Dear DREAM Supporter,
As salamu alaykum! Peace be upon you.
This second year of the pandemic has posed some interesting challenges for DREAM. Uncertainties around public health rules, vaccine and mask adoption, and public willingness to gather all made it difficult to plan. On top of that, some capacity crunches made it harder for us to stay in touch with you than we normally like.
Still we wanted you to know that we made the most of this year, and we wanted to make sure you saw some news and photos from some of this year’s biggest events.
Please check out these event recaps and photos below. And stay tuned, because we’ve got some special stuff to share starting on Tuesday.
Motor City Makeover
When about 40 of us gathered for Motor City Makeover in the Spring, it was our first event in nearly 18 months. Thankfully, we had a wonderful turnout and spent the day planting a flower field, spring cleaning the Muslim Center, and picking up garbage around the neighborhood.
Longfellow Block Club
The Longfellow Block Club had an eventful year. After meeting over zoom for several months, we finally met outside for some valuable in-person time. We hosted a listening session for the City’s American Rescue Plan funding and almost helped bring a new school to the neighborhood. It didn’t pan out ultimately but it was an incredible learning opportunity for us.
Coalition for Property Tax Justice
The Coalition for Property Tax Justice has been active all year, pushing for our three goals: stopping the continued over-assessment of Detroit properties, halting the property tax foreclosure of owner-occupied homes, and getting compensation for Detroiters who lost their homes in the property tax foreclosure crisis. This year, owner-occupied homes were exempted from the Wayne County Tax Auction. This was ostensibly because of Covid-19, but it didn’t happen without a lot of agitation from our coalition and a direct meeting with the Treasurer’s office by DREAM and our partners. We’re aiming for the same in 2022, God-willing.
New Commercial Property
This summer, we launched an emergency 48-hour campaign to raise funds to purchase the ideal commercial lot in our neighborhood. Our supporters are so incredible, so we were able to raise the funds we needed and win the auction to secure this important piece of vacant land, six parcels in total. We’re now planning the next steps and have already had some promising conversations with potential partners.
Day of Dignity
We were able to bring Day of Dignity back to the Westside of Detroit this year working with our partners at Islamic Relief USA. Some 500 folks received clothes, coats, hygiene items, school kits, warm food, and more. Partners like the HUDA Clinic, Detroit Training Center, and others provided information and referral services.
DREAM 2021 Leadership Retreat
After a two-year hiatus, nearly 20 of us were able to gather for the second-ever DREAM Leadership Retreat just a few weeks ago. It was an incredible opportunity for re-grounding ourselves in our values, for relationship building, and for visioning together, as we enter an important phase of our work.
We really can’t wait to share more with you in the coming weeks, God-willing.
Peace & Blessings,
The Dream of Detroit Team