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Civic Nebraska will honor community leaders whose efforts make sure all Nebraskans benefit from our democratic society.

The Strengthening Democracy Awards honorees include educators, community groups, organizers and students who demonstrate exceptional civic leadership and who embody Civic Nebraska’s vision of a collaborative, innovative citizenry. Civic Nebraska will honor the winners 5 p.m. April 12 at Chez Hay, 210 N. 14th St.

PolitiFact co-founder and Pulitzer Prize winner Matt Waite, professor of practice of journalism at the University of Nebraska, will deliver this year’s keynote address. To reserve a seat, go to civicnebraska.org/democracy

Civic Nebraska’s Strengthening Democracy honorees are:

* Outstanding Educator: Kate Endorf, Weeping Water middle and high school teacher.

* Outstanding Community Partner: Nebraska Community Foundation, for its work to establish the Rural Civic Action Program in McCook.

* Outstanding Administrator: Amber Rhoades, Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department, for assistance and training in starting new Community Learning Centers in Lincoln and Omaha. Rhoades is an office assistant at Belmont and Air Park recreation centers.

* Outstanding Civic Health Partner: Rachael Wendler Shah, assistant professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, for launching the Husker Writers program and partnering with Civic Nebraska’s Capitol Experience Day.

* Outstanding Civic Health Partner: Charlyne Berens, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, for being the driving force behind creating and implementing a civil discourse and media-literacy class for OLLI.

* Outstanding Youth Engagement: Jeff Cole, Beyond School Bells, for investing in programs that benefit the young people and families Civic Nebraska serves.

* Outstanding Student Leaders: Jailynn Gragg and Eathyn Schroeder, Campbell Elementary School; and Avanna Gray and Hana Mengiste, Dawes Middle School, for demonstrating exemplary student leadership.

* Defender of Democracy Award: Heartland Workers Center, for its work in the 2018 legislative session to improve the quality of life for Latino immigrant workers.

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