Elizabeth Pittman: An Innovator and Guide for North Omaha’s Community

 Elizabeth Pittman: An Innovator and Guide for North Omaha’s Community

Elizabeth Pittman: An Innvoator and Guide for North Omaha’s Community

Elizabeth Pittman: An Innovator and Guide for North Omaha’s Community 

By: A student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, as part of Heather Nelson’s Service Learning

Making Goals and Achieving Them 

Elizabeth Pittman (1912-1998) was an African American woman who worked tirelessly to put herself in a position to make North Omaha a beautiful place to live in. From an early age she was a scholar, she graduated from Omaha North High School with many honors and was the first African American woman to graduate from Creighton University Law School. Right out of college she worked in a small room out of her father’s revolutionary Black-owned bank, the Carver Savings and Loan Association building, where she would be one of 39 African American women in the United States to be a lawyer. Pittman was elected to the Omaha Public Schools board of Education, and since her election, there has been at least one African American person on the board because of her leadership role. These accomplishments did not stop her from achieving further, she forged ahead prepared to make more history. 

Paving a Way Through Uncharted Land 

Elizabeth was appointed to be a part of the office of Douglas County Attorney, she was the first African American woman to be assigned this kind of opportunity in Douglas County. She then became the first African American, as well as woman, to become a Douglas County Municipal judge in the state of Nebraska. As a Municiple judge, she was known to be careful and fair in that she upheld the law fiercely. Even though she was focused on her own goals, she also took the time to participate in events and groups in the city. 

Connecting with the Community 

To further connect with the people in her North Omaha community, she tried to find different activities that she could participate in to make their bonds stronger. She decided that she wanted to compete in many beauty pageants when she was young. Pittman was involved in, and became a leader, in many different organizations that furthers women, and African American rights. Elizabeth also happened to be a woman of faith, so she attended and supported the Saint Phillip Episcopal Church during her lifetime. The church is now referred to as the Church of the Resurrection and is still active today. Her leisure activities, building up and inspiring the people around her, were just as important as her career, and she was honored during her lifetime and after due to her influential actions. 

Influencing the Future Generation

In the latter half of her career, she was given many awards from distinct groups and associations. She was featured in the “Who’s Who in Colored America” many times, and she also was labeled “Woman of the Year” by the Omaha Business and Professional Club. Elizabeth was also honored by the very university that she graduated from, the University Creighton Law School granted her an honorary doctorate, and they also constructed a building in her name to commemorate the 50 years since she had graduated from the school originally. Creighton also bestows what is called the Elizabeth Pittman Award, where they give this award to a student who, “…possesses the same qualities of excellence, perseverance, and dedication embodied by the Honorable Elizabeth D. Pittman, JD’48, the first African American graduate of Creighton’s School of Law.” Her efforts helped make North Omaha a stronger and healthier family where everyone is welcome and can get the help that they need. 

Learning about North Omaha’s History 

You can learn more about Elizabeth Pittman, other influential people from North Omaha, and the suburb itself during the Omaha Freedom Festival (www.omahafreedomfestival.comLinks to an external site.) which will be taking place on Saturday, June 17th at the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation (www.malcolmxfoundation.orgLinks to an external site.) To celebrate the Juneteenth (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JuneteenthLinks to an external site.) Holiday. Here and then you can discover more about the diverse and rich history this part of the city has to offer. 


Fletcher, A. F. C., Says:, R., Says:, R., says:, R. G. P. S., & says:, T. K. M. D. (2020, September 21). A biography of judge Elizabeth Pittman by Jody Lovallo. North Omaha History. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from https://northomahahistory.com/2019/02/18/a-biography-of-judge-elizabeth-pittman-by-jody-lovallo-and-adam-fletcher-sasse/

Judge Elizabeth D. Pittman award ceremony. University Relations | Creighton University. (n.d.). Retrieved April 19, 2023, from https://alumni.creighton.edu/news-events/events/pittman23

Some More Information

About Omaha Freedom Festival The 2023 Omaha Freedom Festival is taking place on June 17th at the Malcolm X Outside Event Plaza to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday from 12noon – 12midnight to honor the emancipation of those enslaved in the United States.  See website for event schedule and how to obtain tickets.

About Freedomtainment Freedomtainment is a 501c3 non-profit organization located in Omaha, Nebraska established to educate, empower and entertain the Omaha Nebraska community about North Omaha Culture while bringing awareness to local, social and business resources.  It hosts the Omaha Freedom Festival to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday and the Level Up Career & Housing Fair on Labor Day Weekend.