‘Addressing inequity and racial justice by improving Black underrepresentation and experiences in influential education and workplace environments’
ACEN is a rapidly growing network of Black Parents, Students, Professionals and Teachers.
Founded in 2019 by parents of African Caribbean children, through our own experiences and those of other Black children and parents in similar environments, we recognised that our children face a unique set of challenges, as well as opportunities, and we founded ACEN as a way to address both.
Our original aim was to share resources, opportunities, teaching, and anything enabling children of African Caribbean heritage to access and move successfully through independent and grammar school systems, and carry the collective benefits of their education and network into their careers.
However, these aims were interrupted by the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement, and as an organisation, we started to look at the ways in which our network could impact on institutional and structural inequality within the Black community more widely. Especially, considering the lack of Black people in senior positions across ALL industries and the interconnectedness between independent and grammar schools, Russell Group universities, Oxbridge, and decision-making positions thereafter.
Whilst our initial focus was solely been on independent & grammar schools, with racial equity via systematic change, at the heart of what we do, we have expanded our focus to include all top academic institutions as these are the spaces where Black students are typically underrepresented. Noting, that this then results in underrepresentation in top universities, and then the workplace – subsequently impacting the various structural deficits faced by the Black community.