"I’m not a competition guy. I'm a creation guy...when you are competing, compete in the spirit of creation. Compete in the spirit of bringing people together united and then we can all win. We can all rise above our current circumstances.”
- RISE Graduate
We are thrilled to announce RISE's most recent team member, Emma Johnson, as the Director of Annual Giving & Stewardship!
Greater Omaha Chamber's The Conference on Opportunity, Diversity and Equity
Breakout Session 4B
Nearly one in three Americans of working age have a criminal history. This long-avoided conversation is becoming imperative to hiring practices, inclusion in the workplace and navigating diverse experiences of employees.
From tax credits, to statistically proven high retention rates, both business owners and employees win when hiring people with criminal histories. Because incarceration is often viewed as taboo, employers and employees alike are often nervous to ask questions, leading to misinformation.
During this session, attendees will:
• Gain an increased understanding on why hiring individuals with criminal histories is good for business.
• Enter a brave space while uncommon questions are answered directly from individuals with criminal histories.
• Learn about background check friendly hiring and recruiting practices.
Our panel consists of:
Erica Raetz RISE, Director of Reentry
Eduardo Gardea RISE, Employment Specialist
Demetrius Gatson RISE, Reentry Specialist
Jasmine Harris RISE, Director of Policy & Advocacy
The 6th cohort in the Omaha Correctional Center graduated from the RISE reentry program in August 2021.
We are thrilled to shared that RISE has been selected to receive a $1,000 grant from The Starbucks Foundation as a part of their Neighborhood Grants program!
April 23, 2021 via CultureFeed
Does Character Have a Role to Play in Prison Education Programs? Yes.
Character development is one of the benefits that we should pursue in more prison education programs.
We are inviting YOU to extend a helping hand on Day of Action, a community-wide giving day on April 8th, 2021. Gifts on this day help RISE continuously provide programming to people working on their second chance.
RISE is thrilled to introduce our newest board of directors.
Help RISE in Nebraska this week with this simple list of actionable items.
The cash bail system continues to perpetuate cycles of poverty and incarceration. The ability of a person to afford the amount set to be released does not predict whether a person will appear for their court date or if they are a risk to public safety. It results in people who do not have disposable income spending days to months in jail that further impacts their livelihood.
Today we honor and recognize Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in Omaha. Addition to this being an important day to observe and reflect, it's the only federal holiday designated as a day of service.
As we begin trudging through the new year we challenge you to consider change-making commitments. Lean into what fuels your fire and develop a personal mission for 2021.
When asked for reentry advice, a RISE Graduate in the community said, "Plan, plan, plan. Then be ready to change direction." While we see the pivot from Builders on a regular basis, 2020 brings incredible pivots we didn't expect.
What exactly is a RISE Builder? At RISE, we don't work with felons, prisoners, ex-cons, inmates or criminals - we work with people. Read more to learn about how language breaks down societal barriers and why we call our program participants, Builders.
As America is dealing with COVID-19, civil unrest and a great political division, we would be remiss to not mention that 2020 is an historical election year. Elections are important especially because the elected officials’ duties will include enacting policies that affect people who are currently and formerly incarcerated.
In Nebraska, people who were arrested, awaiting trial, convicted of or on probation for a misdemeanor can vote!
When a person completes their 2 year waiting period after finishing their sentence requirements, they DO NOT need documentation to prove their legal right to vote! This means just REGISTER and VOTE!
In Nebraska, people waiting in jail for release or trial are still eligible to vote.
People with felony convictions in Nebraska can vote 2 years after they complete all requirements of their sentence! This means people can vote 2 years after they are released or complete parole/probation.
"Thanks to RISE, it pushed me to change what I saw on paper. There have been a few curves along the way and hiccups, but that's ok. I learned it's all about growing..."
Nebraska’s 106th Legislature, 2nd Session adjourned sine die on August 13th. With the legislative session being suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and reconvening in July, creating meaningful change in Nebraska’s justice system was not easy.
Help RISE in Nebraska identify and address gaps and opportunities related to the pretrial justice system.
The barriers to reentry are significant, even with a college degree.
Reentry is taxing financially, mentally, professionally, socially, and every way in between. Fortunately, RISE has some of the best supporters an organization can have. The RISE community has stepped up and out to cultivate a culture of empowerment, and for that, we're forever grateful.
With the suspension of the Nebraska Legislature due to COVID-19 and the whole world coming to almost a complete stop, this quarter gave us all the time to reflect on how we see the world.
The RISE Nebraska in-prison team has been working diligently to continue programming in correctional facilities, in spite of the COVID-19 health pandemic. Get your in-prison program updates here!
RISE is delighted to announce the recent award of a $45,000 grant from United Way of the Midlands. The generosity of United Way of the Midlands donors will help RISE’s post-release case management services build continuity and bolster reentry programming.
The Nebraska General Election (Federal) takes place on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
If you are not yet registered to vote in the state of Nebraska, you can do that here: Register to Vote in Nebraska Online. The deadline to register online is Friday, October 16, 2020 5PM CST.
RISE reentry programming has been wild in 2020. While being adaptable is certainly something we’re accustomed to, we may not have ever anticipated what that might look like should a worldwide pandemic change everything.
As a program that operates inside the Nebraska prison system, in addition to supporting program graduates reentering the community, it didn’t take long for us to know that programing must continue in any capacity we can.
We stand in solidarity with the Black community and mourn the countless loved ones lost to senseless violence. For many, we will never fully understand, but we stand with you, see you, support you, and will amplify the voices of the unheard.
Through the gracious help of their staff sponsor, RISE Peer Facilitators in Nebraska have planned out coaching rotations to be done by them with social distance to provide their RISE cohort with as much of a Coaching Day feel as they can.
There are more than 17,500 Nebraskans who cannot exercise their right to vote. People with felony convictions must wait 2 years after completing their sentences to vote, however laws may vary depending on state.
Here's how you can apply to get your early voting ballot!
Use the RISE toolkit for an easy way to share and show support for RISE on Omaha Gives! Day, May 20, 2020!
RISE needs your help to send 385 cards of encouragement to send to Builders Incarcerated in Nebraska.
A RISE graduate and Peer Facilitator in Nebraska sent us this extremely kind letter!
"Thank you for continuing to believe and have hope for a lost and forgotten people!"
At each RISE graduation in Nebraska, Builders can perform a song, spoken word, poem, or even a skit to represent the success they've had. Here, OCC graduate, Marlo, shared with us his powerful poem of going from an outcast, to a total success.
A virtual event featuring leaders from a variety of Nebraska organizations will put focus on people who are impacted by incarceration during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The roundtable, part of #cut50’s National Day of Empathy, is set for 12 – 1:30 P.M. on Wednesday, March 25. Registration is open via Zoom. Supporting organizations will also offer a livestream of the discussion on their social media accounts.
Each month RISE hosts an Alumni Association event to connect with Builders in the community, share a meal, and bring an aspect of continuing education.
In March we had two fantastic guests, Fiona with Heartland B-Cycle and Neil Wattier, Resilience Coach.
As a community we're navigating unchartered waters. RISE is no exception.
While the days ahead are ever-changing and can only promise to be different from here out out, we're making moves to adapt and pivot. We need your help and support to do so!
Here are 7 simple things YOU can do to help RISE during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In February, the RISE Reentry team partnered with the Nebraska Department of Labor to host a reentry simulation created by the United States Department of Justice. Designed for participants to gain an understanding of obstacles faced by people coming out of incarceration, we collectively hosted over 35 service provider participants in the state of Nebraska.
You’ll often hear RISE volunteers say they get more than what they give out of an in-prison event. The lived experience, empathy, and understanding built can truly be a moving and motivating experience.
In addition to the day-to-day barriers of reentry, there are emotional dimensions that are also vital for succeeding and thriving throughout the transition. RISE's aim is for reentry mentors to walk with program graduates as they navigate the crisis that is returning from incarceration.
In Nebraska, RISE graduated 16 more Builders in January 2020! Check out their impactful day on the blog!
RISE Business Pitch Competitions and graduations are the final piece to completing the RISE program inside the Nebraska Department of Corrections. Brandon, RISE Graduate, speaks on how RISE is so much more than business. Watch and listen here!
Erica Pieper takes on new role as RISE Reentry Supervisor in late 2019!
This fall, the Nebraska Legislature’s Interim Session presented many opportunities for RISE to become more involved in policy groundwork being laid for the upcoming 2020 Legislative Session.
Mark dreams of his own food truck. Not just any food truck, but one specializing in sub sandwiches with pretzel dough bread, the finest ingredients, and a profit margin that can still provide for his family.
For many, having visitors from the outside world can be a rare occurrence. Volunteering with RISE provides an impact you might not know about! Find out what that is, here.
Before Tuesday's Business Pitch Competition and graduation, RISE had graduated 314 program graduates within the state of Nebraska. 314 men and women all looking for a different path...a different opportunity. Yesterday we added a powerhouse of 12 to that number who desired more than just an opportunity, but a change. A new life.
Much of recidivism can be traced to returning citizens reoffending during their first 100 days out because they can’t get a job, they lose confidence and hope, and often return to illegal means to earn money and survive. 89% of people in the U.S. that reoffend don’t have a job at the time they do. A job isn’t a silver bullet, but it can be the difference between reentry stability and re-incarceration.