Young, Black and Influential Awards

Celebrating Local Talent in the Black Community


“The mission of Young, Black and Influential is meant to affirm Black leadership in the Omaha community. These awards are intentional about allowing for all definitions of leadership and impact- created and owned by the Black community and leader,” says Ashlei Spivey, founder for the YBI Awards.

Pictured above is a group shot of the 2017 past awardees, plus the eight new awardees. This year, we thought it would be fitting to find out what the new awardees passion’s are and how they currently contribute to the growth of our city. Learn about them below: 

Tommy Young Dennis, 30, Prevention and Outreach Specialist at Nebraska AIDS Project

How is getting this award and important part of the work you do in the community?

This award is important part of the work that I do because it gives me a platform to encourage continued conversations that still need to occur within black families especially with Black Gay Men who are 1-2 times likely to be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime.

Where/How can someone learn more about the work you are doing?

Visit The Nebraska AIDS Project website (www.NAP.org).

A’Mariyon Green, 14, Kindergarten through fifth grade staff,  Belvedere Elementary After-School Program

How is getting this award and important part of the work you do in the community?

Getting this award is an important part of the work I do because I always say “You never know when someone’s watching.” In this case, this is a positive note because someone noticed me and was proud of what I was achieving. From the outside looking in you see someone who cares about what they do and not just doing it for the attention or the award. You also see a cover of a book, which means that most people really don’t know me; they just know what I show of myself.  Living in this community along with other staff and students we all have a story, and were all writing one each day. So this award is important because it shows that I put my personal story on hold to make sure that the peoples looking up to me stories are complete.

Where/How can someone learn more about the work you are doing?

The work I’m doing is the same work someone else can be doing, the same work that you, can be doing. So my advice to whoever wants to learn and “know how,” is to get involved, ask question, and love your community. If you have kids, little siblings, family members who ever, join them in class or their afterschool activities and be involved.

Mike Hughes age 33, Career Coach

How is getting this award and important part of the work you do in the community?

To be recognized for the work that you do is a great honor. Especially when the work is selfless and not too many people want to do it. I think the award shows great appreciate for those that are on the ground working tirelessly to impact others.

Where/How can someone learn more about the work you are doing?

Currently I work for Avenue Scholars Foundation. For more information about the organization and the work we do you can visit their website.

To find more information about my campaign for Douglas County Sheriff please visit www.hughesforsheriff.com, Facebook – mikehughesforsheriff, and Twitter @Sheriff_Hughes

I am also part of political organizations to include the Nebraska Unity Pac and the Nebraska Black Caucus. To find more information on Facebook search Nebraska Unity Pac, and for the Black Caucus search NDP Black Caucus.

Dalhia Lloyd, 30s, Activism

How is getting this award an important part of the work you do in the community?  

This award is an acknowledgement of the important role the NOBB program plays in our community and will bring that work to a broader audience.  Hopefully this will result in a greater, more purposeful investment into the youngest members of our community.

Where/How can someone learn more about the work you are doing?

North Omaha Building Brains in the Barbershop FaceBook page; Buffett Early Childhood Institute

Richard Webb, 30, Service

How is getting this award an important part of the work you do in the community?

Getting this award is important due to understanding the realm of the nonprofit world that we all give our hearts and passion to. We understand how many individuals work in this realm and go unnoticed for the direct impact that they make in our community every day. For me personally, it gives an example to the youth that we serve that when you do the right thing…good things happen. I continually strive to stay connected in every aspect of being the Executive Director of the 100 Black Men of Omaha. That means connected to my youth, their support systems, and resources in our community that I can connect them with on their mission to be respectful, responsible, and ready to lead.

Where/How can someone learn more about the work you are doing?  

To learn more about the 100 Black Men of Omaha, visit our Facebook page at 100 Black Men of Omaha, or you can reach directly out to the office at 402-934-7065.

Ravan Charles, 26, IT & Consulting/Young Omahans of Color

How is getting this award an important part of the work you do in the community?

Receiving this award is so affirming, it shows me that I may not be perfect but I’m moving in a positive direction. It has also connected me to stories of other people doing the work they care about. I get to see what they do, learn from them, and grow with them. That’s amazing.

Where/How can someone learn more about the work you are doing?  

Join/Attend a Meetup! Like this one called Young Omahans of Color. Also always down to meet for a coffee or beer 🙂

Danielle Powell, 28, Founder/Co-Host of REVEL & Program Partner of Community Outreach for Inclusive Communities – LGBTQIA+ Advocate & Community Organizer

How is getting this award an important part of the work you do in the community?

Getting this award is an affirmation that my passion and vocation are aligned. As a recipient, I hope to serve as a reminder to my young, Black students, that their hard work deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.

Where/How can someone learn more about the work you are doing?

REVEL – REVEL is Omaha’s only monthly event catered to ladies who LOVE ladies.We celebrate ALL QUEER FEMMES!!! Our efforts work to create SAFE(r) SPACES for our community to network, socialize, party and LIVE. Visit our Facebook to stay updated on our quarterly events.  

Inclusive Communities – Join us for Omaha Table Talk, a community program that is free and open to the public.  We aim to engage our attendees by curating uncomfortable conversations, over comfort food. These events give local voices a platform to educate and engage the community, while unlikely conversation partners tackle various social justice issues.

Katrina Adams, 30’s, Community Investment/Facilitator/Relationship Builder

How is getting this award an important part of the work you do in the community?

This award is very humbling, energizing and affirming to me. The majority of what I ‘do’ takes place behind-the-scenes yet has a direct impact on our community. This award serves as a reminder that we all have gifts to contribute; whether in the spotlight or not. This is a wonderful opportunity to continue developing my skills and to seek out and elevate other Young, Black, and Influential leaders!

Where/How can someone learn more about the work you are doing?

House of Afros, Capes & Curls – (Stay tuned for AfroCon in 2019!!)

“We can and need to walk, talk, plan and most importantly play together. Because, this world is crazy and everyday getting crazier. We recognize that Black lives do matter, and the revolution is coming so let’s learn to enjoy our own company because that’s all we may have in the end.”

To learn more about the event and its mission or about the awardees, visit the website.


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