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February Member Spotlight: Malcolm X Memorial Foundation

The Malcolm X Memorial Foundation works to “preserve the human rights legacy of Malcolm X while prioritizing self-reliance and determination through radical movement building.” This mission is transferred into action through a wide variety of programs and community-building efforts that seek to preserve, educate, celebrate, and empower. 

The organization preserves the birthplace of Malcolm X and operates a space that functions as a cultural learning center as well as a community building. However, their work extends far beyond this physical space. 

Schmeeka Simpson, current Policy Fellow and long-time leader at the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation, classifies the work they do through the mnemonic PEACE: Preserving the grounds, Educating about Malcolm X, Activating through leadership, Celebrating Black heritage, and Empowering through equity. 

Simpson tables for the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation.

Dedicated to their community

Like many of the organizations in our Table network, community is central to all the work they do to make this mission a reality. One highlight of this programming is the Betty Shabazz Community Garden which brings together community members across generations and backgrounds to tend to garden plots on the foundation grounds. 

Additionally, in collaboration with other nonprofit organizations in Omaha, they work to provide their community with resources and skills that have been historically out of reach. 

A couple of these collaborations have included the Justice for Kids program, working to reduce the number of suspensions of children of color in Omaha Public Schools, and the Emerging Ladies Academy, empowering Black girls to learn tech and STEM skills. 

They do this work because “we are dedicated to community, and dedicated to self-reliance" says Simpson.

Thanks to an influx of funds allocated to the development of North Omaha through legislative action during the 2023 session, the foundation is excited to expand programs, provide additional housing options, and create new community spaces

These funds follow the 2023 vote to induct Malcolm X into the Nebraskan Hall of Fame, making him the first Black honoree. The ceremony will take place on May 22, 2024. Learn more about the efforts behind this success in this documentary - 'The Inconvenient Native Son: Malcolm X and the Nebraska Hall of Fame.

Increasing political engagement

Tour group poses in front of the Malcolm X Memorial 

The last several years have seen a growth in political engagement and policy efforts by the organization. This political work aims to “inform and educate our community about the power of politics and how we can leverage this power to further our needs,” says Simpson. 

As part of this effort and in her role as a Policy Fellow, Simpson has launched a political survey that will be used to design the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation's political agenda and ensure it is “set by the community that we serve."

Participate in this survey, here. This survey complements a recently completed community needs assessment that collected data specific to the needs of North Omaha. 

With the upcoming 2024 elections, the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation is collaborating with a range of other organizations and political leaders to increase education and empower Black voters. 

Get involved with the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation! 

The first step to getting more involved in the great work that they are doing is learning more about the philosophy and legacy of Malcolm X. Check out "The Love that Hate Produced, an article written by Simpson outlining the events that shaped Malcom’s life and beliefs. Additionally, visit their website to learn more about the programs and support their ongoing efforts. To find out more about upcoming events, follow their Facebook page

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