Omaha's black community calls on allies to step up in fight for equality

Published: Jun. 16, 2020 at 6:30 PM CDT
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Members of Omaha’s black community are calling on their allies to step up to help make lasting change

“In order for the message to spread individuals who are already allies need to others so they can become allies as well,” said Leo Louis II, Board President of the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation, noting having honest conversations about personal and systemic racism is going to be key.

“It’s something that happens at dinner tables, it’s something that happens at parks, it’s something that happens while watching the news, or statistics come out or somebody brings something up at work,” said Louis II.

Allies like Patrick McNamara, who’s helping to organize a series of public conversations at the Malcolm X Center.

“How can allies begin to talk to others, maybe those who are race skeptics. who maybe don’t think racism is out there and maybe move them a little more toward a broader view of reality.”

McNamara says they’ll also focus on preparing people to be effective volunteers.

“Lots of times you have people coming in with a good heart, but not with the skills, not with the preparation, not having done the self-reflection that it takes to really be a good volunteer,” said McNamara, noting that the bottom line is people are going to have to be willing to put themselves out there. “We all need to enter into those spaces that are going to be uncomfortable.”