UNO and Northwest high school team up to fight discrimination


By Jackson Taylor, News Editor

As the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks approaches, the University of Nebraska at Omaha is preparing to have their own remembrance event. On Thursday, political science majors from UNO are teaming up with students from Northwest High School to discuss ways to combat prejudice.
The partnership is specifically between students in UNO’s “Introduction to Political Science” class and members on Northwest’s student council. The discussions on prejudice will be led by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Plains States Region, which is a nonprofit organization committed to addressing issues of prejudice and discrimination that affect the people of Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas. Some of the ADL’s initiatives include responding to cyberbullying, Holocaust awareness and remembrance and combating hate crimes.
The partnership with the ADL was coordinated by UNO’s P-16 Initiative with the Service Learning Academy. P-16’s main focus is to facilitate partnerships between students and teachers, and community organizations and their members. This initiative offers something that cannot be taught through lectures in a classroom.
P-16 brings students into the community to find solutions to problems through experience. With the guidance of the ADL, the student groups will look at the causes and impacts of violence in our communities. An emphasis will be placed on the source of bigotry, how it causes violence and ways to prevent it.
The meeting will occur at the site of the new TypecastRecast public art installation at 12th and Cass streets. It will go from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. TypecastRecast, installed in the spring of 2014, is a six-piece art project. Created by seven different artists, the project truly reflects the mission of the ADL; each piece of artwork confronts the problem of bias and prejudice from different perspectives, based on the artist’s experiences with bigotry and intolerance and its effects on Omaha. The students will receive a tour of the site and use the art as inspiration to discuss the fight against prejudice.
Concluding in November, this program will strengthen the fight against discrimination in Omaha and show the importance of being an inclusive city.