DEARBORN — Businessman Russell J. Ebeid announced a $2 million legacy gift to the Arab American National Museum during the 43rd annual ACCESS Dinner at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center April 12.
The gift, which Ebeid is leaving in his will, is the first of its kind in ACCESS’s 43-year history and will endow the Museum’s Arab American Community Archives. This collection is central to the mission of the museum and showcases the work and contributions of Arab Americans, while relating the Arab American immigrant story as the American story.
“I have decided to make this endowment because I believe in our community,” Ebeid said during the announcement. “I believe in supporting our institutions and creating a loud and proud historical heritage for our children, grandchildren and the public for generations to come.
“I trust that this legacy contribution in my will can promote and enhance the museum’s prestige, as well as honor our admirable predecessors. Therefore I hope to inspire and challenge my fellow Arab Americans, such as those gathered here tonight to participate with me in this noble cause.”
“This is a tipping point in the way we engage our individual donors,” ACCESS Deputy Executive Director and CFO Maha Freij said. “This contribution is five times larger than any other individual gift we’ve ever received. We are so thankful to Mr. Ebeid for breaking the glass ceiling, for his leadership and for believing in us.”
Ebeid is a longstanding supporter of the AANM and the Center for Arab American Philanthropy, another national initiative of ACCESS. Through his scholarship program, housed at CAAP, he supports the educational endeavors of students of color and exemplifies the center’s mission of strategic giving in the Arab American community.
Grounded in the Arab-American tradition of hospitality, ACCESS has a history of providing social, health, education and legal services in metropolitan Detroit to empower people to lead healthy, informed and productive lives. Today, ACCESS extends that mission to a national platform through advocacy, arts, culture and philanthropy.