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SE Michigan Community News for Week Ending 6/29/06

ARISE Detroit Event Seeks to Rebuild Detroit

Detroit–June 24–Many organizations gathered in downtown Detroit this past weekend as a part of a process of seeking to rebuild Detroit. They gathered for ARISE Detroit’s first organized event of its Launch Week, held at Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit, with dozens of booths staffed by local not-for-profit organizations.

ARISE stands for “Activating Resources and Inspiring Service and Empowerment,” whose name is a mouthful but which has already succeeded in enlisting the support–sponsorships from a variety of A-list Detroit corporations, including ACCESS, the Detroit Free Press, Metro Parent publishing group, and many other organizations.

The purpose of the event was to coalesce the loose-knit group of organizations into a tangible form by means of its first organized ensemble effort, and also to gather volunteers for the various not-for-profit organizations that constitute ARISE’s founding members.

Several hundred people attended the Martius Park event, which featured (in addition to its many booths) live performances by many bands, soap bubbles for children, bounce-house rides, and more.

Other “founding partners” of ARISE Detroit! are: the ART of Leadership, Legacy Associates Foundation, the Neighborhood Services Organization, The Skillman Foundation, Southwest Solutions, Black Family Development Inc., City Year Detroit, African-American Family Magazine, the DAPCEP, Communities in Schools, Alternatives for Girls, the Detroit Parent Network, the Children’s Aid Society, the Detroit Youth Foundation, Hope United Methodist Church, the Marshall Alexander Youth Organization, Proliteracy Detroit, Anderson Memorial Church/Project Hope, and the Youth Sports and Recreation Commission.

The rest of ARISE Detroit!’s launch week consisted of several events that followed the Saturday kickoff, including a Sunday “Call to Action” which sought clergy from “all Detroit churches and houses of worship” to encourage their membership to sign up and get involved in ARISE and other volunteer efforts. The Detroit Council of Baptist Pastors endorsed this call to action. Monday’s focus was School Involvement, bringing opportunities for people to volunteer at city schools. Detroit Communities in Schools and the Detroit Parent Network lead this effort, which was cosponsored by Detroit Public Schools, to be held in the atrium of the New Center One Building at West Grand and 2nd in Detroit. Tuesday was “Peace Day,” offering non-violence, conflict resolution, and self-esteem workshops for teenagers, and listening skill workshops for parents and children. Participants were offered the opportunity to join anti-crime and conflict resolution programs, and the event was followed by a “Men’s Dialogue Dinner” at Goodwill Industries, Detroit and a “Peace Caravan” through downtown Detroit.

Wednesday’s event was “Literacy.” It began with a free morning workshop on book clubs sponsored by the Detroit Public Library. The focus of the workshop was starting book clubs and improving existing book clubs. Afterwards, a free “Job Readiness Workshop” helped participants prepare resumes and provided tips on successful interviewing. Participants were welcomed as volunteer reading tutors with ProLiteracy Detroit. Thursday was “Mentoring Day,” and Friday will be “Reclaiming the Village,” a 6:30-9:30 p.m. “summit and dialogue” on how to move the community forward after the ARISE Detroit! launch week activities. This summit will be held at Fellowship Chapel Church at 7707 W. Outer Drive in Detroit, pastored by the reverent Wendell Anthony, president of the Detroit chapter of the NAACP. l

To visit ARISE Detroit!’s website, visit www.arisedetroit.org; email info@arisedetroit.org, or call 866-94-ARISE (27473); if you wish to send donations, the physical address is 5830 Field, Ste. 103, Detroit, MI 48213.


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