Via Associated Press
DETROIT — A number of groups in the Detroit area plan to mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks with a day of community service that is expected to include packaging food boxes, writing letters to U.S. military members and cleaning up empty homes and vacant lots.
The Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, known as ACCESS, announced plans this week for A-OK (Acts of Kindness) Detroit. The aim, organizers said, is to make the anniversary “a day of caring and service” by bringing people together.
Hassan Jaber, executive director of ACCESS, said community service efforts won’t be limited to the anniversary.
“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,” he said in a statement.
Detroit and the suburb of Dearborn are home to one of the largest populations of Arabs and Muslims in the nation. Many in the community say they feel they have come under more scrutiny by co-workers, strangers on the street and the U.S. government in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Groups involved include Women’s Interfaith Solutions for Dialogue and Outreach in MetroDetroit, the Interfaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit, the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan, City Year Detroit, the United Way, University of Michigan-Dearborn and J-Serve.
Activities are scheduled on and around the Detroit campus of Focus: HOPE, a social services organization.
“With this new approach, 9/11 becomes a day to find our commonality as human beings,” said Gail Katz, co-founder of WISDOM and a board member of the Interfaith Leadership Council.