Mr. Willie Barney - 2015 Keynote

President & Facilitator of the Empowerment Network


Mr. Willie Barney – the President & Facilitator of the Empowerment Network, 'a collaboration of residents, elected officials, neighborhood groups, community organizations, philanthropists, educational institutions, faith communities, governmental agencies, and businesses' working together to transform Omaha into a great city in every zip code. Over eight years, the Empowerment Network has begun to make measurable progress in addressing some of the most daunting challenges and persistent inequalities facing African-Americans, North Omaha and other neighborhoods with significant economic and quality of life gaps.  Mr. Barney will discuss the important work happening in Omaha, connecting it to both the history of the civil rights movement and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, as well as more recent racial conflicts that have flared nationwide.  His talk will provide a powerful real-world example of how distressed urban communities might begin to organize and make meaningful change.  The focus:  Collaboration, Solutions, Action and Results.

Chancellor Perlman will present the Fulfilling the Dream Awards at the MLK Week Chancellor's Program on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 4:00 pm in the Nebraska Union Auditorium.

MLK Week Calendar 2015

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise stated.

Friday, January 16, 2015
7:30 a.m. | MLK Freedom Breakfast | Embassy Suites Hotel

Keynote Speaker: Mr. Amir Azimi
NE Health and Human Services Administrator
Tickets: $20 per person
Contact: Ed Wimes 402-472-7161


Tuesday, January 20, 2015
4:00 p.m. | Chancellor's Program | Nebraska Union Auditorium, UNL City Campus

Keynote: Mr. Willie Barney

Beyond the Flames of Racial Discord: Working Together to Transform Communities

In the 60's, protests, demonstrations and fires raged across America.  What's different?  What's the same?  What solutions were proposed then?   Where have we made progress and what work remains?  Will we come together to prevent this from happening again?  Can we work together to overcome racial gaps and geographic segregation?  Can we transform our communities and our nation?  What will we do this time?  What is your role?  Where do we go from here?  

Chancellor Perlman will also present the MLK Fulfilling the Dream Awards to Gene and Linda Crump and the Empowerment Network.


6:00 p.m. | Dish It Up! Late Night | Nebraska Union, UNL City Campus

A Dialog on Race: Beyond Black and White, A Conversation About How UNL Lives Matter
Co-sponsored by the Educational Administration Graduate Student Social Justice Group, OASIS, Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center and the Latina/o Graduate Student Association. Refreshments will be served.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015
5:00 p.m. | Film Screening and Review | Sheldon Museum of Art, UNL City Campus

Eyes on the Prize: Bridge to Freedom
The screening will be followed by a discussion of the 1965 Selma campaign for voting rights.


Thursday, January 22, 2015
7:30 p.m. | Voices Unleashed | Nebraska Union Crib, UNL City Campus

Showcase your creativity during this open mic MLK tribute night. Sponsored by Afrikan People’s Union.


Friday, January 23, 2015
5:30 p.m. | Afrikan People's Union MLK Banquet | Nebraska Union Heritage Room, UNL City Campus

Keynote Speaker: Mr. Albert Maxey
Tickets: $10 per student, $15 per non-student
Contact: Maura Gray 913-645-7330, gray.mauram@gmail.com
Tickets will also be sold at the door