNow, we encourage you to donate to democracy — give to Civic Nebraska.
May 5, 2020
Introducing CIVIC U., a virtual learning hub
Whether you're a K-12 student, a voting rights advocate, or a neighborhood connector, there's something at CIVIC U. to watch, learn, and act upon.
May 4, 2020
Democracy’s Dozen: Podcasts
Here are 12 great listens to inform and inspire you to stay safe, healthy, and civically active.
May 1, 2020
Confront this brutal reality – and have faith in the…
Andy Long on how long, difficult journeys can build strength, power, and leadership.
May 1, 2020
Thank you *always* to frontline workers
Please join us in thanking these essential workers for everything they do.
April 30, 2020
Summer of Democracy Reading List: Let’s hear your picks!
Each year, we ask Nebraskans to nominate titles for our all-ages reading list. Let's hear your 2020 suggestions.
April 28, 2020
Mini-grant wrap-up: Great Plains Music Festival
A look back at Collective Impact Lincoln's mini-grant to assist the Great Plains Music Festival.
April 27, 2020
Walking among the lone wolves, longing to howl with the…
Astrid Munn on the experiences – like a simple neighborhood stroll – that form the connections, distractions, and vexations of daily life in the 'new normal.'
April 24, 2020
Resources to stay engaged, informed and active
Stay active, engaged, and vigilant amid the coronavirus concern. Here are our easy-reference COVID-19 resource pages for you and your family.
April 21, 2020
Mini-grant wrap-up: University Place
In 2019, Collective Impact Lincoln gave out $4,000 in mini-grants to Lincoln organizations and individuals working to improve their neighborhoods.
April 20, 2020
Don’t stop believing – and working to understand others, too
Kevin Shinn on holding strong beliefs, and understanding that those who believe differently may also have a point.  
April 17, 2020


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After School Programs

  • Sherman Elementary School

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  • Lewis and Clark Middle School

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  • Lothrop Magnet Elementary

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  • Randolph Elementary School

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  • Raymond Central Elementary Schools

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