CoJMC alumna honored with Native American 40 Under 40 awardTuesday, December 11, 2018 - 12:15pm
by Molly Chapple Roe
Alumna Rebekka Schlichting was recently named a 2018 “Native American 40 Under 40 Award” recipient by The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development.
The Native American 40 Under 40 Award is bestowed to individuals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated leadership, initiative and dedication and have made significant contributions in business and their community.
Schlichting received the award at the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Oct. 30. The event – “Impacting Generations: Honoring a Decade of Exceptional Service and Leadership” – was held in conjunction with the National Center’s next Native Edge Institute, a one-day training session focused specifically on procurement.
Schlichting, a 2016 master’s grad from the CoJMC professional journalism track, currently works as assistant director at Vision Maker Media, a Native American broadcasting company in Lincoln focused on empowering Natives to control their narratives by telling their stories. In this role, she manages film contracts, serves as an executive producer and also works on fundraising and grant writing.
Schlichting, an enrolled member of the Ioway Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, was born and raised on the Sac and Fox Reservation in Kansas. She completed her bachelor of science in journalism at the University of Kansas in 2014.
After graduation, she knew she wanted to expand her knowledge in journalism and work to help fight for Native rights.
During her time at the CoJMC, Schlichting worked with the depth reporting class that produced “The Wounds of Whiteclay: Nebraska’s Shameful Legacy.”
The Wounds of Whiteclay project examined the issues surrounding four beer stores in Whiteclay, Nebraska, adjacent to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where alcohol is illegal and where alcoholism, fetal alcohol syndrome and poverty are widespread.
The project took home various awards, including the grand prize at the Robert F Kennedy Journalism Awards ceremony in 2017, marking the first time in the event’s 49-year history that the top prize went to a college group.
The coverage also played a role in the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission’s discussions leading to a vote to repeal the liquor licenses in the four stores in Whiteclay. The stores stopped selling alcohol in April 2017.
In addition to her work on Native American filmmaking, Schlichting also serves as chairwoman of the Ioway tribe pow wow, is involved in the Native American church, helps with the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs and serves as a faculty adviser for the University of Nebraska Intertribal Exchange (UNITE).