Kwanzaa is a holiday that honors African-American people and their past. First celebrated in 1966 by African-American educator Dr. Maulana Karenga, Kwanzaa recognizes African-American culture, contributions and history.
Operation Get Down is committed to an African-centered value system known as Nguzo Saba (Seven Principles), a communitarian African philosophy consisting of the best of African thought and practice. These seven principles comprise Kawaida, a Swahili term for tradition and reason, and each principle originally had its roots in the celebration of Kwanzaa.
Click on the photo below for more pictures of OGD's annual Kwanzaa celebration.
Our Philosophy of Care
Operation Get Down is committed to an African-centered value system known as Nguzo Saba (Seven Principles), a communitarian African philosophy consisting of the best of African thought and practice. These seven principles comprise Kawaida, a Swahili term for tradition and reason, and each principle originally had its roots in the celebration of Kwanzaa. We at OGD, however, believe that the Seven Principles can be applied year ‘round and by people of all races, religions, creeds and cultures. The principles are:
Operation Get Down, Inc. (OGD) is a non-profit, community-based agency serving metro Detroiters since 1971. Centrally located at the intersection of Harper and Gratiot avenues, OGD has been a mainstay of the Eastside community for more than four decades. Born of the community-organization movement in the 1970s, OGD is a true grassroots success story.
While many grassroots organizations of the ‘70s have come and gone, Operation Get Down has grown into a million-dollar, CARF-accredited, United Way-member agency serving more than 35,000 people each year. OGD is proud of its neighborhood heritage, and equally proud of a proven ability to evolve and remain flexible in an increasingly complex funding and service-delivery environment. Through ever-changing times, the hallmark of OGD's continued success and viability has been a strong track record for identifying and responding to current and emerging community needs.
In the 1970s, OGD raised money for sickle cell research and addressed the increasing community concern with youth gang violence. During the 1980s, OGD became synonymous with food distribution to the community's most needy citizens. By the 1990s, OGD was at the forefront of recognizing and assisting the increasing number of homeless individuals and families, one of the community's most disenfranchised populations. OGD’s forerunner – the NIA House in the former YMCA building – was a transitional-housing center that opened its doors in 1971 at its current location at 10100 Harper.
In 2004, Operation Get Down undertook the rigorous process of becoming accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), successfully meeting the CARF standards for program excellence. This accreditation assures our clients and colleagues that Operation Get Down's services conform to nationally and internationally recognized standards and is focused on delivering the best outcomes for those we serve.
Today, OGD continues to focus on our community's most marginalized citizens, offering outpatient and residential substance-abuse treatment programs, in addition to our homeless services.
Operation Get Down
Operation Get Down
Together with Barry Hankerson, Bernard Parker co-founded Operation Get Down in 1971. As a community leader, Parker set up a substance-abuse program; established a transition center for 100 homeless men; provided direct services to more than 10,000 people annually; and created a warming center, transitional housing program and training programs for the homeless.