Omaha – Students from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) will provide a huge boost to two local nonprofits in the form of $5,000 on Thursday, May 1, as part of the final project for a class focused on philanthropy.
Members of Angela Eikenberry’s “Philanthropy and Democracy” class will present the grants, $4,000 to the Benson Area Refugee Task Force and $1,000 to Justice for our Neighbors-Nebraska, at the Benson Presbyterian Church, 5612 Corby St., at 5:45 p.m.
As part of the course, students are charged with finding the best way to spend $5,000 donated by Doris Buffett’s Learning by Giving Foundation. At the event, Eikenberry and the students will discuss how the two nonprofits were chosen before student leaders from the class will formally present the funding to representatives from each nonprofit.
“We followed a little bit of a different process this year from previous years,” said Eikenberry, an associate professor in the School of Public Administration. “The students decided to focus on funding an organization, or organizations, that works with refugees and immigrants."
This is the fourth time the course has been offered at UNO.
To determine what needs were most pressing for area refugees, the students spent part of the semester conducting interviews with refugees and immigrants. The students then made site visits to nonprofit organizations serving these populations. Following the visits, the students selected the Benson Area Refugee Task Force and Justice for our Neighbors-Nebraska for funding.
The Benson Area Refugee Task Force, or BART, is made up of 60 members united by a common mission: “to better the life of refugees in Omaha.” While most BART members are based out of Benson, efforts have spread across the world including classes for computer training, American citizenship and English.
Justice for our Neighbors-Nebraska is a faith-driven ministry that welcomes immigrants by providing free, high-quality immigration legal services, education and advocacy.
“Philanthropy is a tradition in the US, but we often don’t think about the effects of philanthropy,” Eikenberry explained. “This class focuses not only on how to do philanthropy but also why people give and what the effect —both good and bad—might be on society.”
Eikenberry started the Philanthropy and Democracy course along with Sara Woods, assistant to the senior vice chancellor for community engagement, in 2011 as part of an honors-only colloquium but has since opened it up to more students.
For additional information, please contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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