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State of North Omaha and African Americans Summit shares vision of progress on racial equity; more work to do still
[The 17th Annual State of North Omaha (SoNO) and State of African Americans Summit held at the Swanson Conference Center in Omaha, Nebraska on January 27, 2024 (Photo credit: HUD Great Plains)]
The 17th Annual State of North Omaha (SoNO) and State of African Americans Summit held at the Swanson Conference Center in Omaha, Nebraska on January 27, 2024
(Photo credit: HUD Great Plains)

On January 27, 2024, the Empowerment Network (EN) held the 17th Annual State of North Omaha (SoNO) and State of African Americans Summit. HUD Nebraska Field Office Director Kitty A. Amaya represented the department at the event. The vision of the Empowerment Network (Est. 2006) is to facilitate closing gaps in employment, entrepreneurship, education, and housing, along with addressing other quality of life factors that have been traditionally based on race and geographic segregation. The mayor of Omaha, Jean Stothert; the Omaha Chief of Police, Todd Schmaderer; the founder of EN, Will Barney; and other community leaders, described the amazing strides made in the community to over 250 attendees. On behalf of EN, David Drozd, M.S., a researcher, and data analyst, provided demographic trends in North Omaha and the Omaha Metropolitan area’s Black population since 2006:

  • Since 2006, the Omaha Metro’s poverty level has declined from 32% to 24%, but considerably higher than the national average also since 2006.
  • In 1990, 12% of the Omaha Metro’s Black population achieved higher education levels. The steady increase leveled off at 21.6% in 2015 and has since declined to 20.9%, lower than the national average.
  • Since 2008, the Omaha Metro’s unemployment rate among the Black population has steadily decreased and has remained below the national average.
  • Since 2014, Omaha’s Black foreign-born population has steadily increased, and the Omaha Metro has the 21st highest Black, foreign-born population in the nation.
  • Since 2006, when the homeownership rate was at 39%, the Omaha Metro’s homeownership rate among the Black population has steadily declined to 31.9%. That rate is lower than the same metric in the 1990’s when the rate was 41%. During the same timeframe, the national average for Black homeownership has been between 43% - 45%.
  • The population of persons of color in North Omaha (zip codes 68104, 68110, and 68111) is 47,702.
  • The breakdown of the Omaha Metro’s Black population in 2020: 37.2% in North Omaha; 29.2% in Douglas Co. W of 72nd; 20.7% in Douglas Co. E of 72nd besides N. Omaha; 9.9% in Sarpy County; and 3.0% in outlying counties.

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