ACCESS assists more clients with naturalization and citizenship, thanks to USCIS grant

For the past 37 years, ACCESS has been helping thousands of legal permanent residents of various immigrant communities live the American Dream and become U.S. citizens through immigration and naturalization support, as well as English as a Second Language and citizenship courses since 2002.

And thanks to a grant of more than $176,000 from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), ACCESS will be able to continue and expand its efforts, serving 200 additional legal residents over the next two years in understanding the naturalization process, providing them with the citizenship instruction, and assisting them with applying for citizenship. That’s in addition to the immigration services ACCESS provides to more than 200 diverse members of the community. Click here for the full story. Those interested in applying for citizenship or taking citizenship classes at ACCESS can contact Amina Aljebbori at 313-945-8167 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

health medical medicineEnroll in affordable health care at ACCESS today

ACCESS clients and various other members of the community have already signed up for affordable health care at ACCESS through the Health Insurance Marketplace, and you can, too. Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, began Tuesday and ends March 21, 2014. ACCESS Community Health & Research Center (CHRC) was appointed by the Federal Government to assist consumers as they look for coverage options in the Marketplace. Our 30 trained and certified staff members are ready to assist individuals, families and small business owners in finding the coverage options that suit them best based on their health needs and budget. Those who enroll for healthcare through the Marketplace may be eligible for subsidies. In addition, those who are required to have health coverage as per the Affordable Care Act may face tax penalties if they don’t do so by January 1, 2014. For more information, please call 1-888-670-6798, or click here.

The ACCESS kick off for open enrollment has garnered much excitement and media attention. This week, ACCESS was featured the Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, WDIV Channel 4, TV20, Associated Press, Dearborn Patch, Dearborn Press & Guide and more.

Welcome Mat Detroit logoACCESS launches online directory of immigrant services

On Sept. 24, the ACCESS Growth Center unveiled its latest and greatest project to date – Welcome Mat Detroit, an online, searchable directory of immigrant service providers and resources to help meet the needs of metro Detroit’s foreign-born populations. The website features more than 400 organizations and can be accessed in more than 100 languages. The launch was marked by an event at the Southfield Public Library, attended by more than 100 service providers, community members, and public figures including City of Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly.

“The Welcome Mat Detroit is a game-changing initiative that welcomes immigrants, offering them a set of resources that can make a stressful transition easier,” said Sonia Harb, senior director of the ACCESS Growth Center. “The impact of the Welcome Mat will be felt by individuals, their families, and the communities in which they live.” Visit Welcome Mat Detroit at

0307 Job Fair_1ACCESS Holidays Job Fair is Oct. 23

Pick up your suit from the cleaners and brush up your resume – it’s time for ACCESS’ second job fair of 2013. The event will take place from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at the ACCESS Employment & Training Center, 6451 Schaefer Rd., in Dearborn. The job fairs at ACCESS have been a tremendous success, drawing nearly 50 participating employers and close to 1,000 job seekers ranging from program participants to members of the community at large. Employers include PNC Bank, Charter One Bank, Sysco Detroit, Detroit Police Department, U.S. Army, Beaumont Health System, and many others. Positions range from police officers, warehouse staff, security personnel, sales representatives, and medical and direct care staff, to bankers and branch managers, and customer service representatives. ACCESS is a Southeastern Michigan Community Alliance (SEMCA) and a Michigan Works affiliate.

breast cancerOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Get free testing at ACCESS

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is here and the goal is to not only raise awareness of the disease, but also programs that promote health screening and early detection. The ACCESS Community Health & Research Center Cancer Program focuses on this initiative with its ACCESS Cancer Awareness and Screening Program, which relies on community mobilization and education to spread awareness. Staff members train Arab American women in Dearborn to talk to other women about breast cancer screening and the benefits of early detection. Last year, the program reached 2,000 women, and about 1,500 of them received breast cancer screenings.

The Breast & Cervical Cancer Control Program (BCCCP) at the ACCESS health center provides free women's health screenings for uninsured women between the ages of 40-64. Each year, a patient can receive breast and cervical care including mammograms and pap smears. For more information, call 313-216-2207 or 313-216-2250. And click here for an informational flyer (here for Arabic).

The CitizenThe Citizen—limited run in Michigan ends Thursday

The Citizen, written and directed by Detroiter and Syrian American Sam Kadi, has been screened at the Boston Film Festival and Hollywood Film Festival, Cinequest San Jose Film Festival and is now on a limited run in Michigan until tomorrow (Thursday, Oct. 3) at three theatres: Emagine Novi, Emagine Canton, and Birmingham 8. Partly filmed in Detroit, E. Nina Rothe of the Huffington Post describes the elements of the movie as "simply impossible to stop thinking about". Egyptian actor Khaled Nabawy stars as a Lebanese man whose dream of living in America leads to him winning a Green Card lottery. He arrives in New York City on Sept. 10, 2001 and what ensues are first-hand struggles that counter his view of the American Dream and ideals of a new life.

The Citizen is Kadi's debut as a feature-film director. It has won several awards, including the award for the Festival Prize at the Boston Film Festival, and the Hollywood Discovery Award at the Hollywood Film Festival. In addition to Nabawy, the film stars Craig Elwes (Saw), Agnes Bruchener (Dreamland), William Atherton (Die Hard) and Rizwan Manji (Charlie Wilson's War).

John HalakaArtist's Talk: John Halaka Friday Oct. 11 @  the AANM

Palestinian American artist John Halaka tells the stories behind his series Landscapes of Desire during an Artist Talk at the Arab American National Museum (AANM) at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11. On display at the museum through Jan. 5, 2014, Landscapes of Desire is comprised of 23 metaphorical landscapes were inspired by the ruins of Palestinian villages and homes that have been destroyed since 1948. The images were produced with rubber stamped words that define the forms, textures and tones of the landscapes. The repeated stamping of the words creates a visual mantra that compels the viewer to “remember,” “resist,” “return,” and “rebuild” while preparing to “forgive.” The Artist Talk is free and open to the public. Read more about the exhibition and the talk here.

Muslim Journey's bookshelfBridging Cultures Muslim Journeys in Ypsilanti Oct. 20

The Ypsilanti District Library is hosting Bridging Cultures Bookshelf Muslim Journeys with a reception and presentation at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 20. The library is located at 5577 Whittaker Rd., in Ypsilanti. The event features distinguished guest speaker Dr. Janice Terry, Eastern Michigan University emeritus professor of Middle Eastern History. Participants will be able to examine the library’s Muslim Journeys grant materials collection and view displays on loan from the Arab American National Museum (AANM), a project of ACCESS. Light refreshments will be served and participants will have a chance to win admission tickets to the AANM.