Move over downtown and Midtown: Neighborhoods Day has turned into “Neighborhood Town”

Move over downtown and Midtown: Neighborhoods Day has turned into “Neighborhood Town”

A lot can happen in ten years.

A seed can grow into a tree.

A baby can grow into an exuberant child.

A student can go from junior high to college graduate.

COMMENTRARY By Luther Keith, Executive Director, ARISE Detroit!

ARISE Detroit! Neighborhoods Day has done lot of growing over the past 10 years as well, going from baby steps with 55 community events and one financial sponsor, to a roaring community celebration with more than 320 community improvement projects, involving nearly 40 corporate and foundation sponsors, and thousands of volunteers and participants of all kinds.

We started Neighborhoods Day without trend lines, polls, surveys, or politicians telling us it was the right thing to do. We started BEFORE downtown and Midtown became Boom Towns.

We wanted a day to showcase and encourage residents to display how they were transforming their communities and the lives of others – through building homes, beautifying neighborhoods, through concerts, health fairs, back to school events, parades and more.

Take a look, world, we said; Take a look, media. People in Detroit are doing great things – all the time!

We KNEW it was the right thing to do then – starting in August of 2007 — and it is the right thing to do now.

The 10th anniversary of ARISE Detroit! Neighborhoods Day, held on Aug. 6, 2016 was a phenomenal testament to all that is the best of Detroit. People from ever part of the city, every zip code; people of every faith, people of every color.

Joining hands, working together. We expect more of the same on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, on the 11th annual Neighborhoods Day.

It will be a day with one shared purpose and goal – to make our neighborhoods truly rise. Special thanks to the DTE Energy Foundation, presenting sponsor for the 10th annual Neighborhoods Day and the Thank You Detroit Festival.

No, all the problems were not solved on Neighborhoods Day; Nor, will they ever be on one day. Neighborhoods Day really reflects what hundreds of block clubs, churches and community groups do on every day throughout the year.

But it has become a signature City of Detroit event, like no other – a place where all spirits can meet, where all are embraced, where we all are reminded that we are all really one big family.

Maybe we should take a cue from the downtown and Midtown marketers use the term “Neighborhood Town, ” for the collection of blocks, homes and businesses that take part in Neighborhoods Day. Maybe that will attract more resources, investment, people and believers in our neighborhoods.

Okay, that may be too corny.

What, I’m really saying is let’s give our neighborhoods and neighborhoods people some LOVE.

They deserve it.

The 11th annual ARISE Detroit! Neighborhoods Day, once again presented by the DTE Energy Foundation, will be held Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, from sunup until sundown in neighborhoods all over Detroit. Churches block clubs and community groups can register at, or phone, 313-921-1955.

Arise Detroit’s  Founder and Executive Director  Luther Keith celebrates the tenth anniversary of ARISE Detroit! at Detroit Historical Museum.


The DTE Energy Foundation is the presenting sponsor for the ARISE Detroit! Neighborhoods Rising Exhibit at the Detroit Historical Museum.

The exhibit features more than 200 photos, video and audio of people and organizations that have been part of ARISE Detroit! Neighborhoods Day over the past 10 years.

The free exhibit will be up through June 18. Don’t miss the this opportunity to this inspiring look at city residents and neighborhoods.

Photos by Paul Engstrom





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