Rural Community Inclusion News

“Faces of Hastings” exhibit: diversity in a rural Nebraska community

Rural Nebraska, home to many diverse people, is now being showcased in a new book created by students and faculty at Hastings College.

Dr. Jessica Henry, professor of communication studies and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, brought the idea to students and staff. An idea that was inspired by “Faces of Change,” from Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, where the library director saw changes in demographics in his town and wanted to build a bridge between cultures.

Visions of fresh Mexican bread are now a reality

Liz Flores had a vision, a dream in a sense, to one day start her own bakery. A place where the smell and taste of fresh Mexican bread and rich, hot coffee would summon people of all walks.

After spending years in bakeries and gaining valuable business experience, Liz left Denver’s big city life in her rear view mirror and relocated to Scottsbluff, Nebraska.

Center staff member recognized for commitment to community

Gladys Godinez seeks out opportunities, and constantly strives to make a difference with her work—which has led to her receiving the Special Recognition Award for “outstanding vital contribution to the Latino-Hispanic community in Nebraska.”

The community organizing associate for the Center for Rural Affairs was honored during the Nebraska Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Hispanic Heritage Breakfast this fall.

From the executive director: immigration in focus for rural America

An immigration raid in very rural north central Nebraska put a spotlight on the immigration debate in rural America.

The raid targeted alleged labor practice exploitation by a local employment agency. It also swept up more than 100 community members and employees of local businesses in its net.

The businesses included a tomato greenhouse, potato processing facility, and cattle operation among others. The communities affected ranged in population from 100 residents to 3,600 residents.

To me, the raid highlighted how deeply immigration is reshaping rural America.

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