Since 1990—through the Director’s Community Leadership Awards (DCLA)—the FBI has publicly recognized the achievements of individuals and organizations who have gone above and beyond the call to service by making extraordinary contributions to their communities in the areas of terrorism, cyber, drug, gang, or violence prevention and education. And this year is no exception: on Friday, March 16, 2012, nearly 60 individuals and organizational representatives—all 2011 DCLA recipients—gathered for a ceremony in their honor at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Weysan Dun, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Omaha Division, is pleased to announce the Empowerment Network of Omaha as the 2011 recipient of the DCLA. Mr. Willie Barney, president of the Empowerment Network, accepted the award on behalf of the organization, which serves as a catalyst for uniting individuals and organizations to work toward empowering disadvantaged communities through 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.