Housing Discrimination in Nebraska: An Up Close Look

Air Date: 09/15/2016

This half hour program provides information and resources for people who are experiencing or have experienced housing discrimination in Nebraska. Studio panelists talk about the laws; what they are, what they mean. Property owners can learn what constitutes discriminatory practices and renters can get help if they are discriminated against.

This is a Connects presentation produced in partnership with the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission, created to provide information, education and resources to Nebraskans, whether they are landlords, tenants or lenders, in order to avoid unlawful discriminatory practices.

Panelist Bios


Stan Odenthal, program host, began serving as the Executive Director of the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission in June 2016. Stan has a strong passion for public service. His work experience in state government and public sector management is extensive and has crossed into two different states. Prior to accepting his current position, he held the position of Administrator of Workforce Services with the Nebraska Department of Labor. Stan holds a J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law and a M.A. in Political Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He also has a B.A. degree in Political Science and History from Weber State University.


Ben Watson has been investigating Title VII, VIII and IX cases for the past decade. He is excited to be named the new Director of Education and Outreach at the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission. Prior to his work at the NEOC, he specialized in investigating college sexual assaults, dating violence, and stalking, as well as training faculty, staff and students in preventing the same. He also travelled western Iowa providing training in active shooter response. Ben is dedicated to the NEOC's mission of eliminating discrimination in Nebraska.


Rita Griess has been a REALTOR® for the last 35 years. For 26 years she has been in management, working as a Training Director, Assistant Broker, and Managing Broker. In addition to that, Rita has taught pre-license and continuing education real estate classes. Within the industry, Rita has served as President of the local and state REALTOR® associations. She also served as a commissioner on the Nebraska Real Estate Commission, and currently serves as a commissioner on the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission, and is a Managing Broker for HOME Real Estate.


Kimberley Taylor-Riley graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a degree in social work and a minor in criminal justice. Ms. Taylor-Riley is certified as a law enforcement officer in the State of Nebraska and holds certifications in basic and family mediation. Since graduation from Creighton Law School in 1994, Ms. Taylor-Riley has engaged in a myriad of civil and criminal practice areas with a concentration in family and juvenile law. Presently, Ms. Taylor-Riley is the Director of Equity and Diversity for the City of Lincoln involving supervision of the Lincoln Commission on Human Rights staff, performing internal discrimination/harassment investigations, serving as the ADA co-coordinator, assisting with federal civil rights contract compliance issues and working with a team designated by the Mayor to create a more inclusive workforce.