ARISE Detroit! Neighborhoods Day returns on Aug. 2, 2008

ARISE Detroit has swiftly become one of the most significant community service organizations in Detroit. Last year’s Neighborhood’s Day was a remarkable success with unique community events taking place all day throughout the entire city in more than 50 separate locations. And that was all done with less than a year’s worth of planning. This year more than 100 community events are planned – twice the number of last year – and there is no doubt where this is headed.

Rebuilding Detroit cannot be accomplished without rebuilding the neighborhoods, and ARISE Detroit! is creating a new standard for this approach. A new model.

With everything else going on in this city, and I know I don’t need to elaborate, it is such a relief to see something like this.

Here are the two press releases announcing the upcoming event (pictures added by me).

Contact: Luther Keith, 313-921-1955 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


NEW EVENTS AND ORGANIZATIONS ADD LUSTER to 2nd Annual city wide observance on Aug. 2, 2008.—More than 100 events scheduled across city

DETROIT ARISE Detroit! Neighborhoods Day: Renewing The Village for 2008 promises to be bigger and better with the addition of many key organizations, including the United Negro College Fund, and the announcement of a major collaborative to attack literacy between Wayne State University and the Detroit Public Library.

Last year, more than 50 events were in the first ARISE Detroit! Neighborhoods Day, featuring community cleanups, marches against crime, meals for the homeless, family reunions, picnics and much more. This year, more than 100 events are expected to be held throughout the city, from sun up until sundown.

The idea behind the event is to create an opportunity to showcase the pride and spirit of neighborhoods and forge relationships that can help improve the quality of life for city residents going forward.

Corktown is Detroit's oldest neighborhood and also one of its most unique

Corktown is Detroit's oldest neighborhood and also one of its most unique

“This day will showcase the best of the spirit of Detroit, involving people in neighborhoods all over the city from all kinds of backgrounds,” said Luther Keith, executive director of ARISE Detroit! “It’s much more than a party. This is really about the heart and soul of people who love and care about this community and what they are doing to make a difference.”

This year, as last year, events will stretch from the Detroit riverfront to Eight Mile Road and from the far east side to the far west side.

New for this year, the Detroit United Negro College Fund (UNCF) 20th Anniversary Fundraising Walk on Belle Isle, a citywide Outdoor Open House at all 23 neighborhood Detroit Public Library branches, a Local Author Book Fair on the Cass Lawn of the Main Library, and a collaboration with Wayne State University that will offer 2,000 new students to be trained as literacy tutors and to serve in community service projects.

Also, playing a major role on this year’s Neighborhoods Day will be the Next Detroit Neighborhoods Initiative, created by Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, which will sponsor six events in Next Detroit Neighborhoods.

East side events will include Habitat for Humanity of Detroit, which will be constructing homes with the help of volunteers and doing home renovations, Ravendale Community’s 20th anniversary celebration and Black Family Development which will have a special event for east side block clubs.

The day will also feature neighborhood wide garage sales in Palmer Woods, free health screenings at many events, community concerts and an academic basketball tournament involving the organization Grade Check and Detroit Shock’s Deanna Nolan Foundation.

Sherwood Forest is one of Detroit's more upscale neighborhoods

Sherwood Forest is one of Detroit's more upscale neighborhoods

A unique partnership between the Community Foundation of Southeastern Michigan and Communities in Schools of Detroit will be highlighted on the east side at three back-to-school fairs at Friends School of Detroit, Martin Luther King Jr. High School and Butzel Elementary/Middle School.

At the Artist Village in northwest Detroit, the Better Detroit Youth Movement will host a talent showcase and a community mural will be painted by children as part of the Skillman Foundation’s community art project.

Major cultural institutions will also be involved this year, including the DIA and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

Once again, Neighborhoods Day will cross Eight Mile as Northland Mall in Southfield hosts a health and fitness fair and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit has its annual Mentor Picnic at Marsh Bank Park in West Bloomfield.

Unfortunately, too many areas in Detroit are blown out, such as this one. But the best hope for the revitalization of these areas is for the communities to come together themselves to save themselves. The cavalry is not coming.

Unfortunately, too many areas in Detroit are blown out, such as this one. But the best hope for the revitalization of these areas is for the communities to come together themselves to save themselves. The cavalry is not coming.

Major sponsors for Neighborhoods Day include Comerica Bank, the Detroit Public Library, Wayne State University and St. John Health.

Other sponsors and supporters include the Skillman Foundation Wayne County Community College District, Radio One, Waste Management of Michigan, Eastern Market, the Ribs N Soul Festival, Metro Youth Day, the Detroit Tigers, WADL TV-38 Detroit, Ramona Henderson Pearson, C.P.A. and AAA Michigan.

Note: All events for Neighborhoods Day will soon be posted online at

Established in 2006 and funded by the Skillman Foundation, ARISE Detroit! is a coalition of more than 300 non-profits, churches, community groups and organizations. ARISE Detroit! recruits volunteers and markets events and programs on behalf of local community groups trying to improve the quality of life in Detroit.




All 23 branches throughout the city, normally closed on Saturdays, will be open for “sidewalk” open houses and book fairs; Fairs will feature book giveaways, amnesty program for late books, library cards, free lemonade. The Main Branch branch will have an author book fair.

Contact: Conrad Weilsing, 313-833-4043


Will make thousands of new students available for community service projects for community organizations. Organizations that participate in Neighborhoods Day can use the volunteers on Aug. 30 as part of the first Warrior Service Day for the university. Wayne State will also offer students the opportunity to be trained as literacy tutors by the library.

Contact: Michelle Bruner, 313-577-2356


Michigan Chapter will have its is 20th annual UNCF Walk for Education on Belle Isle, beginning at 8 a.m. on Aug. 2, as part of Neighborhoods Day. The walk has raised millions of dollars for scholarships for students.

Contact: Leslie Andrews, 313-873-1500


: A collaboration to boost academic achievement at 16 schools on the east side of Detroit between the Community Foundation of Southeastern Michigan and Community Schools of Detroit involving charter schools, private schools and public schools. Three schools will host back to school open houses and fairs, King High, Friends School of Detroit and Butzel Elementary/Middle School.

Contact: Alan Dozier, 313-571-3400


In one of their final performances before going to China to play in the summer Olympics, the King High School Band will perform at the King High event.

Contact: Maria Thomas, 313-422-3242



Founded by the late Eddie Edwards and now headed by Toni McIlwain, Ravendale Community has been recognized nationally as one of the nation best examples of grassroots community activism. Will celebrate its 20th anniversary with community open house and fair.

Contact, Toni McIlwain, 313-527-1603


Crary St. Mary Community Council will host its annual Unity In the Community Parade, involving schools and community groups in northwest Detroit, culminating with community a picnic in a neighborhood park. The group has been active working with block clubs and in anti-crime watches. The parade starts at 9 a.m.

Contact Olivia Shakoor, 313-272-8574


Each of these organizations, long known for community service, will play a part in Neighborhoods Day. Volunteers will help Habitat construct home and do renovations on the east side of Detroit; ACORN will use volunteers to clean up a home site on the east side of Detroit and Black Family Development will host a special event highlight block club successes.

Contact, Habitat, Cindy Melican, 313-521-6691

Black Family Development: Margo Smith, 313-0150

ACORN, Kha-Mis Kanunname, 313-963-1840


The Detroit Institute of Arts and the Charles H. Wright Museum are offering discounts as part of Neighborhoods Day. Eastern Market will offer discounted memberships for shoppers and the Ribs N’ Soul Festival, held during Neighborhoods Day weekend, is a partner with ARISE Detroit!

Contact, DIA, Sondra Jenkins, 313-833-9157

Contact, Charles H. Wright, Tyrone Davenport, 313-494-5800



At the Artist Village in northwest Detroit, a project of the Motor City Blight Busters, the Better Detroit Youth Movement will host a Motor City Youth Fest called a Celebration of Young Stars. Meanwhile, also in the Artist Village area, Public Art Workz will use neighborhood children to a create a community mural as part of the Skillman Foundation’s Community Art project in collaboration with the College for Creative Studies. There will be community art projects on display in all six Skillman Foundation Good Neighborhoods communities.

Contact: Better Detroit Youth Movement, Susan Storey, 248-875-7878

Contact: Public Art Workz, Chaz Miller, 313-532-4350.


Basketball will play its part on Neighborhoods Day. The Basketball Warehouse, a 33,000 square foot facility, will open its doors on the east side for a community open house and fair;. It is the only privately-owned basketball facility of its kind in Detroit. In northwest Detroit, Derrick Hale will host his 11th annual Three on Three Basketball Tournament and GradeCheck.Net, a program to boost academic achievement of high school athletes, will partner with the Deanna Nolan Foundation for a special basketball exhibition. The Arab Chaldean Council (ACC) Youth Center, located in the Seven Mile-John R area in northeast Detroit, will showcase its recreational facilities at a community open house.

Contact: Basketball Warehouse, Erek Walters, 313-922-0311

Contact: Sheila McBride,313-778-3532.


Churches from all over Detroit will participate in Neighborhoods Day by hosting community events, health screenings and participating in community out reach efforts. These include the annual Sacred Heart Church Bazaar near the Midtown area, Every Body’s Universal Holiness
Tabernacle Church on the east side , Muhammad’s Mosque No. 1 on the west side, and the Pentecostal Temple Church on the east side..

Contact: Sacred Heart Church, David Flanigan, 313-300-4549

Contact: Muhammad’s Mosque, No. 1, Stephen Muhammad, 313-422-5016


Local businesses are also part of Neighborhoods Day. The Communicating Arts Credit Union, located in Detroit and Highland Park, is hosting community appreciation days on Aug. 1, since it is closed on Saturdays. The Greenfield Market and Cobo Cleaners in northwest Detroit are hosting customer appreciation days. The Southwest Detroit Business Association will have its Shop Your Block promotion as part of Neighborhoods Day.

Contact: Southwest Business Association, Vittoria Katanski, 313-842-0986


Will participate in Neighborhoods Day for the first time with a health screenings and a voter registration and information fair.

Contact: NAACP, Derek Blackmon, 313-871-2089


For the second year in a row, Urban Farming will invite the community to its 10-acre community garden on the city’s west side at Clairmount and Linwood. The garden is vacant land that has been planted with vegetables that are given to the community for free.

Contact: Urban Farming, Mike Travis, Taja Seville, 248-388-4749


Six events community fairs, involving recreational activities, children’s games and various community programs, will be held in Next Detroit Neighborhoods Initiative areas.

Contact: Next Detroit, Jeff Jones, 313-628-1111


At least two ARISE Detroit! Neighborhoods Day events will take place in Oakland County. Northland Mal lin Southfield, for the second year in a row, will host an event, this time focusing on dance, health and fitness. Big Brothers and Big Sisters of will have its annual Mentor/Mentee Picnic at Marsh Bank Park in West Bloomfield.

Contact: Northland Mall, Roslyn Atwood, 1-248-395-0614

Contact: Big Brothers, Big Sister, Dara Munson, 1-248-569-0600



~ by Keith A. Owens on July 22, 2008.

3 Responses to “ARISE Detroit! Neighborhoods Day returns on Aug. 2, 2008”

  1. Hi Luther…I met you several months ago at the DIA in a meeting with Sondra Jenkins. My family and I participated in “Neighborhoods Day” in the East English Village area. We arrived well before the scheduled events started and stayed the entire time. The event was fabulous! It was extremley well planned…the volunteers were friendly and consistently engaging with the neighboorhood folks. We stayed almost until the end of the function as we did not want to miss the opportunity to get our vegetables and fruits from the farmers market on E. Warren. It is unfortunate that I live in te Morningside Community and did not know about the Farmers Market until yesterday. We generally go in the opposite direction on Warren each Saturday to the Eastern Market. As I’m sure you know…some of the blocks in the Morningside community are falling apart at a very rapid rate. Vacant houes abound. My mate and I on a recent walk counted over 30 vacant and abandoned (most standing open) houses between Mack and Warren on Buckingham. My block is bleeding and it has gotten to the point where I’ve actually considered walking away from my home. I’ve lived on Buckingham for almost 14 years and my mate and I want to make a difference, but with the exception of 2 or 3 other neighbors…people do not plant flowers let alone cut their grass or pick up trash in front of their houses.. I think the problem is that most of the houses are rented. What steps can be taken to hold the landlords and homeowners accountable? My block is in desperate need of TLC. Even though I work a full time job and a part time job …am raising a 4 year old grandchild and have a mate with a heart condition….I am willing to volunteer or do whatever is necessary to be a part of revitalizing Buckingham and other streets in the morningside community. I’m actually embarrased and afraid to invite people to my home because the block looks so bad and it is just so damm noisy and dangerous with the cars that speed up and down the streets all day and all night. We want to make a difference. Where do we begin?We cannot afford to move. Help! Pleae! We are drowning!

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