WCW: London Woolman-Nebraska Aids Project

Nebraska Aids Project was founded in 1984 as a response to the AIDS crisis sweeping the nation at the time. People were full of fear and misinformation and NAP served as one of the few statewide AIDS organizations in the country and the only one in Nebraska.

NAP provides HIV prevention education and works tirelessly in the community (and beyond) in the fight for comprehensive sex education and as a safe haven to people who are looking for answers. Sworn to protect client confidentiality, the NAP team consists of dedicated people from diverse and wide-ranging backgrounds.

Including, one of my closest friends, London Woolman.

Joining the team last year London has been very open about her journey to work with this incredible organization and how in so many ways, it saved her life. Through her emotional honesty, courage to try new things and hilarious take on life-London, is not just a friend to many, but also an inspiration. I have watched her tackle this past year of personal adversity and change with a strong spirit and forward momentum. A constitution that is no doubt needed in the world of tackling HIV and AIDS in Nebraska. Being confronted by the melee of life and persevering, is an incredible trait and one so vital to the work she’s in.

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As part of her contribution to this Blog and her work at NAP, London-entrepreneurial as she is, decided to take things a step further and create a campaign built around transformation and self love. That campaign will be revealed here next Wednesday–complete with an essay from the woman herself as well as…well, I’ll just say…if you’ve never been to London, now’s the time to buy your ticket.

LONDON WOOLMAN, NEBRASKA AIDS PROJECT

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What gets you out of bed in the morning? Basic love of life and the possibilities that are out there to do better each day.

What is your motto/mantra? Reinvent the future.

Who has been the biggest inspiration in your life when it comes to what you do? My co-workers, for sure. I’m in awe of what they do and how they work and advocate for the greater good of HIV/AIDS

What are your personal core values? Honesty and Integrity – I have to live with the person in the mirror and she insists on no bullshit

Why do you do what you do? Great question with an ever-changing answer

3 Things you can’t live without. Food from Amigo’s, an occasional (ok frequent) pair of new shoes, and the love and support of all my homies.

What do you want people to know about your job? That it’s terrific and that it saved me, please read my story here.

Who is your rock? If you’re reading this and we’ve had any kind of raw or intimate conversation in the past 9-ish months about life, you’re on the list! I probably haven’t said thank you enough to all of you, but sometimes it takes a village.

Working at a Non-Profit in Omaha is: the shit? Is that word ok to use here?

What is the biggest unfairness in your world? HIV/AIDS still faces massive amounts of stigma and misinformation in the general public – please take the time to get educated on the subject and help us fulfill our mission to make those unfair attributes less of a burden on those infected or affected by HIV.

Quote that just “gets you.” “You don’t know the new me. I put the pieces back differently.” Credit: @HighPoetsSociety

What is your theme song? Glamazon by RuPaul

How can people be involved in your organization and why is it so important? Read along next week PLEASE.

If you’re interested in learning more about volunteering with NAP please, click here. 

WCW: Nancy Williams-No More Empty Pots

Woo Hoo! My first Woman Crush Wednesday is finally here!

I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by powerful, hard-working, talented and entrepreneurial women my entire life. And many of those women have found their passion in Non-Profit roles throughout Omaha. I wanted to ask not only about their chosen professions but also about themselves. The woman behind the magic. What makes them get out of bed and make helping the people of their city a priority. Life in a Non-Profit is challenging, sobering and extremely rewarding–

Honestly, I’m getting goosebumps. So here is my first profile: Nancy Williams, who has graced my life with her presence since I was a child. Please read to learn how she is leading healthy food initiatives across the city and hungry for more. Enjoy! Every Wednesday!

NANCY WILLIAMS, NO MORE EMPTY POTS

Nancy-Williams

Org mission:
No More Empty Pots (NMEP) connects people to local food. We are a grassroots non-profit with a mission to improve self-sufficiency, regional food security and economic resilience in urban and rural communities. We value education, stewardship and sustainability. NMEP serves as a catalyst for identifying individuals and groups to address challenges to improve self-sufficiency in urban and rural communities.

No More Empty Cups: No More Empty Cups is a not-for-profit coffee shop and cafe dedicated to connecting community through good food, great drinks and amazing people. BUILD COMMUNITY: We build community by connecting local farms with local business. TRAIN ENTREPRENEURS: Our mentorship program will connect entrepreneurs with resources to develop and test a viable business plan. The goal is to increase the number of small businesses that flourish. SUSTAINABILITY: We serve sustainably produced coffee and locally produced baked goods.
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What gets you out of bed in the morning?
The chance to do something different. To experience discovery. Challenge status quo. Witness the impossible and unexpected. Live the life that I have been given. To leave wherever I am better than when I arrived. Whenever I can to help others live a life following their passion and making the most of each opportunity.

Right now our big project is the food hub. Here is a link to that page and what it is about: http://www.nmepomaha.org/foodhub

What is your motto/mantra?
There are many women who have come before me who have done more with less. Let’s get it!
AND
It is what it is.

 Who has been the biggest inspiration in your life when it comes to what you do?
My mother, grandmothers, women who believe in me and trust me, my kids – the folks I randomly see in everyday life who make something out of seemingly nothing, who summon whatever it takes to keep reaching and trying to make things better.

What are your personal core values?
I am not sure if I have personal core values but if I do they might trust and respect.My values might be summed up in a quote by Maya Angelou, “Just do right.”

 Why do you do what you do?
I like challenges, puzzles, problem solving, AHA moments, and witnessing extraordinary outcomes.

3 Things you can’t live without.
good food, my family, music/art/laughter

What do you want people to know about your job?
I want people to know that my job is about people and possibility. I want people to know that we are a community organization that believes in the power of community and what can be accomplished when we work together. I want people to know that we believe that everyone has something unique and powerful to contribute.

Who is your rock?
I depend on a lot of people for different things. There are people at work and people in my personal life. I get support from family, friends, mentors and mentees. But if I had to pick one person, it would be my mom. She can get to the heart of anything and once she “pleads the blood covenant of Jesus on it”, forget about it; it’s done.

Working at a Non-Profit in Omaha is:
Exhilarating and frightening, depending on the stage of growth and your role in the organization

What is the biggest unfairness in your world?
I don’t know if there is a biggest unfairness but equity is a huge issue everywhere. The lack of basic humanity is surprising sometimes. We sometimes see each other through different lenses instead of just human beings.

 What is the biggest joy?
When I get to witness someone realizing their passion and purpose. When other people get what we are trying to accomplish with this work.

Something you think but never say.
I am nearly 50 years old. I rarely experience thinking something without verbalizing it. And many times, I think that I am saying it to myself but realize that I have spoken it aloud when someone responds to it.

I probably don’t tell people how much I care about them or admire them enough. I am supposed to be working on that.

Quote that just “gets you.”
If I understand this correctly, it would be, “Just do right,” by Maya Angelou. It is succinct and to the point. It encompasses character values and how to treat people all at once.

 What is your theme song?
I keep adding songs to my Spotify playlists so it is hard to have one theme song. I will tell you though that the songs that I love always have a tight bass line and/or kick ass drums. The rhythm section has to be right.

How can people be involved in your organization and why is it so important?
There are so many ways for people to be involved in our organization. It is important because most of us want to belong to something greater than ourselves and have something meaningful to contribute. We are creating a space for continuous learning, acceptance and engagement where the sum of all of us is greater than any of us alone. When our passions and strengths align, the results are overwhelmingly powerful. Following is a short list of how people can get involved:

•Volunteer: gardens, cooking demos, special events, advisory teams, board of directors
•Provide technical support: evaluation, processes, data collection
•Share our story with others that might value what we do
•Collaborate on projects and programs
•Engage in marketing campaigns
•Contribute financially
•Be creative and share feedback

Parting words:
There is a convergence of initiatives that favor the engagement of women. I believe that when women employ our collective strengths, really good stuff happens.