ACCESS March Update

Dear friends,

I hope you have enjoyed a bit of our early spring weather warmth! As a predominately women-led community nonprofit, March is a special time as Women’s History Month, and it is my honor to work with so many women who make significant contributions to our communities and break down barriers each day. Please allow me to share some updates from the month with you.

On March 4th, I participated as a panelist for United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s Women of Influence Virtual Summit which celebrated women’s roles and impacts. The panel was moderated by Karen Drew, anchor/reporter for Local 4 News and included Kamilia Landrum, Executive Director of the Detroit Branch NAACP, and Deborah Manzano, Director of Manufacturing at Ford Motor Company. Watch a replay of the entire summit here.

On March 19th, the Arab American National Museum (AANM) launched الفلق // al-Falaq, a site-specific multimedia sculpture suspended underneath the Museum’s dome. This newly commissioned sculpture by Yemeni-Bosnian-US artist Alia Ali is a “museum within a museum” in the form of a Yemeni futurist starship, carrying cultural artifacts, music, dances, even languages, as it swims through space and radically imagines possibilities of the future in what has evolved to be Yemeni Futurism. Learn more about the sculpture and view photos here.

Also on March 19th, our One Stop Employment & Human Services Center with support from DTE Energy hosted the Michigan Department of State’s Road to Restoration clinic. Clients received free legal advice to set them up on the path to gain their driver’s license back after new changes in the law. Representative Debbie Dingell and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined us to support our commitment to communities’ access to needed legal support.

On March 29th, our National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) Director Rima Meroueh and her colleagues joined other community-based organizations in a virtual meet and greet with Dr. Robert L. Santos, the new Director of the U.S. Census Bureau. Dr. Santos has a longstanding commitment to the study of demography and population sciences, as well as for supporting a “Middle Eastern or North African” category on the U.S. Census.

On March 31st AANM welcomed Artist-in-Residence Yasmine Nasser Diaz back to Dearborn, where she gave a guided tour and artist talk on her solo exhibition, soft powers. Originally set to open in March 2020 prior to the pandemic shutdown, it was wonderful to have visitors engage with the artist and her work in-person. Watch this video to learn more about her process and inspiration.

Thank you for your continued support of our work. I am so grateful to be able to share these regular updates with you. To learn more about what’s going on at ACCESS, please visit our website:, and follow us online:






Maha Freij

President & CEO


2651 Saulino Ct., Dearborn, MI 48120

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