OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - A nonprofit recently launched dedicated to battle antiracism and racial equity in Omaha.
MORE, which stands for Movement for Racial Equity, is a grassroots organization working to bring racial equity to communities through advocacy, education, and engagement.
“It started originally about 10 years ago and was a group of progressive Omahans getting together, having dinner and talking about progressive issues and the various topics that are out there,” says A’Jamal Byndon, who leads the organization’s volunteer board.
He’s a life-long Nebraskan who has decades worth of experience in leadership and racial equity.
“We looked around and we found that there weren't a lot of organizations that actually addressed racism or antiracism or brought people together to kind of challenge systems and institutions, specifically nonprofits,” says Byndon.
MORE hosts community forums and meets with other organizations to discuss and challenge their racial equity practices.
“We’ve had one on police relations, we had one dealing with gentrification,” adds Byndon.
In addition to hosting conversations about racism and race, MORE pushes for policy at the city and state levels to address racism when discussing issues like the school to prison pipeline, education and policing.
“Our organization is dedicated to doing a lot more of that, calling things as they are, and challenging that,” says Byndon.
MORE’s work focuses on tackling systemic and institutional racism, but Bydon says, those conversations can be difficult.
He says, “It is sometimes very painful when you speak out and you encounter some body blows or someone threatens your employment or asks where you work when all you're doing is speaking the truth.”
MORE’s strives to not only address racism concerns but to help institutions eliminate them.
“We know what we know and again there's things that are subconscious. I agree with that. But at the end of the day, when you know what do you do?” Byndon says. “If the water is running and the tap is flowing and you want to turn it off, you turn it off. But you're not going to turn it off by using euphemisms and making up stuff and dancing around in the circle without actually dealing with the realities in front of us. We have racism in our society and that words flow off each other's lips when we need to get rid of that.”