NOVI — The Michigan Women’s Foundation (MWF) hosted its 19th Annual Women of Achievement and Courage Celebrations by honoring five dynamic women who have made significant contributions to arts, advocacy and activism. As the first and most experienced statewide organization that supports and invests in women and girls, MWF will use funds raised at the dinners to support grant making, programming, education, advocacy and leadership development.
The Southeast Michigan dinner took place at the Diamond Center at the Rock Financial Showplace in Novi, MI, on May 1 and the West Michigan dinner was held at Grand Rapid’s historic Amway Grand Plaza Hotel on May 8. General Motors was the presenting sponsor of both dinners.
The 2008 Women of Achievement and Courage Award recipients included Dr. Haifa Fakhouri, president and CEO of the Arab American & Chaldean Council (ACC).
Dr. Fakhouri has been an activist on behalf of people of Middle Eastern descent since her arrival in the United States from her home in Jordan 40 years ago. Dr. Fakhouri came to America to study and attended Detroit’s Wayne State University. Upon graduating, she began working as a sociologist, educator, administrator and community organizer. Dr. Fakhouri’s passion for empowering others led her to help newly arrived immigrants gain economic self-sufficiency. She co-founded the Arab American and Chaldean Council, which has grown exponentially in the past three decades. The Council has 39 offices in southeast Michigan and oversees a multi-million-dollar operating budget. Dr. Fakhouri has served as an advisor to the U.S. Agency for International Development and the United Nations Development Population. Her expertise on the status of women and population policies in the Middle East has been valued by researchers. For her achievements, Dr. Fakhouri has been recognized as one of Crain’s Detroit Business’ Most Influential Women and has been inducted into both the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame and the International Institute Hall of Fame.
She currently serves on the boards of a number of local, national and international organizations. These include Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government Leadership Board, the Detroit Institute of Arts, International Women’s Leadership Forum, the boards of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation.
The mission of MWF is to develop emerging women leaders and provide financial and technical assistance to non-profits, creating skills and leadership opportunities.
Past recipients of the Women of Achievement and Courage Award include Detroit Free Press Columnist Rochelle Riley, financial savvy and best-selling author Gail Perry-Mason and the late human rights activist and former president of the Detroit City Council, Maryann Mahaffey.