Annual Report

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Your 2020-2021 Impact Report

“Thank you to everyone who showed their support in any way for the Nebraska LGBTQIA2S+ community and OutNebraska over this past year. Our important work would not be able to happen without the support of our volunteers, donors, and supporters. We have a lot of work to do in the next year with the Nebraska Department of Education health standards, the Equality Act, the 2022 Nebraska Legislative Session, and more, and I’m looking forward to your continued partnership to keep building a better Nebraska for LGBTQIA2S+ people. But first, please take a moment to look over this impact report that shows the value of your support,” Abbi Swatsworth, Executive Director

COVID-19 Response

The onset of COVID-19 last year created a lot of need in our community. At OutNebraska, we took responsibility to support our community in the ways we could.

We secured funding to provide direct assistance to members of the LGBTQ+ community who were facing eviction or utility shut-off due to COVID-19. We partnered with Community Action of Lancaster and Saunders County to distribute this funding to our community members in need. Over the last year, 24 individuals received nearly $7,000 in assistance to help them stay in their homes. 

We distributed nearly 1,000 reusable cloth masks to community members in Lincoln and across the state. Through a partnership with Kingdom Builders Christian Center, masks were distributed in North Omaha. OutNebraska also partnered with organizations in Scottsbluff, Kearney, Grand Island, and Hastings to distribute masks in Greater Nebraska. 

We also hosted a vaccine clinic with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department at the beginning of July 2021, and vaccinated fourteen people. Though things have been tough this last year, your support made all these responses to the pandemic possible.

Educate 

In 2020-2021, we continued providing affirming spaces training to area businesses and non-profit organizations. We reached organizations both large and small. Over the course of the year we trained nearly 550 individuals – helping to build a better Nebraska for LGBTQIA2S+ people.

We continued our partnership with Inclusive Communities to present Queer Table Talk. These events included a panel presentation of LGBTQIA2S+ community members followed by small group discussions through Zoom. OutNebraska and Inclusive Communities presented three Queer Table Talk events: Living Positively with HIV, Transgender Awareness, and SOGIE Youth and Askable Adults. These events helped to educate allies and build community connections among participants and panelists. 

Advocate

In May 2021, Lincoln and Omaha held municipal elections. OutNebraska’s Community Organizer recruited volunteers to participate in Get Out The Vote activities. Volunteers were able to contact over 1,900 voters in Omaha either by call or text, and over 2,000 in Lincoln. 

We also launched Nebraska Competes in April, 2021. Nebraska Competes is a coalition of Nebraska businesses committed to LGBTQIA2S+ equity in the state. To date, Nebraska Competes has recruited 53 businesses across the state to participate in the coalition. Communities represented include: Omaha, Lincoln, Denton, Gibbon, Gretna, Wayne, Norfolk, Hastings, Elkhorn, and Kearney. We’re looking forward to continuing to grow Nebraska Competes in the coming months and years!

We worked with the Lincoln City Council to pass Nebraska’s first municipal ban on Conversion Therapy for minors – protecting youth in the Capitol city from this dangerous and discredited practice. We will continue to work with other cities across Nebraska and at the state level to pass more bans.

During the legislative session, we offered testimony and rallied the community on 14 issues including LGBTQIA 2S+ housing and public accommodations protections, restoring voting rights for reentering community members, banning the panic defense, and opposing funding for a new prison. We will continue this important work to advance or defeat policies that impact our community with your support.

Celebrate

COVID-19 saw us move our social events to virtual spaces: Coloring & Crafternoon, GAYme Night, Open Mic Poetry, and other social events were able to continue through the pandemic. The virtual events also meant that people from all over the state could join us! Drag Queen Story Hour Nebraska also moved online with Facebook Live streaming events and virtual events with the Unitarian Church of Lincoln.

The 10th Annual Prairie Pride Film Festival took place virtually July 16-18, 2020. More than 100 participants enjoyed first-run, feature length films and original shorts. Thank you again to our sponsors of the 2020 festival: Southeast Community College,  KZUM, Kindred Psychology, Hart and Arndt Family Health, DuTeau Subaru, St. Mark’s on the Campus, and Bri Buser Realtor.

Though there were no in-person Pride celebrations in 2020, we were pleased to return to events around the state in June 2021. Our staff and volunteers interacted with community members in Alliance, Hastings, Lincoln, Omaha, and Denton. We also had a presence at the Lincoln Juneteenth celebration at Malone Community Center. And, for the first time partnered with The Bay to kick off Pride month with a youth event.

Thank you again! Your continued support will make it possible for us to continue to educate, advocate and celebrate you and all our community members across the state. Together we can make Nebraska a better place for us all to live, work and thrive.

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