Power in Numbers: LPS Equity Cadre partners with Omaha Westside students

Lincoln Public Schools’ Equity Cadre teamed up with Omaha Westside to help further diversity, equity and inclusion across the two school districts.

“It’s been really awesome to see how similar and different the two school districts are. I feel like there is a lot of stuff we can connect on and work on for both of our schools just to make it a better place for students, so they can feel like they belong,” Lincoln Southeast High School junior Catrice said. 

The scholars discussed issues in their schools, like representation in honor courses and extracurriculars, and learned how to advocate for change earlier this month at the LPS Don Clifton Professional Learning Center. 

“It’s been really nice to be able to talk to each other, share ideas and throw stuff back and forth,” Omaha Westside High School junior  Mason said. 

“Belonging and equity are something that affects us all and there isn’t one right answer for how it can look.  By collaborating, students are given a chance to brainstorm and present ideas amongst one another which can be implemented in their respective schools,” Westside High  Dean of Students and District Projects Coordinator Brittney Hodges-Bolkovac said. 

Students also spent the day interacting with professionals and educational leaders such as Howard University softball coach Tori Tyson and Nebraska Department of Education Commissioner Matthew L. Blomstedt. 

“This engagement provides awareness and access and confirms their acknowledgment they are not alone in their district investment,” said Pete Ferguson, coordinator of Culture, Inclusion, and Scholar Development at LPS. 

“One thing I think is really important is the scholar voice in the district. I feel like it’s really important that Westside gets their voice in too, so that the decision makers of our education know what it is really like to be in our shoes,” Catrice added. 

The scholars hope this is the first of several collaborative events to help boost equity in their schools. 

“I hope we have more of these because it’s really important that we share these ideas more than once,” Mason said. 

Look at some highlights from the collaborative event below. 


Published: December 20, 2022, Updated: December 20, 2022

LPS Equity Cadre collaborates with Omaha Westside High school students to increase equity.