Ten years ago, Omaha lost a forward-thinking, renowned artist, son, uncle, cousin, and friend: Malcolm J. Minnifield. Every memory of Malcolm that we share has been deeply embedded into our hearts and has most recently culminated into a newly founded nonprofit, Newdoom Inc.
But Newdoom is not new. It was an idea that began the summer before Malcolm started university. In our young minds, we were connected by art, graffiti, skateboarding and music. After his death, something inside of us told us to keep going. The initial elements of Newdoom collectively fostered a movement to unify the city of Omaha. The moniker, NEWDOOM, was centered on flipping the status quo upside down. Hence, flipping the former WOODMEN towers logo upside down.
While we still aim to unify those same artistic expressions, Newdoom is now focused on educational and communal programs, where we can strive for a new comfort in rejecting societal norms.
Despite a shift in focus, we believe that real change can be made from the inside outward. In 2021 and on, the passion to empower the disenfranchised lives on. Here in Omaha, which is considered the heartland, located in the heart of this country, we can have the greatest impact as a change of heart can change the world.
Every morning, I walk my two-year-old son to the parking garage of our apartment. He’s never ready to wake up. The groggy, grumpy Gideon is what I see in the moments before we are scrambling to leave.
On the way to the garage, the sight of birds turns Gideon’s frown. He’s enamored by their gregarious personalities and weightless movements in the bushes and trees.
For me, losing Malcolm birthed a desire in me to write more. I had always loved writing, but the passion didn’t settle into my spirit until I could no longer carry the heaviness of Malcolm’s death. Through writing, I gave my thoughts, my heart ache and my pain a voice.
In October, Malcolm’s 10-year death anniversary was almost unreal. I had a dream that I was sitting on a curb outside of a Dundee neighborhood circa 2011. Down comes hundreds of sparrows forming into the shape of M—for Malcolm. I knew instantly it was him, reinforcing that he’s still there, he still sees us, and he knows how strong and courageous I’ve become. The sparrows I see in the morning now have a new meaning.
Ten years ago, I was a budding photographer and artist. Now, I’m a mom and writer and the proud of owner of Newdoom-inspired Bear Expressions, a writing and media company. I believe that everyone from the initial Newdoom era has turned some of their exhaustion into discovery. With a newly aligned mission and values, Newdoom has moved into a new era of turning individuals into assets.
Newdoom connects individuals with resources that will help educate and enrich the community. We empower individuals within our network to create an economic family and secure affluence while achieving educational and financial goals. We believe that we can turn individuals into assets and families into businesses through four pillars: Youth programs, an educator’s union, return to citizenship programs and workplace development programs.
Follow our work and our progress and become part of our family.
Susan Payne, media manager at Newdoom; owner of Bear Expressions