Summit to honor veteran community activist Ali Baleed Almaklani: a leader with a true ‘Spirit of Service’ [#ArabAmericanSummit]

The National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) is proud to announce that its 2015 Spirit of Service Award will be presented to longtime local community activist and leader Ali Baleed Almaklani, one of the Detroit region’s most committed and admired citizens. Almaklani will receive this esteemed award at The Arab American Summit Change Makers Dinner on Saturday, Nov. 7 at the Bint Jebail Cultural Center in Dearborn, Mich.

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Almaklani is a prominent Arab American leader who personifies the meaning and spirit of service and dedication. He has devoted his life to organizing and building the capacity of  the Arab American community.

He is the former president and co-founder and current executive director of the Yemen American Benevolent Association (YABA), an organization that provides educational and social services for the ethnic Yemeni community. He was also a founding member of ACCESS, for which he served as vice president; the Arab American Council in the 1970s and the Congress of Arab American Organizations (CAAO), for which he served as vice-chair. He is a key organizer of the Arab and Chaldean Festival and currently sits on its executive board. During the 1970s, Almaklani was nominated to represent Arab Americans at the United Automobile Workers (UAW) convention and was also selected to attend the 2nd General Conference of Yemeni Immigrants in Yemen. Almaklani worked alongside the Arab American Institute (AAI) when they first started, to help people register to vote. 

Among his other accomplishments, Almaklani helped to found the Arab American Political Action Committee (AAPAC) and the Yemen American Political Action Committee (YAPAC). He was also vice chairman of the Yemeni American Civil Rights and Anti-Discrimination Coalition (YACRDC). He is the co-chair for Yemeni American Organization Against Discrimination Coalition. In addition, he serves on the Advisory Board of American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and the Advisory Board and Parent Committee of Salina Elementary School. He is also a member of the Dearborn Democratic Club and serves on the steering committee of BRIDGES. He is also an executive committee member of the 12th Democratic District, as well as precinct delegate. Almaklani has also participated in various capacities in many other organizations.

Almaklani is a well-known poet in his local community and is often referred to as "Abu-Dhafer." He has written hundreds of poems and is planning to publish a book of his works. Currently, he is "semi-retired" after 36 years at Ford Motor Company and is also Executive director of YABA.

For a chance to meet Almaklani and learn more about his accomplishments, click here to purchase tickets to the Change Makers Dinner and The Arab American Summit.

The Arab American Summit, a biennial conference on Arab American issues, is a two-day symposium—Nov. 7 to 8 in Dearborn, Mich.—for leaders, advocates, students, activists and allies to gather from across the country. The Summit will feature forums on issues facing the Arab American community and strategies for overcoming them; workshops on nonprofit management, leadership, activism and advocacy; as well as a customized track for high school students.

Registration is now open! Take advantage of the early bird ratesClick here for more information and for details on the sensational Summit program.

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