DETROIT — The Detroit Branch of the NAACP will honor outgoing ACCESS president and CEO Hassan Jaber with a lifetime achievement award this Sunday, Oct. 3 at the TCF Center in Detroit.
The local branch of one of the country’s largest historic civil rights organizations announced that Jaber was named the James Weldon Johnson Lifetime Achievement Awardee, and will be honored for “16 years of exemplary leadership” at its 66th annual Fight for Freedom Fun Dinner.
“This is an absolutely high honor to be recognized by the NAACP with what the organization means to civil rights and social justice struggle,” Jaber said of the award in a Facebook post.
Earlier this year, Jaber and ACCESS announced a shift in leadership for the longtime Arab social services agency that has provided services to the Dearborn and Detroit area for decades and has expanded out to 120 programs, operating out of 10 locations in southeast Michigan, and three respected national Arab American institutions.
Jaber served as CEO and president for 14 years, and was previously COO and executive director, but has been with organization for 41 years. He will be transitioning to national advocacy and leadership projects, but will remain connected to ACCESS in a consultation role.
The ACCESS Board of Directors voted to appoint current Executive Director Maha Freij to succeed Jaber as CEO upon his departure in September.
Jaber was also announced as a keynote speaker at the Detroit NAACP award dinner, alongside Ohio Democratic congresswoman Joyce Beatty, who is the Ida B. Wells Freedom and Justice awardee, HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge and others.
In the past, the yearly dinner has brought in prominent Democratic Party figures to give keynote addresses like Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton.
The annual dinner typically invites some 10,000 guests, but this year’s activities will be modified due to COVID-19, the Detroit NAACP said.