ACER and the African community are transforming how new immigrant communities work with established institutions to create more transparent, responsive and equitable systems. Here’s what we do
Jobs and entrepreneurship
African immigrants face a range of economic disparities in the northwest suburbs. ACER believes that African people hold the keys to unlocking their own economic potential. We support microbusinesses, which are the economic engine of the African community. We also advance economic development strategies that build on our strengths to generate homegrown community wealth.
Quality affordable housing
ACER makes safe, quality, affordable housing a priority for the northwest suburbs. Working with partners, ACER has saved threatened affordable housing, developed tenant leadership, and successfully worked with tenant communities for the Brooklyn Park City Council to pass an unprecedented inclusionary zoning policy.
Major public infrastructure investments can benefit everyone if all residents are a part of the decisions that shape them. But we know that proximity does not translate to access. That’s why ACER was the first northwest suburban organization to educate residents about the upcoming Blue Line extension development and engage them in community processes to guide decision-making. ACER focuses on systemic changes, ensuring that residents and community leaders have a place at decision-making tables.
ACER wants northwest suburban schools to work for African immigrants. There is a significant opportunity gap for African immigrant students in northwest suburban districts. ACER advocated for changes to the rules for school district hiring, allowing more people of color to be hired, and is campaigning to change school board representation to ensure that African immigrants have a role in shaping district policy.
Community wealth, quality housing, educational opportunities, and a pipeline to quality jobs are all social determinants of health. When these elements are absent, as they are for many African immigrants, depressed community health indicators follow. ACER improves individual and community health by transforming the systems that prevent growth and prosperity for African immigrant residents.