It’s a backyard movement and a part of the driving force behind a decade-old, resident-led improvement initiative credited for buoying up neighborhoods during a time there was little hope or evidence of outside investment.
While Detroit is home to many special blockbuster events, ARISE Detroit’s Neighborhoods Day belongs to its neighborhoods.
This real do-it-yourself (DIY) Day, showcases the hopes, dreams and aspirations of thousands of Detroit residents, who have come together the first Saturday of August for the last 10 years to participate in collaborative effort which lift up, clean-up and cheer up their neighborhoods.
It’ll happen again this year on August 5 and it will be something huge.
The event was the focus of a recent segment on American Black Journal, which explored the driving forces behind the elevated interest in Detroit’s neighborhoods with ARISE Detroit’s Luther Keith, TheHUB Detroit’s Jackie and Man Power Mentoring’s Malik Bellefant.
“This year we are being audacious enough to call it the biggest neighborhood celebration in the nation. No other event comes close to equaling the depth and breadth of what we do,” said Keith.
And that, according to Keith, equates to more than 2,000 community improvement events over a 10-year period with another 300 planned in 2017.
“It’s a viral movement with infectious energy,” says Berg, who has witnessed events double and triple in size within hours. “When people realize good things are happening in and around them, it’s only natural to want to join in.”
“People in these neighborhoods have made ARISE Detroit!. For all of the problems we all know about hope is still there, these people’s hearts are still beating strong. That is what Neighborhood’s Day represents and why ARISE Detroit! has been able to do all the things it has been able to do.”
Mentoring is key. Manpower Mentoring has been associated with the event for the last five years.
“Mentoring cannot happen without work,” Malik Bellefant, Manpower Mentoring executive director, said on the show. “Our cleanup projects, along with ARISE, have to do with teaching young people how to organize cleanup events and how to coordinate efforts to knock on doors and get the neighbors involved. So this is a great fit for us.”
He says the feedback is tremendous and every year more and more young people want to be involved.
ARISE Detroit’s work is being recognized in a community exhibit called Detroit Rising at the Detroit Historical Museum. It runs through June 18.
The exhibit showcases real Detroiters – those who work behind the scenes every day to reimagine and revitalize the city’s neighborhoods.
Still, the best way to get a true feel for Neighborhood’s Day is to participate. Every group is empowered to create its own event, and volunteers are always needed. You can help move the needle. Click here to learn more and register