(1) General Subjects

abuse is not LOVE

by Felicia Webster

abuse is not LOVE, is a spoken word play with the creative highlights and energy of Dani Cleveland, Doriette Jordan, Paula Bell and Felicia Webster. This highly charged 40 minute play uses interactive dialogue, gospel, hip hop and theater to disseminate information on the cycle of abuse. With personal testimonies and emotional ups and downs,  this is a show that is dedicated to keeping it real and telling the truth about domestic violence, it’s the healing journey and support needed to make it through the storm.

Sand Hills and Sandlots: The Amazing Story of Rushville's Modisett Ball Park

by Jeff Barnes

The panhandle town of Rushville loved and played baseball like most Nebraska communities. Unlike all others, it was the recipient of a beautiful ball field from the state’s biggest rancher and the host of a Major League baseball school and try-out camp, whose students included a Nebraska boy who struck out Mickey Mantle. Barnes tells the fascinating story of Rushville’s 130 years with baseball and how residents past and present came together in 2014 to rebuild Nebraska’s own “field of dreams.”

Urbanization and Native Americans

by Jerome Kills Small

Kills Small discusses the change in the Native American way of life from the reservation to urbanization. Based on his own experiences, Kills Small describes the shift that occurred from the post-World War II period to the present.

Nebraska Spirit: The North Platte Canteen

by Charlotte M. Endorf

During World War II, American soldiers from across the country rolled through North Platte, Nebraska, on troop trains en route to Europe and the Pacific.  Learn the story of the community that turned a railroad depot into a legend and touched the lives of more than six million soldiers from 1942 to 1946.  Charlotte salutes our humble Veterans who served in the military.  This program is excellent for Memorial Day, July 4th, and Veterans Day.

Family Stories into Literature: The Role of Gossip and Research in Fiction

by Karen Gettert Shoemaker

This presentation focuses on the ways writers can use family stories and history to write literature. Sometimes the voices in our heads are enough. Sometimes we need to look beyond the boundaries of self to find the best that is within us. This presentation discusses the ways to excavate history, both our own and the world’s, as a way to finding the true stories only we can write. The program is available in both presentation format and writing workshop format. For adults.

Native American Stereotyping in Popular Culture

by Nancy Gillis

Presentation complete with plenty of example on the negative stereotypical images found in advertising, cartoons, movie plots, and collectibles. Beyond just raising awareness of the problem, the presentation explores way to dispel these myriad incorrect images.

Women and Islam

by Maisha Godare

From an American Muslim women’s perspective, this presentation addresses misconceptions and breaks down stereotypes concerning Muslim women and their rights. It was designed as a tool to open a window into Muslim women’s lives.

The audience will also be introduced to famous Muslim women in history and the modern world.

Getting to Know American Muslims and Their Faith

by Maisha Godare

An overview of American Muslim life and culture illustrating what it means to be Muslim in America. This interactive, informal talk separates facts from fiction with easy to understand coverage of:

  • Beliefs, practices and values
  • Muslim population data
  • Holidays & celebrations
  •  Islams connection with other faiths

Diversity: I was a Stranger

by Ella and Samuel Rathod

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 18.7% of the total U.S. population currently speaks a language other than English at home.  Sam and Ella Rathod share their personal story and experiences to promote understanding, acceptance, and tolerance of different cultures. The Rathod’s believe that the first step towards learning to embrace diversity is to learn and celebrate one’s own heritage and culture.  Their PowerPoint presentation gives practical ideas on how to relate and be comfortable in today’s multicultural world.

How Did Our Election Campaigns Get This Way?

by Barry Anderson

The U.S. was the first country in history founded not by military conquest or religious fervor, but by a small group of men who convinced the majority of people it should exist.  The founding fathers understood the rules of effective public relations campaigns, and journalists were always integral to the process.  But politics changed in the 1930s when Clem Whitaker and Leone Baxter, a couple in California, met by chance, formed a PR firm, and invented the modern negative media campaign.

Anderson tells a fascinating story of the birth of the tactics evident today in every American election.

Understanding American Indian Tribal Governments

by Wynema Morris

Morris asks what it means to be an enrolled tribal member, which leads to the issues of tribal jurisdiction, tribal sovereignty, Las Vegas-style gaming and relationships with the U.S. government. Morris explains the role and function of tribal governments and how the interaction between Indian tribes and early Europeans during the Age of Discovery forged legal and political ties that continue to have an impact today.

Social and Political Structures of the Omaha Tribe

by Wynema Morris

This presentation examines the social and political structures of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, and how both structures complemented the other.  Recognition of dualities formed the basis for social structures, as well as to provide the basis for healthy populations. Use of power sharing, governing by consensus, and inclusion of spiritual ritual to “open” political proceedings are presented in-depth.

Four Reasons Our Taxes Go Up

by Lowen Kruse

Focusing on Nebraska, Lowen Kruse investigates four reasons that taxes go up. He looks at drug use, education, Medicaid and prisons.

Changing Attitudes in Nebraska’s Public Policy for Those in Need

by Lowen Kruse

Sen. Kruse describes the changes in public attitudes about persons and families in crisis, using accounts from the past 150 years in Omaha and Nebraska. This program provides background for current discussions about the use of public funds to provide human services.

Why We Laugh

by Richard Kimbrough

Laughter is one of the defining aspects of what a human being is. This program examines why we laugh and what we laugh about with a particular emphasis on how cultural, social, and generational differences affect the perception of what is funny. A number of humorous stories from various cultures are used to illustrate how humor differs. The presenter is well aware of different cultures, having lived and worked in the U.S.A., England, the former Soviet Union, and Japan. This is at once a funny program and a serious program about how laughter affects our relationships with each other.

From Every Land

by Richard Kimbrough

This program is based on Kimbrough’s book “The Outsiders” (with Mourtazo Chadyev) which focuses on people of “other” cultures who have come to Nebraska. Among those featured are:-Arturo Coto, who went from being minister of health in El Salvador to hoeing beans in western Nebraska to becoming one of the top officials in the Nebraska Department of Health.-Leola Bullock, an African-American who came to Lincoln in the 1950’s and has become one of the nation’s foremost civil rights leaders.-Rauf Aliovsadzade, a world-class violinist and chess master who left Baku because he was married to a woman from the “wrong” country and who has become a member of the Lincoln Symphony—and an American citizen.

Country Tales and Truths

by Richard Kimbrough

This is a look at the residents of a small Nebraska town during the 1930’s and 40’s–­examining both their sense of humor and their values. The stories include Bessie Wemple, the town’s do-gooder, Esty Brace, the egg man at the Co-Op, Old Olaf, the self-­appointed town’s jokester, and Ken and Grace Moore, both amputees who farmed and prospered by helping each other. The program is based on a nationally syndicated column carried by nearly 200 newspapers.

Stained Glass Windows of Nebraska

by Barbara Johnson

Johnson discusses how stained glass windows are produced; the role of immigrants in designing, producing, and bringing these works of art to Nebraska; and some of the most interesting meaning and detail in religious, educational, governmental, commercial, and residential settings. (In addition to this general program, Johnson offers one reflecting on stained glass in the world and writings of Willa Cather.)

Our Plains Indian Heritage

by Phyllis R. Stone

Stone, a descendant of Chief Iron Shell, an elder of the Rosebud Sioux tribe and a Sun Dancer, explains the uses and traditions of handmade items she brings for this presentation — items from both past and present American Indian cultures. Dressed in a traditional Sioux woman’s dress, she speaks about the life of the Rosebud Sioux as she shares artifacts. She describes life on the reservation and how her family combines their Indian heritage with other interests. Also included in the talk are artifacts and legends of the Mountain Man and the relationship of that culture to the Indians of the Plains.

Latinos: Searching for the Good Life in Nebraska

by Ben Salazar

Salazar uses his experiences as a Latino who was born and raised in Nebraska, as well as other experiences such as his participation as an activist during the 1960s and ’70s, to educate others about Latino issues in the state. Salazar says that “our role as members of American society continues to intrigue me.”

Introduction to Oral History

by Mary Kay Quinlan

Mary Kay Quinlan presents an introduction to oral history for groups and organizations that want to know how this research tool can help them delve into the past. She discusses how the oral history process differs from other kinds of historical information gathering, outlines the steps involved in planning an oral history project and offers examples of how scholars, teachers and community oral historians at home and abroad use oral history to deepen their understanding of their world.

The Role of Church and School in Rural Nebraska

by Paul V. Campbell

Churches and schools provide essential functions to rural communities, functions way beyond the religion and the school curriculum. This talk examines the variety of roles of schools and churches, what happens to a community when the school or church closes and how small-town revitalization is based in these two community institutions.