Malcolm X Foundation opens new headquarters

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December 23rd, 2010

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Malcolm X, black civil rights leader and Omaha native, pictured in 1964 (Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Omaha, NE – The Malcolm X Foundation opened its new headquarters this month, after receiving $200,000 in grant funding from the Nebraska Historical Grant Committee. Angel Martin attended the grand opening celebration Dec. 23rd, and filed this report.

The sound of traditional African drumming filled through room at the grand opening celebration of the Malcolm X Foundation’s new office headquarters. African Culture Connection provided the entertainment in the new space, directly across the street from the concrete headstone that marks the park-surrounded Malcolm X birth site in North Omaha.

Sharif Liwaru, president of the Malcolm X Foundation, said he’s been a member of the organization since 1993, and for several years, the group’s been working toward acquiring a facility to house various programs that focus on youth, family, culture and community re-entry for former prisoners.

“We have quite a few programs that are ready to be in the building,” he said. One is Harambee African Culture Organization, a group with various chapters within correctional facilities.

“This organization helps with their personal growth and their cultural esteem,” Liwaru said, “as they seek to give back to the community that they had robbed from, in one way or another.”

The new headquarters building is a former religious worship center, with an upstairs hall that will seat as many as 150 people, and a downstairs area, which includes three meetings areas and a kitchenette. Liwaru said he hopes the community takes full advantage of the building.

“Our grand opening will really give us the opportunity to see how others in the community are coming out and are excited about it, and [to] let them know how they can be involved with it.”

“Our work is purely for the community,” he said, “and so it is important for us that we have this grassroots effort.”

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