AYE in the news

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.”

Pair Promotes Challenge Day

dreamstime_cheer

NOVEMBER 18, 2015 BY DETROITINTERFAITHCOUNCIL

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.


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.

AYE in the News: Street Beat with Syma Chowdry

Empowering Youth To Make Detroit A Better Place

Published June 3rd 2011

http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/06/03/empowering-youth-to-make-detroit-a-better-place/

Can we make Detroit a better place by starting from our youth? That is what some community leaders believe. Think of it as an investment for our future. On this week’s “Street Beat,” we will be talking to organizations that promote healthy growing and living. Each of their messages come from a positive place.

David Abramson and Rasheda Williams from the Association for Youth Empowerment explain the “Bridging Eight Mile” project. They explain, how going into schools and breaking down barriers is a great start. AYE tries to eliminate social oppression and foster respect, compassion and acceptance.

What about promoting a healthy message through dance, music and art? That’s where Melanie Knoll and Cedric Miller of the Living Arts organization steps in. They explain the importance of children being introduced into art, as a form of self-expression and how its improving lives in Southwest Detroit.

We also spoke with Christine Geoghegan the manager of Generation of Promise. For 16 years, this group has provided a year long experience for high school juniors from all different parts of Metro Detroit. Their focus is promoting diversity awareness and leadership skills. We met Daniel Cook who is now the co-Valedictorian of University of Detroit Jesuit High School. He was part of the Generation of Promise program. You won’t want to miss his interview. I was amazed by him! Daniel is only 17-year-old, but he is mature beyond his years. He talks about his experience with Generation of Promise and how it’s shaped his future.

Association for Youth Empowerment Helps Sponsor Hamtramck Community Challenge Day Hamtramck Students, Parents and School Officials Challenge Each Other to “Be the Change”

Association for Youth Empowerment Helps Sponsor Hamtramck Community Challenge Day  Hamtramck Students, Parents and School Officials Challenge Each Other to “Be the Change”

HAMTRAMCK (February 5, 2007) – A diverse group of more than 90 Hamtramck-area students, parents and volunteers participated in the city’s first Community Challenge Day event.

The day-long workshop was held Saturday, Jan. 27 at the Hamtramck Community Center. Mostly 7th through 9th graders participated in the event, sponsored by the Hamtramck Recreation Commission, Thomas Mall of Trendwell Energy Corp., the Association for Youth Empowerment, ACC and Acts 29 Fellowship.

Challenge Day is a nonprofit organization that offers life-altering, experiential workshops that provide participants with tools to work collaboratively to develop and sustain proactive solutions that prevent social oppression and its symptoms such as suicide, teasing/bullying, violence and drug abuse.

Through a series of games, activities, group discussions, icebreakers and trust-building exercises, participants learn how to break down the walls of separation and create new levels of respect and communication within themselves to share with their peers and families.

Representatives from the City and Board of Education volunteered and participated in the event. “It was the most powerful thing I’ve ever been a part of,” said School Board President Titus Walters, who was instrumental in generating support for the event. “We’re trying to bring it to the middle and high schools next year.”

Each student who pre-registered for the event was entered into a drawing. Six grand-prize winners were selected for items donated by local merchants, including Amicci’s Pizza, Main Street, Little Caesars, Video 22, Polish Village and Kumon Math and Reading Centers. In addition, Arlington Heights, Ill.-based Rhino Wear Apparel provided t-shirts for all attendees.

The Challenge Day program was highlighted on the Oprah Show last fall. Students and adult volunteers from Monroe High School were featured in an hour-long segment entitled “Oprah’s High School Challenge.”

To learn more about the program visit www.challengeday.org or call the Association for Youth Empowerment at 313-427-9529 for information about scheduling an event locally.