ARISE DETROIT! The name says it all



For all those who persist in believing that nothing good is going on in Detroit and that we are all helplessly sitting around on our porches watching our city deteriorate while knockin back a 40-ounce, you might want to take a look at this. ARISE DETROIT! hasn’t even been in existence a full year yet, but already the efforts of this organization are sending shock waves throughout the city. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; survival in Detroit is a growth industry.

In the interest of full disclosure, Luther Keith, the organization’s founder and president, is a long-time friend of mine. But that hardly changes the facts of what he’s doing…

For a more full rundown, be sure to check out the group’s website.



A day of celebration, conversation and commitment

From Luther Keith,   Executive Director, ARISE DETROIT!



PREMISE: July 2007 will mark the 40th year since Detroit erupted in violence with the infamous 1967 disturbance that transformed the physical, racial and spiritual landscape of Detroit forever. Since then, Detroit has gone through countless permutations in the eternal effort to forge a true renaissance. The progress has been mixed over the years but the city, despite the difficult times, seems poised for real change, building on recent successes, as more groups come together around a common vision for change and the power of collaboration. We see this with the One D initiative – which includes New Detroit, the United Way and the Greater Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce — the Skillman Foundation, the Mayor’s Neighborhood Initiative the Community Council for Southeast Michigan, and indeed, ARISE  Detroit! In just one year, ARISE Detroit! has grown from 22 founding organizations to more than 200 non-profits, churches, businesses and media outlets who share the concern that more must be done to improve the lives of Detroiters. As Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick observed in his State of The City address, that means getting greater personal involvement from people in city  neighborhoods..

Despite numerous big ticket efforts that the city has successfully navigated – the Detroit 300 celebration, the Super Bowl,  major league baseball all-star game, Winter Blast, etc., there is a growing realization the revitalization of neighborhoods is critical to any true city renaissance.

Thus, ARISE Detroit! proposes a day unlike any other in the city’s history – a day focused on reconnecting families, people and neighborhoods. Instead of all this happening at one place – such as downtown where many celebrations have been held – ARISE Detroit! Neighborhoods Day will be a day throughout the city for city neighborhoods and people.


CONCEPT:  ARISE Detroit! Neighborhoods Day will be a combination citywide block party, family reunion and networking affair. It will showcase the best of the spirit of Detroiters. Participating neighborhood organizations, block clubs and churches will be encouraged to hold games for children, neighborhood parades, health screenings, vendor fairs, and offer vendor booths so people can sign up as volunteers or learn about the many organizations working to help children and families and neighborhoods. The purpose is to stimulate pride, connect people together by harkening back to the days when everyone on the block looked out for each other and their children.


LOCATION:  Eight to 10 neighborhoods around the city could be targeted as specific ARISE Detroit! Neigborhoods Day sites. This would mean events in southwest, northwest, northeast, the central city and downtown Detroit. Events will be held at specific churches, parks, recreation centers or other community areas. Groups could also sponsor mini-community forums on key issues of importance to each area.

All Detroiters will be encouraged to do something that brings their block or neighborhood together on that day.


STRUCTURE: Each neighborhood group will produce its own event with responsibility for providing most of the infrastructure support. ARISE Detroit! will assist in signage, marketing to the media and making the community aware of this event. There is also the possibility of some financial and in-kind support through sponsorships.


SPONSORSHIP:  ARISE Detroit! will work to line up sponsors – financial and in-kind support — including businesses, key churches, community organizations, including its partner organizations.


MEDIA SUPPORT: ARISE Detroit! will work with its media partners and other media organizations to assure pre-event coverage and on-site coverage on radio and television. This day should offer many opportunities for the media to report “good news” about Detroiters coming together with a new energy for change and public involvement.


KEY PLAYERS: ARISE Detroit! will work with the Mayor’s  neighborhoods initiative, community leaders, churches, the Skillman Foundation, members of the One D initiative and others to build a broad base of support for this event.


EVENT IMPACT: This will be a “feel good” day for city residents and should provide real momentum that all groups and city officials can build upon. It will make an unprecedented city-wide statement for city neighborhoods that will benefit the entire community.


TIMING:  A Saturday in late July or early August. Should not go up against other major city events or festivals.



~ by Keith A. Owens on April 1, 2007.

One Response to “ARISE DETROIT! The name says it all”

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