|Metro Detroit community groups transform 9/11 anniversary with ‘acts of kindness’Multicultural groups work side by side
in spirit of hope, harmony and unity
DETROIT—-Major community leaders and organizations have joined to mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11 with a day of community service and intercultural connection called A-OK (Acts of Kindness) Detroit
A-OK Detroit aims to transform 9/11 into a day of caring and service by bringing together diverse community groups with common missions of unity, peace, and mutual understanding.
On September 11, volunteers from ACCESS, Women’s Interfaith Solutions for Dialogue and Outreach in MetroDetroit (WISDOM), the Interfaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit, the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan, City Year Detroit, United Way, and J-Serve will come together in service activities focused around Focus:HOPE’s campus and its food outreach, education and community revitalization efforts.
“The Acts of Kindness (A-OK) mission is to transform 9/11 into a day for people to work side by side to make their community a better place to live,” said Gail Katz, co-founder of WISDOM and a board member of the Interfaith Leadership Council. Katz was a leader in launching the A-OK Detroit last year with more than 400 volunteers working on a number of projects in southwest Detroit.
“With this new approach, 9/11 becomes a day to find our commonality as human beings. As we work together, we reduce myths and stereotypes about the ‘other’ and increase respect and understanding,” she said. “We must continue to maintain our relationships and move forward-getting more people together to talk, perform community service together, and find out what we all have in common.”
“We want to make sure that we keep this message going long in the future, not just one day a year, but as a way of life,” according to Hassan Jaber, executive director of ACCESS. “When young people work side by side with those from different cultures and backgrounds, they have a wonderful way of focusing not on their differences but on their commonalities. In this way, our young people become examples for all of us, leading us forward into a brighter future.”
“This special day of service shows both the power and the beauty of people from different backgrounds working together in a spirit of harmony and unity,” said Focus:HOPE CEO William F. Jones Jr. “It is an honor for Focus:HOPE to host Acts of Kindness Detroit. My hope and belief is that this day will advance the effort to build a metropolitan community of people who respect and embrace our differences and our similarities.”