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Guest Voices | February 13, 2024

Weitz Fellow Voices: Madeleine Parr at Nebraska Civic Engagement Table

By Madeleine Parr

This is a guest blog by one of our Weitz Fellows, Madeleine Parr. This blog is estimated to take 2 minutes to read.

My name is Madeleine Parr (she/her) and I am the current Weitz Fellow and Communications Specialist at the Nebraska Civic Engagement Table, an organization that works with other Nebraska nonprofits to build transformative, inclusive community power across the state through year-round civic engagement. I started with the Nebraska Table at the beginning of September—moving to a new state and starting my first job out of college all in one whirlwind of a week. In my role as the Communications Specialist, I work with the Communications team to uplift the work of the Nebraska Table’s Member organizations and advocate for causes that support the needs of Nebraskans.

If I were to pick a word or theme to describe my experience so far as a Weitz Fellow at the Nebraska Table, it would be learning and growth. Okay, so those are two words. Regardless, despite the absence of the structures (readings, essays, classes…) that I have come to associate with learning, my first steps into the professional world have been accompanied by constant opportunities for growth.

One of the highlights of my work so far has been meeting with leaders of our Member organizations to learn more about the critical work they are doing in their respective communities. These conversations have highlighted not only the diverse and incredible work being done by nonprofit community organizations in Nebraska but also showcased the passion and knowledge of the people driving these efforts forward.

Another highlight has been learning more about legislative advocacy. Prior to beginning work with the Nebraska Table, I had a fairly limited understanding of how change could be fought for and created through the legislature. The idea of speaking to Senators and local representatives seemed very abstract and unobtainable. However, this has changed as I attend sessions of Nebraska Table’s Lobby School Program. Lobby School is a program designed to expand advocacy infrastructure and build power within Nebraska’s nonprofit advocacy organizations by providing grassroots lobbying training to nonprofit leaders. It is inspiring to learn from policy experts with years of experience working with the particularities of Nebraska’s legislature and hear about the diverse set of important causes advocates are fighting for. Through this opportunity, I am learning how overwhelmingly human and accessible it is to make your voice heard through legislative advocacy.

I am grateful to everyone at the Nebraska Table and the Weitz Family Foundation for this opportunity to learn and gain professional and personal experience! I am excited to continue engaging and growing in this role.

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A man wearing a blue button down shirt and tan slacks is giving a presentation, standing next to projection of a slideshow informing the audience (out of view) about voter identification legislation.

Advocacy | April 11, 2023

Weitz Fellow Voices: Arlo at Nebraska Civic Engagement Table

By Arlo Hettle

This is a guest blog by one of our Weitz […]

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