ACCESS’ 46th Annual Dinner, held last Saturday at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center, was a resounding success! Themed, From the Neighborhood to the Nation, ACCESS utilized this anniversary to celebrate and reflect on its many achievements, highlight the important contributions of Arab Americans and America’s immigrants, and remind the communities it serves that the organization stands united with them as they face increased challenges over their unfair portrayal and treatment.
In keeping with its commitment to the revitalization of Detroit and the empowerment of our youth, ACCESS highlighted some of Detroit’s best and brightest students by kicking off the Annual Dinner with a performance by the Detroit Children’s Choir (DCC).
Saturday’s Annual Dinner was also used as a platform to announce what will be the first of its kind gathering. This November, ACCESS and its national institutions—the Arab American National Museum (AANM), the Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP) and the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC)—will host an Arab American Summit, MOVE (Mobilize, Organize, Vocalize and Empower) 2017, that will leverage the diverse experiences of Arab Americans and provide space for artists, activists, scholars, philanthropists, organizations and other to connect, learn and exchange ideas.
During the program, 22 extraordinary students were honored as 2017 recipients of the Ebeid Family Fund Scholarships. This program, created by longtime ACCESS supporter and generous philanthropist Mr. Russel J. Ebeid, provides educational opportunities for underserved youth and is housed within ACCESS’ Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP), the only Arab American community foundation in the country. Two additional students were also recognized as recipients of the newly created McLennan Family Fund Scholarship, which was launched this year by James McLennan with the help of CAAP. A special tribute was paid to Mr. Ebeid for his many years of philanthropic leadership and unwavering commitment to empowering communities and enriching the lives of so many.
The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the presentation of ACCESS’ 2017 Arab American of the Year Awards to financial genius, global thought leader and renowned investment analyst Dr. Mohamed El-Erian, along with celebrated humanitarian and distinguished champion of community health Dr. Rashid Abdu. We were profoundly honored to recognize these inspirational individuals and their tremendous local and international impact.
ACCESS extends its sincere gratitude to its many sponsors, namely the event’s five underwriters – Comerica Bank, the DTE Energy Foundation, Ford Motor Company, JP Morgan Chase and Superior Buick GMC – for making this extraordinary night possible.
Special thanks to all who joined us in celebrating ACCESS’ 46 years of assisting, improving and empowering communities.