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April 7th AYE/DRC Event: Putting People together to take action

Please Mark Your Calendars to Attend this Event

Date: Friday April 7th, 2017
Location: Washtenaw Community College: Morris Lawrence Building
RSVP: drc@washtenaw.org or (734) 646-2274


Life, Love, Race, Class and other “timely and entertaining” topics

Please join AYE board Member David Abramson and his wife Ellen at their home for an evening of inspiring conversation that’s sure to uplift your spirits after the trials and tribulations of this election season.

David and AYE Board President Robert Cooper will be sharing their experiences of growing up poor white and poor black in America.

They will also share their journey to creating a powerful friendship which they dedicate to bridging the gulf between our communities.

Bridging the separation is the key to creating the world we all desire. Come and Join!

Date: Saturday January 28th 2017
Time: 5:30pm Veggie Potluck and 6:30pm (Conversation Begins)
Where: Abramson Learning Institute

Call 734-646-2274) to RSVP and get directions



Detroit Boyz Rock Kick-Off/Planning/Development


Date: Saturday December 10th
Time: 11:00am to 2:00pm
Location: City Residence Committee: 18963 Livernois

To confirm you can attend this, please either indicate on the Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/787768918028418/

Or contact Charles Primas @ (313) 585-4624

The intent of this is to kick off this initiative and see what needs to be done to get into action supporting our young men and launching the Detroit Boyz Rock program

Detroit Boyz Rock

Detroit Boyz Rock is an initiative of The Association for Youth Empowerment (AYE). This initiative is dedicated creating a world where young black men and boys are empowered to create a life of their own design. Through workshops, facilitated sessions and other transformational programs this initiative will support and empower our young men to create a life and community of their own design.

Looking for some younger brothers to work with to develop this proogram. Read More about it here:





AYE Connection Central 12/4/2016

We are Creating the Beloved Community

Email rcooper@ayedetroit.org

Visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/calling-forth-the-beloved-community-tickets-29503727443

AYE Invites you to:

  • Break Bread with New Friends
  • Share Your Story
  • Be Acknowledged
  • Experience a Community Transformed

Come join us!

Date: Sunday, 12/4/16
Location: Church of the Messiah
Address: 231 E. Grand Blvd, Detroit. MI 28207
Time: 2:30 – 5:00 pm


Cost: Free of Charge


Yazaki volunteer group donates $44K to charity

Hometown Life
6:40 p.m. EDT July 22, 2016

Canton-based Yazaki North America, Inc., employees have been working for the last five months to volunteer their time to help the community — and that has led to donations to charity.

To recognize the employees’ hard work, the Yazaki Associate Volunteerism Council (AVC) donated $44,000 during an office-wide ceremony June 23 at the company’s Canton campus.

The money was raised by funds from casual jean Fridays, bake sales and merchandise sales, among other events.

This year’s organizations are involved in everything from making the world greener to bringing relief to people who are in need of basic necessities. Donations have been made to the following:

  • Alternatives For Girls (https://alternativesforgirls.org.).
  • The Association for Youth Empowerment (http://ayedetroit.org/).
  • Fleece and Thank You (http://fleeceandthankyou.org/).
  • Gleaners Community Food Bank (http://www.gcfb.org/).
  • The Greening of Detroit (http://www.greeningofdetroit.com/).
  • Make-A-Wish (http://wish.org/).
  • The National Neighborhood Properties Community Development Corporation (NNPCDC).
  • The NOAH Project (http://noahprojectdetroit.org/)
  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) (https://www.nami.org/)
  • Sikhcess (http://www.sikhcess.org/)
  • The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (http://www.svdpusa.org/)
  • Special Olympics Michigan (http://www.somi.org/)

The submission that won the first place prize of $8,000 was the NOAH (Networking, Organizing, and Advocating for the Homeless) Project – led by YNCA financial business planner Bill Drabing – to empower the low income and homeless in Detroit.

The NOAH Project, which operates a Community Center in downtown Detroit, offers lunch four days a week, one-on-one social services, physical health counseling, empowerment-based programming, and emergency needs to help strengthen family support systems locally.

Presiding as guest speaker of the Yazaki ceremony was Nigel Thompson, Yazaki North America president and CEO. He said he was impressed by the diversity of the projects and volunteers.

“In the process of building up our community, we build up each other and leave a lasting impression on the world around us,” said Nigel. “The AVC Charity Challenge highlighted the many needs in our communities. You, the volunteers, took time out of your busy schedules to come together and really make a lasting impression by helping others and the environment. And for that, I thank you.”

Thanks to Yazaki North America


The board of the Association for Youth Empowerment (AYE) would like to thank and acknowledge Yazaki North America for their support of the April 12th Empowerment Zone Initiative with the topic: Breaking the Silence.

We were honored by your presence and we appreciate the support that Yazaki has shown to support AYE’s mission, which is to partner with community members and organizations who share a common goal of eliminating social oppression and fostering respect, acceptance and compassion in our schools and communities.

The intention of the event was for the kids to understand why “Breaking the Silence” is so important and also that they know that child abuse happens in all levels of society (rich and poor), any age and both boys and girls are abused.

The event met its intent, was very well attended and all had a great time that was both rewarding and fun! The support meant a lot as the kids were aware that they have the support of the community and that the community that is available to them is broader and bigger than what they see every day.

Specifically, we would like to thank the following people from Yazaki North America who came out to spend time with the young people:

  • Gabrielle Collier
  • Dennis Maxwell
  • Andrew Romain
  • Divya Chadha
  • Nawal Denard
  • Stacey Cole

Yazaki Support Pic

Thanks so very much again and we look forward to partnering with Yazaki North America again in the future.

Thanks Again from the AYE Board!

  • Robert Cooper – President
  • Jeff Gabrielson – Vice President
  • Roderic Scott – Treasurer
  • Jennifer Young, Secretary
  • David Abramson – Board Member
  • Charles C. Primas – Board Member

Pair Promotes Challenge Day



Prejudice, fear, hate. What we don’t know can hurt us, can hurt our children, can hurt our community. Distributing information can help. Creating understanding can heal.

On December 5, our community members have a unique opportunity to participate in a program designed to get us to look inside ourselves and listen to our neighbors. The day-long program is called Challenge Day. It was initially developed to facilitate dialogue within schools. But the December 5 Challenge Day has been created to facilitate dialogue across the lines that divide our community.

“The people in the city have a story about the people outside the city, and vice versa. You know what 8 mile represents, right?” says Jeff Gabrielson, who is involved in Bridging 8 Mile, an Association for Youth Empowerment (AYE) initiative that brings people of different backgrounds and social experiences together to realize a common humanity.

“We use tools such as Challenge Day to get them to get each other,” says Gabrielson. “We want to create a community where we truly get each other.”

“If you’re going to love your neighbors as yourself, without knowing your neighbors, how are you going to do that?” asks David Abramson, Gabrielson’s collaborator.

The two share a commitment to creating connections within the community, and several years ago set a goal to create a community building network.

One of his criteria for his own success, says Abramson, who lives in Ann Arbor, was “to be invited to a black person’s house for dinner. There are a lot of us who are disconnected in that way.” He achieved that level of connection within the community, and says “It’s really opened up the community in such a way that it feels like home. Now I can go to events in Detroit and see people we know. That was just hard work we needed to do.”

“To the extent that I know you, I can trust. To the extent that I can trust you, I can work with you. And the extent to which we can work together will determine our ability to make a difference,” says Abramson. “So, how do we get to know each other?”

Potlucks were a good atmosphere for get to know one another, says Gabrielson. “It’s low tech, but there’s something magical that happens when you break bread together. Everyone needs to eat. When you’re sitting across a table, you’re just another human being.”

Four years ago, the two began the Bridging 8 Mile effort with “lots and lots of meetings in living rooms with people,” said Gabrielson. “Our take away was that we needed a tool.”

Both had been involved in Challenge Day in schools, and decided to try it in a community setting. Since getting involved, they have been responsible for tens of thousands of kids going through the program.

“It’s the one tool we know helps in groups,” says Abramson.

The transformational school Challenge Days have been featured on television by Oprah Winfrey and Leeza Gibbons. Students share, confess, cry, connect, apologize, thank, hug and walk away with a far greater understanding of the thoughts, feelings, and challenges faced by their peers.

In the December 5 Community Challenge Day, Abramson and Gabrielson plan to bring together over 100 people, of different ethnic backgrounds, races and religions ~ most of whom are complete strangers to each other.

“By the end of the day, because of the groundbreaking nature of the Challenge Day, the attendees will experience community and the possibility of a new future for our region,” says Abramson.

“8 Mile for me is the 6 inches between my ears,” says Gabrielson. “It’s only my perception that gets in my way of connecting with another human being.”

For program registration, click here.

December 5th Challenge Day

Let Us Be A Part of Change!

We  request that you support the upcoming Community Challenge Day being sponsored by the coalition of AYE (the Association for Youth Empowerment), DION (Detroit Interfaith Outreach Network) and BDYM (the Better Detroit Youth Movement).

Here’s the deal … On December 5, 2015, we will bring together 100+ people, of different ethnic backgrounds, races and religions ~ most of whom are complete strangers to each other. By the end of the day, because of the groundbreaking nature of the Challenge Day, attendees will experience community AND the possibility of a new future for our region.

We say that overcoming the separation AND BREAKING DOWN THE STEREOTYPES is the first step in experiencing our neighbors as ourselves ~ which we say is the key to making Detroit the city of our dreams. Challenge Days break down stereotypes!

Please join us! Registering to attend the Challenge Day on December 5th is easy. Just click here.

If you can’t join us, please donate to support out efforts. Just click here.

Here are 3 video clips that share the impact of Challenge Day. Leeza Gibbons’ and Marianne Williamson’s videos are less than 3 minutes long and Oprah’s is 8 minutes long.

Please check out one – or all – of the videos, and then follow your heart.
Leeza Gibbons / Teen Files ~
Oprah and MTV Endorse Challenge Day ~
Marianne Williamson endorsing Challenge Day ~

Please call Pandy Kemp at 313-492-7702 or David Abramson at 734-646-2274 if you have any questions. We will be happy to answer them.

Thank you very much! It’s an honor and privilege to serve the community with you

AYE Seeking Volunteer Assistance

Dear AYE Friends,

Thanks to the active participation of our AYE community, we’re growing our programs, projects and activities at breakneck speeds – through Community Challenge Days, Prosperity Year Gatherings, Dave Ramsey’s Core Financial Wellness classes and other transformational growth and development programs. To fully make the opportunity and possibility of our work available to our metro Detroit community, we’re seeking your assistance.

The Association for Youth Empowerment is looking for part-time volunteer assistance with organizing and tracking our many projects and activities. The commitment you make is to getting more out of it than you put into it.

To learn more about this training and development opportunity, please contact AYE Board President, Robert Cooper, at (313) 510-3770.

Best regards,


AYE Board Secretary

AYE is dedicated to challenging and empowering young people to create the Beloved Community. We partner with community leaders and organizations who share a common purpose of recognizing social oppression and fostering respect, acceptance and compassion in our families, schools and communities.


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