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

All Build Up Omaha Civic Education Civic Health CIVIC U. Collective Impact Lincoln Fundraising Initiatives Legislation Watch News Releases Research Strengthening Democracy Uncategorized Updates Voting Rights Writers Group
‘If you need ID at the store, why not to…
Democracy isn’t transactional, and polling places aren’t retail stores. Their locations, processes, and costs are not supposed to be easily accessible for some but severely out of reach for others.
July 19, 2021
‘Behind On Rent’ sweeps up the honors
Gabriella Parsons' short 2020 film on the faces of Nebraska's eviction and affordable housing crisis has been officially selected for film festivals from Portland to Atlanta.
July 16, 2021
We love it: ‘We The People’ on Netflix
Here's an episode-by-episode look at WE THE PEOPLE, a new animated/musical streaming series that brings civics into the 21st century.
July 12, 2021
Introducing Alex Brechbill, grant writer
The Aurora native coordinates Civic Nebraska's grant activities, drafts initial project summaries and funding proposals, tracks deliverables, writes and edits proposals, and compiles reports for our growing organization.
July 12, 2021
Honest mistakes and states of grace
For new Americans still learning to navigate their new land, a simple faux pas often can lead to larger consequences, Astrid Munn writes. Here's why.
July 9, 2021
Voter ID is back. It’s time to activate.
Voter ID is complicated, reactionary, ineffective, and expensive, potentially costing Nebraskans millions of public dollars to implement and maintain. Voter ID makes us all less free.
July 8, 2021
Meet Alicia Phillips, Collective Impact Lincoln program manager
The Lincoln native has deep ties to the community and was brought up on the importance of serving her neighbors.
July 8, 2021
America, and its necessary insecurities
This Independence Day, let's resolve to build greater democratic security for all Americans by testing boundaries and challenging the safety of the status quo.
July 4, 2021
For a change in attitude, we need some altitude
Seemingly implacable problems harden when attacked with simplistic solutions, Kevin Shinn writes.
July 2, 2021
The 26th at 50: a revolution, if we want it
Like all great advancements in voting rights, the 26th amendment came after years of struggle and hard work, and, of course, opposition. The work continues today.
July 1, 2021
‘Between the Lines’: a Civic Sermon
Reading keeps us free. Our imagination keeps us free. And our stories keep us free. Civic Nebraska's Steve Smith discusses how we can claim and focus all three.
June 26, 2021
Not for profit, but for people: a wellness plan for…
Nonprofits help us live up to our collective character, fulfill our shared responsibility, and connect us to our moral core, Charlyne Berens writes.
June 18, 2021
31 acts in honor of the ‘Civic Season’
Getting into The Civic Season? Here are 31 ways you can carry that enthusiasm into your community during these three weeks – and beyond.
June 16, 2021
Introducing Aneisha Brown, our Campbell CLC leader
The Lincoln native and youth programs veteran brings her expertise and passion to Civic Nebraska's north-central Lincoln CLC.
June 15, 2021
Meet Jacqueline Goering, leader of our Randolph Elementary CLC
The Hickman native and two-time Nebraska U. graduate is eager to build strong students and engaged families in the Lincoln neighborhood she and her family call home.
June 14, 2021
Season’s greetings: celebrating a national ‘Civic Season’
June 14 to July 4 – Flag Day to Independence Day – is the Civic Season, when Americans connect with the past, take action in the present, and shape the future.
June 11, 2021
Hooray for community giving days
Tammy Day on how rallying a community's collective power pays long-term dividends.
June 10, 2021
June 20: CommUNITY Student Photo & Film Festival
Together with our partners at The Bay, Civic Nebraska will be broadcasting the top photos and short films on the UBT Cube starting at 3:45 pm June 20.
June 8, 2021
Help lead civic renewal in Greater Nebraska this summer
Starting June 7 at our Grand Island HQ, Civic Nebraska will host five summer workshop sessions to empower Voting Rights Advocates' efforts toward civic wellness in their towns and cities. 
June 1, 2021
The 2021 Summer of Democracy Reading List
In honor of the 14 weeks between now and Labor Day, here are 14 reads about civic life, democracy, history, politics, and more.
May 31, 2021
Civic Nebraska @ the Statehouse: 2021 in Review
With the 107th Nebraska Legislature adjourning sine die on May 27, Westin Miller takes a look at accomplishments and work yet to be done at the statehouse.
May 28, 2021
Q&A with Nancy Petitto, Director of Civic Health Programs
On June 1, Nancy Petitto will assume the role of Director of Civic Health Programs at Civic Nebraska.
May 27, 2021
5 things about Law Clerk Shannon Konkol
Shannon, a student at Nebraska Law, recently joined our Voting Rights Initiatives team. Here's more about her, in her own words.
May 26, 2021
Civic Saturday returns to in-person gatherings June 26
Join us June 26 at Francie & Finch Bookshop in Lincoln for our first in-person Civic Saturday since 2019.
May 26, 2021
On Give To Lincoln Day, say YES to Civic Nebraska
Please make your voice heard and donate today for a more modern and robust democracy.
May 24, 2021
Rolling with the tide
Liz Codina reflects on the difficult – and painful – changes forged by a year of civic participation during a pandemic.
May 14, 2021
12 awarded Collective Impact Lincoln mini-grants
The mini-grants focus on resident-led activities in the Everett, Hartley, Near South, University Place, Clinton, and Belmont neighborhoods.
May 13, 2021
Omaha, Lincoln vote bright and early in ’21
Sixty-eight percent of Omahans and 64 percent of Lincolnites who cast ballots in their cities' May elections did so via early ballot.
May 12, 2021
Q&A with Sarah Walker, director of development
Sarah Walker was named Civic Nebraska's director of development May 3.
May 10, 2021
Your focus becomes your priority
Ronda Graff asks: What if communities were intentional about their focus and zoomed in on the positive rather than the negative?
May 7, 2021
Secure, safe, convenient: Early voting powers Lincoln’s ballot surge
The 52,541 ballots cast in the citywide election is a 35 percent jump in ballots from the previous high in a non-mayoral election. It also marks the second-highest total for any city election, behind 2019’s mayoral and council vote.
May 5, 2021
Make your picks for the 2021 Summer of Democracy Reading…
Reading is an act of engaged democratic citizenship. It builds empathy and character, expands knowledge, and encourages critical thought. Reading keeps us free.
May 3, 2021
Girl, Plainsplained
Conventional wisdom can be a product of distinct times and places – but also of basic hopes and deep fears, as Astrid Munn learned from an intensely personal experience.
April 30, 2021
Strengthening Democracy Awards 2021: ‘Character in the Collective’
Civic Nebraska celebrated its eighth annual Strengthening Democracy Awards on April 29 by pairing a rousing keynote speech from Eric Liu with inspiring stories of Nebraskans fortifying our shared civic life.
April 29, 2021
Strengthening Democracy: 2021 Outstanding Student Leaders
Anna Castro, Armon'e Dean, Christopher Gonzalez-Donis, and Neira Brandt are our 2021 Outstanding Student Leaders.
April 27, 2021
Strengthening Democracy: Erica Kobza
Erica Kobza is our 2021 Outstanding Youth Engagement honoree.
April 26, 2021
End party primaries and improve the quality of Nebraska politics
In an April 25 Omaha World-Herald op-ed, Director of Public Policy Westin Miller proposes a fix for partisan primaries, which make representatives more beholden to their parties’ extremes.
April 25, 2021
Strengthening Democracy: Janell Walther
Janell Walther is our 2021 Outstanding Civic Health Partner.
April 23, 2021
Keep the faith – change won’t happen without it
When faith is absent, hope will also be missing, Kevin Shinn writes.
April 23, 2021
Strengthening Democracy 2021: Your essential cocktail list
Host your own virtual happy hour on April 29 during our online Strengthening Democracy 2021 celebration. Here are six (OK, five) cocktails from which to choose, concocted by resident mixologist Westin Miller.
April 22, 2021
Strengthening Democracy: Ja Keen Fox
Ja Keen Fox is our 2021 Defender of Democracy.
April 22, 2021
Strengthening Democracy: The Bay (Rabble Mill)
The Bay (Rabble Mill) is our 2021 Outstanding Community Partner.
April 21, 2021
We wrote a book: Introducing ‘Reclaiming We’
Written by Civic Nebraska, RECLAIMING WE is an easy-to-read guidebook highlighting straightforward acts that any and all of us can perform on behalf of American democracy.
April 20, 2021
Strengthening Democracy: Cory Epler
Cory Epler is our 2021 Outstanding Administrator.
April 19, 2021
Finishing strong
Having put in the hard work for most of the pandemic, we want to finally be able to ease off. But now – more than any other time – is for vigilance, Jordan Martin writes.
April 16, 2021
Collective Impact Lincoln to host council candidate forum April 20
The discussion will focus on topics including housing affordability, neighborhood safety, food access, and health care in Lincoln.
April 15, 2021
Strengthening Democracy: Michelle Clifford
Michelle Clifford is our 2021 Outstanding Educator.
April 15, 2021
Our 2021 Strengthening Democracy Awards winners are …
The 2021 Strengthening Democracy Awards honorees include educators, advocates, students, and everyday Nebraskans who demonstrate exceptional civic leadership and who embody Civic Nebraska’s vision of a collaborative, innovative society.
April 12, 2021
‘Civic Sidewalk Series’ to fill Lincoln, Omaha spaces with voting…
Local artists will spray-chalk motivational messages about voting, and Civic Nebraska and partners will provide voter education, registration, and help for voters in making plans to vote.
April 12, 2021
Affliction or affection? Our civic choice is a fundamental one
As long as we share a commitment to our tried-and-true American values, we can work through the constant rebalancing that is required for us to remain one people. Trust, friendship, shared beliefs – the bonds of civic affection – can feed that rebalancing, Charlyne Berens writes.
April 9, 2021
Omahans, Lincolnites show confidence in early, mail-in voting
Boosted by early voting and vote-by-mail, Lincoln and Omaha's April 6 city primaries reached new heights.
April 6, 2021
Expanding, evolving, and redefining our post-pandemic worlds
As the light at the end of the long COVID tunnel approaches, we can weave a new future based on where we are – not where we were, Tammy Day writes.
April 2, 2021
On Friday: Just the facts, ma’am.
April 1 is a day for fools. April 2 is a day for facts.
April 1, 2021
Collective Impact Lincoln report touts neighborhood successes, what’s next
'What Our Neighbors Said' is a comprehensive look back – and ahead – at building up the Star City’s core neighborhoods.
March 30, 2021
‘Patriot Acts’: a Civic Sermon
We can and should seek an American patriotism that meets us where we are and where we’ve been – and based on those realities, casts an imaginative hope for the future.
March 27, 2021
Talking about race means getting comfortably uncomfortable
Carlos Barcenas on the first steps to deeper conversations on race: showing up, being intentional, allowing discomfort, and relaxing.
March 26, 2021
Strengthening Democracy Award nominations due March 31
Who builds civic life in your community? Tell us about them, and they could be honored on April 29 at Civic Nebraska’s Strengthening Democracy Awards celebration.
March 24, 2021
Eric Liu to keynote Strengthening Democracy Awards on April 29
The acclaimed author and national thought leader on active and responsible citizenship will speak during Civic Nebraska's annual fundraiser and awards ceremony.
March 22, 2021
The run is done, but the lessons are forever
In a bid to be on Omaha's mayoral ballot this spring, Dawaune Hayes learned a lot about people, community, and more.
March 19, 2021
‘Civic Saturday: Patriot Acts’ is March 27
The theme of March 27’s virtual gathering is “Patriot Acts,” which will examine the unique nature and challenges of American patriotism.
March 17, 2021
Tell senators: a constitutional convention is bad for Nebraska
An Article V convention leaves too many important questions unanswered and opens the door for special-interest groups and bad actors to make wholesale changes to our nation’s founding document.
March 15, 2021
March 16: How social connectedness creates strong communities
Join Civic Nebraska and a panel of community leaders from rural and urban Nebraska as we examine the power of social connectedness in civic health.
March 11, 2021
Voter participation: How does Nebraska stack up?
How can we make our elections even better, and have Nebraska move up in terms of participation? A new report’s state-by-state analysis of election policies has a few suggestions.
March 11, 2021
Ballot applications mailed out, outreach begins as city elections approach
All registered voters in Lincoln and Omaha will find an early voting ballot application in their mailboxes this week.
March 9, 2021
Tell state senators: I care about election transparency
LB8 requires basic disclosure of groups that put money toward electioneering communication in the 30 days before an election.
March 5, 2021
Husker students map Nebraska towns’ civic assets  
Alexandria Rinne and Ray Nierman mapped the people, passions, groups, places, events, and resources that sustain civic life in a pair of Nebraska communities.
March 4, 2021
Thinking globally, acting locally, defending democracy
What happens here matters around the world, as a new Freedom House report on the state of global democracy shows.
March 3, 2021
Democracy’s Dozen: 12 songs ‘about’ Nebraska
We asked: What are the "best" songs that mention Nebraska? Here's what Nebraskans shared (along with a couple of our own picks).
March 1, 2021
Getting others involved, one person at a time
Bringing 'just one person' along on your community journey may not seem to be a big thing. But it has the potential to change everything, Ronda Graff writes.
February 26, 2021
Testimony recap: Our support for restoring voting rights
We believe that when the state attempts to restrict any Constitutional right, it has the burden to prove both the necessity and the effectiveness of doing so.
February 24, 2021
Unlocking the vote for thousands of Nebraskans
Punishing people by restricting their right to vote for two years beyond their sentence is archaic, excessive, and unjustified. LB158 can change this. 
February 22, 2021
Clayton Bigsby & Tusker Monsters: a BIPOC intro to college
In this short work of fiction, Astrid Munn explores the detrimental side of good intentions.
February 19, 2021
Testimony recap: Our opposition to LR3CA
Somehow, voter ID has become exempt from the scrutiny lawmakers typically give to public policy questions. On Feb., 17, Director of Public Policy Westin Miller encouraged state senators to look deeper.
February 17, 2021
Show your support for voting rights!
Voter ID is back at the Nebraska Legislature. Show everyone in your social network that disenfranchisement is NOT a Nebraska value.
February 16, 2021
Fair redistricting in Nebraska
State senators are considering legislation that will improve our redistricting process – increasing transparency, protecting the integrity of elections, and making it harder for politicians to hand-pick their voters.
February 15, 2021
You gotta have heart.
Share the civic love with Civic Nebraska's special 2021 valentines.
February 12, 2021
The wisdom of taking a Second Look
In our instant-gratification world, wisdom can reward a citizen with a better outcome if we slow down and pay closer attention, Kevin Shinn writes.
February 12, 2021
It’s go time: Voter ID is on the schedule
From now through Feb. 17, we encourage you to tell our state senators to reject these harmful initiatives.
February 8, 2021
Begone, QAnon: Let’s augment reality
Why conspiracy theories exist, why people come under their spell, and how to repel them as we move forward together.
February 5, 2021
Data and discussion: 2020 Civic Health Index
On Feb. 4, our Civic Health Program staff hosted Nebraskans from across the state to examine the findings of the 2020 Nebraska Civic Health Index.
February 4, 2021
Join the fight: Voting rights advocacy training is Feb. 11
Voting is our most cherished democratic right. It is never guaranteed – so it must be championed, defended, and exercised to the fullest.
February 3, 2021
Building Nebraska’s civic health: Join us Feb. 4!
Wondering how you can use the Index to better your business, block,  neighborhood, community, or county? Join us Feb. 4, 2021.
February 1, 2021
In America, the active ingredient is us
We are not just victims of circumstance, Charlyne Berens writes.
January 29, 2021
Nebraska’s civic life: How do we stack up? What’s next?
Introducing the 2020 Nebraska Civic Health Index, a comprehensive report on key indicators of our state’s civic life – which includes recommendations on how to strengthen Nebraska's civic health.
January 27, 2021
Collective Impact Lincoln lifts up neighborhoods with mini-grants
From Feb. 1 to June 1, 2021, Collective Impact Lincoln will offer neighbors in six focus neighborhoods mini-grants for local neighborhood improvement projects.
January 26, 2021
Civic Nebraska @ The Statehouse: Bill introduction summary
Senators introduced 684 bills and 31 resolutions in the first 10 days of this long session, 29 of which have at least something to do with elections and voting. 
January 24, 2021
‘A Transfer of Power,’ a civic sermon
To strengthen our democracy, we must claim our American powers of fact, of faith, and of speaking up and standing out.
January 23, 2021
‘Evicted Experience’ is Feb. 4, 5, 6
Join Civic Nebraska and our Collective Impact Lincoln partners for a three-day “Evicted Experience” Feb. 4-6 to learn more about Nebraska’s eviction crisis and become empowered to address it.
January 22, 2021
Introducing: The CommUNITY Student Photo and Film Festival
This spring, the CommUNITY Lincoln Student Film Festival will highlight and showcase students’ voices and provide a creative outlet to tell their pandemic stories.
January 21, 2021
Election commissioners ruling: We applaud AG’s intent to appeal
The right of Nebraskans to elect state and county officials must be jealously protected. No amount of time spent in error alleviates the urgency with which we must bring these statutes into alignment with the plain language of the state Constitution and restore voters’ rights to elect the people who run their elections.
January 15, 2021
3 things you can do TODAY to protect voting rights
The time is now to stand up and speak out against the forces of untruth and myths of voter fraud, which have waged war on our democracy.
January 8, 2021
If we abandon truth, we disown democracy
Democratic citizenship compels us to be vigilant against the untruths that led to Wednesday's shameful assault on the Capitol.
January 7, 2021
Civic Nebraska @ the Statehouse: Day 1 of ’21
From Director of Public Policy Westin Miller, here are some things to know as the 2021 session of the Nebraska Legislature begins.
January 6, 2021
Divided by density: our rural-urban political split
Our party registration or geographical location don't determine our ability to care for one another, Ross Benes writes.
January 4, 2021
As the calendar turns, don’t look back – give back
Let's all find a way in the New Year to create some community-focused resolutions – and take the time to make them stick, Tammy Day writes.
December 31, 2020
Here’s what we have planned for ’21
Civic Nebraska's values of community, learning, innovation, power, and optimism will guide our way in our service to our state in 2021.
December 30, 2020
4 rules to build Nebraska’s emotional infrastructure
What would our communities be like if we created foundational rules for working together – on an interpersonal level – to make things happen?
December 23, 2020
2020 was a success. Here’s how our elections can be…
Nebraska's record 2020 election was mainly issue-free but the big shift to early voting uncovered new concerns, a Civic Nebraska report says.
December 22, 2020
Never a novelty: Little Free Pantry network fills a void
Lincoln's network of Little Free Pantry hosts, facilitated by Civic Nebraska, sees growing and constant community need.
December 22, 2020


  • Lincoln
    530 S. 13th St. Suite 100, Lincoln NE 68508
  • Omaha
    6400 University Drive, N CEC 117.12, Omaha NE 68182-0708
  • Greater Nebraska
    203 N. Locust St., Grand Island NE 68801
  • Contact Us

After School Programs

  • Sherman Elementary School

    5618 N 14th Ave.
    Omaha, NE 68110

  • Lewis and Clark Middle School

    6901 Burt St.
    Omaha, NE 68132

  • Lothrop Magnet Elementary

    3300 N. 22nd St.
    Omaha, NE 68110

  • Campbell Elementary School

    2200 Dodge St.
    Lincoln, NE 68521

  • Lincoln High School

    2229 J St.
    Lincoln, NE 68510

  • Lincoln Northeast High School

    2635 N. 63rd St.
    Lincoln, NE 68507

  • Randolph Elementary School

    1024 S. 37th St.
    Lincoln, NE 68510

  • Raymond Central Elementary Schools

    Ceresco: 114 S. Third, Box 10
    Valparaiso: 406 E. 3rd St