Busy Week of Conference Presentations & Events

An incredibly busy week has come to an end. To kick things off, Independent Sector hosted its 2017 conference, Our Common Future, in Detroit. In addition to completing my American Express NGen Fellowship, I had the pleasure of hosting a the Detroit Inside And Out: Refugees And Immigration Tour at the Arab American National Museum as part of the conference program. Much gratitude to the forty people who choose to spend their morning learning about the museum and the local Arab American community.

Detroit Inside And Out: Refugees And Immigration Tour

It’s hard to believe that our eleven-month NGen Fellowship has come to an end. More than anything, I am most grateful for having met and grown with such a great group of young nonprofit leaders. I’ve been inspired by their work, impressed by their individual accomplishments, and touched by the genuine friendships that have been fostered through the program. By far, this has been one of the most rewarding experiences thanks to my NGen colleagues. I’m looking forward to remaining in touch with the crew and watching their careers evolve. So much will become of my peers!

Photo of the 2016-17 American Express NGen Fellows
2016-17 American Express NGen Fellows

Immediately following the conference, AANM hosted its signature annual gala at the Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit. The museum’s annual gala is the largest source of unrestricted income to help sustain educational programs. The phrase “thank you” seems wholly inadequate when I consider our supporters; the inspiring work of the Friends of the AANM Committee, who curated every detail of the program; and the life-giving support of foundations, corporations and individuals who made this event possible and fuel the museum’s work all year long. I am indebted to Friends Committee co-chairs Rajaa Saksouk and Raghad Farah, and the stellar group of accomplished, creative women who produced this elegant evening. Each one demonstrates excellence, dedication and service, and represents the best of what our community can be.

To end the busy week, I was honored to participate in the Grantmakers in the Arts’ Legacy & Leadership conference, which was also held in Detroit. I had the honor of serving as one of three plenary speakers who kicked off the conference as part of IDEA LAB—inspiration from individuals creating the work in the community. A tremendous amount of gratitude for including the museum in the program!

Devon delivering a plenary talk at IDEA LAB
Delivering an IDEA LAB plenary at Grantmakers in the Arts.

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