Omaha, Neb, Feb. 22, 2021 – The Greater Omaha Chamber today announced the Metro’s 2021 Change Makers, four individuals who will be honored at this year’s virtual YP Summit, March 4-5.
“Change Makers are motivated, inspired individuals shifting the narrative for good,” said W. Todd Johnson, senior vice president, economic development, Greater Omaha Chamber. “We are thrilled to recognize this year’s honorees for their positive, social entrepreneurship and we join the full community in applauding the 2021 Change Makers in their drive to transform the world.”
This year’s Change Maker’s include Racquel Henderson, college success navigator, Metropolitan Community College; Fiona Kennedy, community manager, Heartland Bike Share; and, Caitlin Little, deputy director, BFF Omaha.
The 2021 honorees were selected by a juried committee of young professionals who reviewed a record-setting number of applications and accomplishments. While YP Summit organizers point out they understand serving the greater good comes thanks to the energy of many, the team also acknowledges leadership is an important element to moving a community forward.
“Change Makers move the needle. They make change happen. They set their eyes on a better future and pursue that future with a single-mindedness-of-purpose that also brings everyone else along. These are really special people,” Johnson said. “I applaud the Change Makers, and I congratulate our young professionals on their careful, considerate choices of the winners.”
YP Summit organizers say Change Makers bring a wealth of experiences, backgrounds, creative solutions and ambition to a community’s diverse opportunities.
“Community is not just about proximity. Community is the place where passion, talent and action converge. Where head, heart and resilience live,” 2021 Change Maker Little says.
Henderson, who will join Little in being honored March 5 and 6, agrees, adding Change Makers can be impactful globally, or can lead on an individual level.
“Each one teach one. Don’t just aspire to make a living. Aspire to make a difference,” Henderson says. “At the end of the day it’s not about what you have, or even what you’ve accomplished…it’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back”
While the study of Change Makers is not new (UCI School of Social Ecology has a research team devoted to “Change Maker” science), the slate of YP Summit Change Makers refreshes annually. At the same time, Change Makers’ goals for social betterment are ongoing.
“To me, change starts with an acknowledgement of our city’s past and the policies which so often disproportionately affect communities of color,” Change Maker Kennedy says. “The change I wish to see in this community is an equitable disbursement of resources across the Metro. Specifically, resources that make a city, a city. Walkable neighborhoods, affordable housing, equitable public transit, and active living resources. Most importantly, these changes need to be seen in the neighborhoods historically underfunded. We need to acknowledge the past and use the voices of our communities to create an active city, for all.”
About the YP Summit
YP Summit organizers strive to provide a positive experience that energizes young professionals, celebrates many points of view, expands networks and challenges attendees —all with the goal of extending our talents.
About Greater Omaha
Greater Omaha is a No. 1 ranked up-and-coming-tech hotspot, a “top 10 best place to live on a $60,000 salary” and was named America’s No. 2 Best Small City by Resonance Consultancy. Greater Omaha is home to more than 30 communities and nearly 1 million people.
About the Greater Omaha Chamber
The mission of the Greater Omaha Chamber is to champion a thriving business community and a prosperous region through visionary leadership and collaboration.