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

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

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