Meet Nobel nominee Desmond Meade on April 13

Desmond Meade

Have you seen the news? Desmond Meade has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Here are two reasons why we’re excited about this development:

›› The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the highest and most prestigious recognitions on the planet; and

›› He’s coming to Nebraska on April 13, and you can join us in meeting him!

That’s when he will deliver the keynote for our annual Strengthening Democracy Awards. We’re hosting the gathering at Omaha’s Livestock Exchange Ballroom for the first time since 2019. What a great way to mark our return!

Why is Desmond Meade a big deal?

Meade, who directs the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, led the nation’s largest expansion of voting rights in a half-century. In 2018, Amendment 4 restored voting rights to over 1.4 million Floridians with past felony convictions and ended 150 years of an unjust, Jim Crow-era law. Then, when the Florida Legislature deemed that voting rights could only be restored if fines and fees were fully paid, Meade and the FRRC raised $30 million to help 40,000 voters pay them off. He’s been named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People and earned a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, too.

Meade’s message is sure to be timely and relevant. In 2023, Nebraska lawmakers are considering eliminating an arbitrary two-year waiting period beyond the completion of a sentence for our state’s former felons to vote.

Meanwhile, nominate a Nebraskan.

In addition to Meade’s keynote, Strengthening Democracy Awards will honor five Nebraskans for lifting up civic life in the Cornhusker State. The categories include Community BuilderChampion of Learning, Young Civic Leader, Civic Catalyst, and the inaugural Jan Gradwohl Memorial Defender of Democracy AwardCivic Nebraska is accepting nominations for all five award categories until 11:59 pm March 6. Don’t delay!

We can’t wait for April 13 – see you there!

– Your friends and neighbors at Civic Nebraska