Remembering Two Detroit Anniversaries with Kids

Save the date for two events. One for 35th anniversary of Metro Detroit Youth Day and the other commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Detroit Rebellion.

Remembering the Rebellion

Uprising. Rebellion. Riot. Whatever you call the events of July 1967, the unrest that happened in Detroit molded our city in more ways than one.

But how can you teach your children about what happened 50 years ago this month? It’s a complex topic, but a valuable lesson. And an event aims to help.

On July 21-23, kids are invited to Gordon Park – the former site of Economy Printing, the blind pig at which the rebellion began – and the Joseph Walker Williams Recreation Center for free activities that bring history to light. It’s sponsored by the Detroit Historical Society and Brothers Always Together.

“We want to help kids understand why our region looks the way that it does and why we live the way we do,” says Kate Baker, chief community and operations officer for DHS. “I hope that kids get an opportunity to see how neighborhoods come together in order to learn from each other.”

Activities include community storytelling, art displays, lectures and film screenings, plus a petting zoo and bounce house. It concludes Sunday with a historic marker dedication at the newly renovated Gordon Park.

For more information visit detroit1967.org.

A Grand Day for Kids

Are you looking for a fun summertime activity that will actually help your kid?

For 35 years, Metro Detroit Youth Day has attracted kids, ages 8-15, from all over the tri-county area, and even as far away as Flint and Ontario, for a day full of free activities, like sports workshops, crafts and meet-and-greets with former Detroit athletes; plus scholarship opportunities and more.

“Youth day got started in 1981, after we had altercations on Livernois between Six and Seven Mile,” Ed Deeb, one of the founders explains. “In two weeks, two youngsters and one store owner were shot and killed.”

With the help of former mayor Coleman Young, Tom Fox and Jerry Blocker, Deeb met with local organizations, retailers and kids to learn how to help.

In it’s first year, Youth Day only attracted around 1100 kids. Today, it draws in more than 38,000.

“It’s a great feeling of satisfaction to know that some of these kids have already gone to college,” Deeb says. “It’s amazing how this thing has grown and how it has inspired kids to do more than just cause trouble in the community.”

This year’s event will take place on Belle Isle Park in Detroit on July 12 from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. To register, visit metrodetroityouthday.org, and bring a printed and signed copy of the registration form to the event.

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