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Because we have a unicameral, the only one in the country, everyday Nebraskans are the second house. Our job is to weigh in on these important issues and let lawmakers know how these policies will impact our families, people we serve and our communities. 

The Voting Rights Restoration Coalition is composed of over 30 statewide and local organizations.  Our mission is to remove barriers to civic participation for those impacted by the criminal justice system. We want everyone to be able to access their right to vote, serve on a jury, and run for office.

RISE is honored to be a top finalist for the Courageous Innovator Impact Award for 2023!

RISE Business Academy is a 12-week program focused on developing a positive business in the community. It is tailored to people and their family members 18 years of age and older, who have lived experience with the criminal justice system.

Participants walk through a rigorous process of developing a strong business plan, are partnered with a Business Coach and culminate with a business pitch competition in front of a panel of judges in order to graduate from the program.

This program promotes self-sufficiency, independence, and economic growth in our community by offering a range of support and resources for our participants to start their own businesses.

Use and share this guide before heading out to the polls on election day!

The RISE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee invites you to recognize Native American Heritage Month during November, as this directly impacts the people we work with and care about.

RISE is proud to announce being awarded a $30,000 Impact Grant through FNBO's First National Bank Fund c/o the Nebraska Community Foundation.

Know your voting rights if you or a loved one is detained in jail in Nebraska.

Know the voting rights for the formerly incarcerated of Nebraska.

RISE founder and CEO, Jeremy Bouman, was invited to the unComfotable Conversations about Culture & Christianity podcast created by Christ Community Church.

Jeremy talks with hosts Eric and Alex about RISE's reentry organization, stigmas, social determinants, reentry, reincarceration, prison overcrowding, sentencing reform, and more.

RISE received iPads from the Bellevue Papillion Rotary Club in September as a means to ease case management support in the field. The ease of use and portability is essential to RISE Reentry Specialists as they work one-on-one with program participants navigating their reentry post-incarceration.

The community turned out for another successful RISE Family Wellness Collective showcase event located at the Hot Shops Art Studios, which highlighted storybooks written and illustrated by program participants during the Trauma, Grief, & Resiliency cohort and poems written during the Self-Actualization cohort.

The RISE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee invites you to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month during September, as this directly impacts the people we work with and care about.

National Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins each year on Sept. 15, celebrates U.S. Latinos, their culture, and their history.

"This is my life and I have to step up."

One of Nebraska's RISE In-Prison Program participants prepares to reenter the community after incarceration and find success in healing her family.

While this is an immense win for the RISE Employment Program, we continue to see the need for middle to upper management employment opportunities. RISE graduates possess the soft skills, transferable skills and work experience to meet the demands of many different types of positions.

The first in-unit cohort of the RISE In-Prison Program at the Nebraska State Penitentiary continues to be progressing well. This is a group of men living in an intentional learning community and going to class together.

I was having a conversation with Charles, one of our program participants in the Nebraska State Penitentiary. He asked me a common question, “what brought you here?”

Every decision we make at RISE, big and small, starts with this simple question. This is our North Star in everything we do. “What do you need?”

The RISE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee invites you to recognize Women’s Equality during August, as this directly impacts the people we work with and care about. 

RISE announced a donation of $20,000 from the Medica Foundation, a community-focused giving arm of Medica funding health initiatives across Nebraska. Medica’s funding of $20,000 goes directly to supporting RISE’s In-Prison Program and Youth & Family Program. 

RISE graduates received free Tech Packs from Do Space as a means to support digital equity in Omaha. The Tech Pack program distributed laptops,Wi-Fi hotspots, free internet, computer training, and one-on-one technology tutoring - a substantial need for those coming out of incarceration.

The RISE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee invites you to recognize the Americans with Disabilities Act during July, as this directly impacts the people we work with and care about. 

The RISE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee invites you to recognize LGBTQ+ Pride Month during June, as this directly impacts the people we work with and care about.

The RISE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee invites you to recognize Mental Health Awareness Month during May, as this directly impacts the people we work with and care about.

As a creative fundraiser for the month of May, Haven Candle Co. and the RISE Alumni Association collaborated to create a custom RISE candle, “Withness.” Haven Candle Co. is a locally owned and operated business by RISE’s very own Director of Operations, Brittany Burling! With notes of oakmoss and citrus, this candle brings a safe ambiance and sparks of energy - all feelings we strive to emulate when welcoming our program participants home.

You can help make a direct impact this month!

Last week was fraught with ups and downs within the legislature for criminal justice reform advocates. From vetoes to the stalling of key legislation, senators found themselves at the center of determining the future of Nebraska’s criminal justice landscape.

From the stories of perseverance from amazing individuals to senators sharing their priorities and what they will continue to fight for, this day laid the foundation for future events to grow and become more impactful.

The RISE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee invites you to recognize National Second Chance Month and Arab-American Heritage Month during April, as these events directly impact the population we serve and care about. 

By increasing employer relationships in Omaha, Lincoln and across the state, RISE established itself as one of the leaders in the Metro area for successfully navigating employment for the formerly incarcerated.

Previously, the responsibility of self-betterment has been placed on the applicant. However, employers are beginning to ask themselves, “what can we do to help, what is our role as employers to support all applicants and the community overall?”

Nebraska needs criminal justice reform now. Our prison system is in an overcrowding crisis and we have the opportunity to do something about it. We need your help to make LB920 a reality!  

Nebraska LB 920: Focuses on reducing recidivism and reducing the number of individuals that are incarcerated in prison, while maintaining public safety. Read more about the population of Nebraska prisons and what's at stake here.

“When we try to get our lives back together and try to do right, we can’t get assistance.” - Lateeka from Lincoln

This year, the Nebraska Legislature has the chance to end Nebraska’s lifetime Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) ban for individuals convicted of certain drug felonies. Senator Megan Hunt’s LB121 would do just that while making sure food benefits are available to people supporting children and families, reducing recidivism, and strengthening racial equity in our criminal justice system. This bill impacts over 1000 Nebraska families.

Contact your senator and ask them to vote yes on LB121.

RISE has always understood that to experience reentry is to experience crisis. Incarcerated individuals are often released to area communities with little to no financial support, emotional support, mental health support, or support for substance use addictions. This often leaves formerly incarcerated individuals operating in crisis mode and at a higher likelihood of reoffending.

There are so many amazing and prominent women throughout history to be celebrated and at RISE we are lucky enough to work with some of the smartest and most resilient women. While March is aimed to celebrate women, we must also recognize the struggles the women we work with can face during their lifetime and during their incarceration.

The RISE In-Prison Program continued to have programming delays in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic as facilities would go into lockdowns for weeks - even months on end. However, our program participants and peer facilitators stayed focused and determined, often meeting with their fellow classmates in housing units, which allowed the program to stay on course.

RISE is celebrating African American History month this February with a formal presentation by Dr. Nikitah Imani at tomorrow's RISE all staff meeting, February 25th. 

On February 16, 2022, Jasmine L. Harris, RISE’s Director of Policy and Advocacy, graduated from Dream Corps JUSTICE’s first-ever Empathy Network Leadership Cohort.

“There are so many people who are coming out of incarceration who just need that opportunity, that chance, so something like this tax credit will get employees to say ‘well, okay, I’ll take this chance,’ and it gives the people coming out of incarceration that opportunity to say ‘I can prove to you that I’m a good worker."
- Jasmine Harris, RISE Director of Policy & Advocacy

On Friday evening, February 4th, 60 masked people crammed into the Culxr House to listen to spoken word poems, stories and reflections from the RISE Youth & Family Program participants who had just completed a six-week session on effective communication.

We are thrilled to share RISE has been selected to receive a $1,000 grant from The Starbucks Foundation as part of their Neighborhood Grants program.

Please join us for one of our upcoming RISE Annual Appreciation Breakfasts in February!

"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.