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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,

Jennifer

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.

 

aye logo sunburst (1)


AYE Community Potluck February 13th 2015

 

 

Hello Friends and Family of AYE,

You’re invited to join friends and family of the Association for Youth Empowerment for a community potluck on Friday, Feb. 13th. Our Community Potluck is an occasion for us to to come together and share joys, challenges, music making and whatever else evolves!

All are welcome – young and old alike. Bring yourself, a friend, a neighbor, a dish to share, an instrument or a song to perform.

AYE Community Potluck

Friday, Feb. 13

6:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Bushnell Congregational Church

1500 Southfield Fwy, Detroit, MI 48223
AYE Community Potluck

 

 


The Craig Fahle Show: “Bridging 8 Mile” to Hold Challenge Days this Weekend

http://wdet.org/shows/craig-fahle-show/episode/bridging-8-mile/

 Bridging 8 Mile is an organization that seeks to unite the people who live on either side of Detroit’s city limits. In their vision statement on their website it says, “it is common for whites to view members of the black community as ‘the other;’ dangerous, untrustworthy, and ‘less than.’ It is common for the black community to view whites as, uncaring, untrustworthy, and hostile.”The organizations goal is to conquer this divide through structured events like the “Challenge Days” coming up this weekend.

In this segment we hear from three members of Metro Detroit who appear to be bridging the divide: David Abramson, Robert Cooper, and Rasheda Williams.

event

Click on the above audio player to listen and add your comments below.

DO YOU AGREE WITH BRIDGING 8 MILE? IS THERE A DIVIDE BETWEEN THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE WITHIN THE LIMITS OF 8 MILE AND THOSE WHO LIVE OUTSIDE OF IT? WHAT SIDE DO YOU LIVE ON AND HOW OFTEN DO YOU CROSS THE DIVIDE? LET US KNOW, BELOW…

JEFF GABRIELSON – ENTREPRENEUR AND CONSULTANT BOARD MEMBER, ASSOCIATION FOR YOUTH EMPOWERMENT, FORMER JR. CHALLENGE DAY LEADER

http://www.challengeday.org/board-members.php#Gabrielson

Jeff Gabrielson

From a young age Jeff understood the power of community. Being one of six children and raised by parents whose top priority was family, he learned that together we can overcome anything and achieve what we desire. As a father of three, Jeff knows full well the challenges of raising children in today’s world.

In 1999, Jeff became aware of Challenge Day, flew to California to experience the program and then began the process of building a team to share the program. In partnership with a group of local volunteers they introduced Challenge Day throughout the Midwest and Ontario, Canada.

Over a decade ago, he made a decision to live his life with an open heart and to fully express himself by following his passion. As a result, Jeff trained as a Challenge Day Leader. Most recently he competed in and fulfilled a lifelong dream of completing an Ironman Triathlon (August 2013).

As a small business entrepreneur, Jeff models the principles of honesty and integrity as core values. One of his greatest passions in life is being a connector of people and organizations to the resources they desire.

He lives with his wife Gigi and children in Metropolitan Detroit, MI.

BRIDGING 8 MILE on Detroit 20/20

Published JULY 07 2011 NO COMMENTS

Participants 16 and older are being sought for the kickoff events for the Bridging 8 Mile initiative this weekend.

The events are Saturday at the Boys and Girls Club in Royal Oak and Sunday at Youthville in Detroit, and are designed to bridge Detroit and its surrounding suburbs.

A local non-profit, The Association for Youth Empowerment, is launching the initiative to transform the way people relate to one another in the region.

Participation is free, but advance registration is required.

The Challenge Day program was featured on Oprah and on MTV’s “If You Really Knew Me” series.

Association for Youth Empowerment Launches “Bridging 8 Mile” to Unite Detroit and Suburbs

Published Jul 11, 2011

The Association for Youth Empowerment announces the launch of the Bridging 8 Mile initiative to transform the way people relate to one another in Southeast Michigan.

DETROIT/ROYAL OAK – The Association for Youth Empowerment (AYE), a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to bringing transformational programs to schools and communities in southeast Michigan, announces the launch of the Bridging 8 Mile initiative to transform the way people relate to one another in the region.

On July 23 and 24, 2011, groups of everyday people, youth, community leaders, politicians and clergy will participate in two Community Challenge Day events designed to bridge Detroit and its surrounding suburbs, cities and towns. Challenge Day is an award-winning experiential program that has been featured on Oprah, MTV’s “If You Really Knew Me” and Tom Brokaw’s “Bridging the Divide” program.

“We are excited to kick off the Bridging 8 Mile initiative with two potentially life–changing events,” said Jean Ritok, AYE executive director. “The Challenge Day program through its creative, ground-breaking techniques has a spectacular track record of breaking down barriers between people and causing them to see each other with new eyes. Seeing others with new eyes is the doorway to new possibilities between people and between communities. It’s exactly what this region needs.”

CHALLENGE DAY

Registration for the Bridging 8 Mile Community Challenge Day events is open to youth and adults 16 and older. Southeast Michigan community leaders are encouraged to attend. Suggested tuition is $50 per person based on ability to pay, however several scholarships are available.

Bridging 8 Mile Community Challenge Day Events:

Saturday, July 23, 2011, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Boys and Girls Club of South Oakland County
1545 East Lincoln Ave
Royal Oak, MI 48067-3400

Sunday, July 24, 2011, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
YouthVille Detroit
7375 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202-3158

About Bridging 8 Mile
Bridging 8 Mile is an initiative developed by the Association for Youth Empowerment that is dedicated to transforming Detroit, its suburbs, its people and the way we relate to one another. Bridging 8 Mile was founded on the belief that when people unite for the greater good, positive change is inevitable. Our ultimate goal is to connect COMMUNITIES, inspire COMPASSION and take ACTION. For more information call the Bridging 8 Mile Hotline at 313-226-1626 or visit www.bridging8mile.org.

ASSOCIATION FOR YOUTH EMPOWERMENT ANNOUNCES BRIDGING 8 MILE INITIATIVE

 ASSOCIATION FOR YOUTH EMPOWERMENT ANNOUNCES BRIDGING 8 MILE INITIATIVE

Local non-profit kicks off B8M with community events for teens and adults

 http://empoweredflowergirl.com/2011/07/05/association-for-youth-empowerment-announces-bridging-8-mile-initiative/

DETROIT/ROYAL OAK – The Association for Youth Empowerment (AYE), a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to bringing transformational programs to schools and communities in southeast Michigan, announces the launch of the Bridging 8 Mile initiative to transform the way people relate to one another in the region.

On July 23 and 24, 2011, groups of everyday people, youth, community leaders, politicians and clergy will participate in two Community Challenge Day events designed to bridge Detroit and its surrounding suburbs, cities and towns. Challenge Day is an award-winning experiential program that has been featured on Oprah, MTV’s “If You Really Knew Me” and Tom Brokaw’s “Bridging the Divide” program.

“We are excited to kick off the Bridging 8 Mile initiative with two potentially life–changing events,” said Jean Ritok, AYE executive director. “The Challenge Day program through its creative, ground-breaking techniques has a spectacular track record of breaking down barriers between people and causing them to see each other with new eyes. Seeing others with new eyes is the doorway to new possibilities between people and between communities. It’s exactly what this region needs.”

Registration for the Bridging 8 Mile Community Challenge Day events is open to youth and adults 16 and older. Southeast Michigan community leaders are encouraged to attend.  

Bridging 8 Mile Community Challenge Day Events:

Saturday, July 23, 2011, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Boys and Girls Club of South Oakland County
1545 East Lincoln Ave
Royal Oak, MI 48067-3400

Sunday, July 24 2011, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

YouthVille Detroit
7375 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202-3158

 

About Bridging 8 Mile

Bridging 8 Mile is an initiative developed by the Association for Youth Empowerment that is dedicated to transforming Detroit, its suburbs, its people and the way we relate to one another. Bridging 8 Mile was founded on the belief that when people unite for the greater good, positive change is inevitable. Our ultimate goal is to connect COMMUNITIES, inspire COMPASSION and take ACTION. For more information call the Bridging 8 Mile hotline at 313-226-1626 or visitwww.bridging8mile.org.

About Association for Youth Empowerment

Founded in 2006, AYE is dedicated to challenging and empowering young people to create positive change. The organization partners with community members and organizations who share a common goal of eliminating social oppression and of fostering respect, acceptance and compassion in our schools and communities. Visit www.associationforyouth.org.

The Red Door (A cross-cultural experience) by Robert Cooper

The Red Door

 

Originally Posted on January 11, 2012

Traveling the world, I can expect to have eye opening cross–cultural experiences. But to have such an experience in my own backyard – in downtown Detroit – that’s a different story.

On December 17, 2011, my 14 year old son, Kwesi, and I attended service at the Downtown Synagogue, along with three or four other African Americans. Every once in a while we could hear a word or two: Kiddush, adonai, and some names. We didn’t know the meaning. We just followed the directives, “now we are going to page 97.” We did that for over an hour. I recognize Hebrew when I see it. I just can’t read a single letter.

When the Big Scroll was taken from behind some curtains and, later, walked through the congregation, Kwesi encouraged me to kiss it and touch it like the congregants who wore yarmulkes and prayer shawls. I touched it, after kissing my hand first. I probably would have kissed the Big Scroll, if I didn’t have a couple of people to reach over.

Before the service ended, the smell of food, good food, wafted into the sanctuary. I wanted Marti to get through his explanations to us special guests, so that I could join the food.

I got to the food. To my surprise no candles were lit. Everyone had braided bread and wine or juice. I should have had juice or braided bread before the wine. I managed. I don’t know what we were talking about. One of the African–American ladies in my group asked if I was Jewish, because I was wearing the black silken skull cap. I responded, “No. But I didn’t know there were so many black Jews in Detroit.” There were two or three black men and women there who were fully engaged in the Hebrew Service and the meal prayer. She responded, “Neither did I.” We went back to our delicious meatless dishes.

As I exited the Red Door, a small half cylinder, tacked to the door frame, caught my eye. I thought, “I’ve seen these painted over in doorways around Detroit.” Our group, along with Rabbi Dorit, who invited us to the synagogue, proceeded to our cars and headed to the Detroit Institute of Arts. We viewed the exhibit Rembrandt: The Faces of Jesus.

A Reflection

My overall experience was one of being in the inner circle, witnessing a great mystery. As an African American, I’ve started to say that if I were a Jew I would be insulted to hear: a dollar changes hands in the Jewish community two to three times before it leaves; the Jews were oppressed: why can’t you Blacks and Indians get it together; and, they worked me like a Hebrew slave. I’d be insulted for people to act as if they knew me and didn’t understand my highest values. I didn’t hear any preaching; didn’t see any waiting for G-d’s salvation; and, didn’t see any passing of money. The congregants’ relation to the Big Scroll, and the collective reading of it, was at the heart of the community I participated with behind the Red Door.

None of the cultural cliques address what I took away with my experience of crossing a cultural line and my participating the best I could in the service and the meal. Literacy, a common focus and fellowship, are the best foods ever.

YOUR TURN
Share a cross- cultural experience that you have had in the Detroit Area. Use the Reply Area below


Robert Cooper is a world traveler and cultural experience enthusiast who initiated a Japanese language program in Detroit Public Schools after living abroad and participating in a study abroad program with Huston Smith. He is the president of the Association for Youth Empowerment and serves on the Leadership Team for the Bridging 8 Mile initiative. He is also a coach and leader at Landmark Education.