2011 Director’s Community Leadership Awards
The Omaha Division is pleased to honor Mr. Willie Barney, president of the Empowerment Network. The organization serves as a catalyst for uniting individuals and organizations to work toward empowering disadvantaged communities though strategic objectives.
The goal of the network is to transform Omaha into a thriving and prosperous city where citizens are engaged and have access to employment opportunities, education, and better housing options.
The organization, in partnership with residents, religious leaders, law enforcement, and more than 100 community organizations, launched Omaha 360. The Omaha 360 program is a comprehensive approach aimed at reducing gun violence. The Empowerment Network also worked with community partners to expand six non-profit organizations, including Impact One, Communities in Schools, Alliance Building Communities, and the North Omaha Neighborhood Alliance.
In four years, the Empowerment Network has grown from a concept into a comprehensive community development model. Community organizations are working together to encourage citizens to speak up and take action if they want a better community. To facilitate communication, the network has established a website and sends e-mail blasts.