We heard you.

In 2017, the Urban League of Nebraska and Greater Omaha Chamber Young Professionals partnered to learn more about the experiences and opinions of Black young professionals through the 2017 Diversity and Inclusion Survey. The results identified large disparities among the experiences of Black YPs compared to others in workplaces and the community. (summary of results)

A committee of volunteers, representing a variety of backgrounds, was formed to help develop recommendations to address the disparities. The committee worked from June thru the end of 2017 to review best practices, learn about initiatives in similar and aspirational communities, and devise a substantial list of ideas. It then sought community input to target those recommendations that would be most impactful and executable.

In one way or another, you were likely a part of this process, and we sincerely appreciate your help along the way.

We’d like to share with you the final recommendations that have been brought before the Urban League of Nebraska and Greater Omaha Chamber Boards of Directors with active support.

Workplace Recommendations

Establish the Omaha Diversity & Inclusion Pledge, where employers commit to:

1. Join the Omaha Diversity & Inclusion Business Coalition comprised of employers, diversity and inclusion practitioners, and supported by the Greater Omaha Chamber and Urban League of Nebraska.

2. Create and implement a comprehensive diversity and inclusion strategy that

• Includes workforce and succession plans focused on:

i. Diversifying the workforce;
ii. Ensuring recruitment and hiring processes are free of discrimination; and
iii. Investing in professional development that engages employees of color in career development, advancement and mentorship.

• Fosters a welcoming and inclusive culture where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected.

3. A. Companies with 1,000 or more local employees: Hire (or appoint) a full-time diversity & inclusion director at a leadership level to develop and support diversity and inclusion efforts.
B. Companies with less than 1,000 local employees: Empower existing staff or a cohort of staff with access to company leadership to develop and support diversity and inclusion efforts.

4. Participate in a workplace scorecard that will inform efforts and identify opportunities to increase diversity and create a culture of inclusion within all levels of their workforce. Scorecard specifics TBD.

Community Recommendations

1. Connect and support African-American young professionals, neighbors and culture (arts/music/entertainment).

• Identify ways to connect community members and initiatives across Greater Omaha.
• Highlight success stories and support existing initiatives.
Initiate conversations between community members, businesses, and educational and cultural institutions to build connectivity, collaboration and advocacy partnerships.

2. Establish an African-American quality of life scorecard.

3. Create networking opportunities and support a mentorship program for African-American young professionals.

• Develop a mentorship program for personal development, leadership development and community engagement.
• Working with the Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau, attract more African-American cultural events and professional conferences to Greater Omaha.
• Bring in national speakers of interest and host professional networking opportunities with local company leadership.

4. Help African-American led startups and entrepreneurs grow.

Connect startups and entrepreneurs with existing networks and resources for training, technical assistance and funding.
• Initiate collaboration between institutions, businesses and incubators to develop a pipeline for high school and college students to engage entrepreneurship and startups.

Overall Recommendations

1. Form a volunteer council/committee with stakeholders from various parts of the community to guide efforts.
2. Create and empower a manager position to lead collaborative efforts.

You are invited to join members of the committee, the Chamber and Urban League to discuss these recommendations and how you can help move them forward.

Wednesday, Jan. 31
4 – 6 p.m.
Metropolitan Community College, building 10, room 110.
Free to attend but registration is encouraged.