African Career, Education, & Resources Inc. (ACER) is the leading issue-based community organization working to uplift and amplify the African Diaspora to build power for systemic change that advances racial and economic equity in our communities.
Our vision is a transformed system, free from racial and economic inequities where African Diaspora communities can thrive and lead prosperous lives.
Since the organization was established in 2008, staff have looked to community members to bring concerns, ideas, and issues to the table. We started by offering job and resources fairs that connected African immigrants to employment and other critical resources. But we quickly learned that we needed to address the root causes of the challenges facing our communities.
Today, ACER works with hundreds of African immigrants & BIPOC communities to develop innovative solutions that promote health, generate jobs, create opportunities in education, and promote quality affordable housing for African immigrants and other people of color. No matter what issues arise, racial and economic equity are always at the core of our work.
According to census data, at least 77,000 African immigrants live in Minnesota. ACER works in the northwest suburban cities of Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Maple Grove, Crystal, Robbinsdale, and New Hope where a large population of African immigrants lives. An estimated 4,500 African immigrants live here, hailing primarily from Liberia, Somalia, and Nigeria.
The Northwest Suburbs are extremely racially, culturally, and economically diverse. Several of these cities are home to majority populations of color. As in many communities of color in the Twin Cities region, African immigrants here face disparities in education, employment, housing, and health that limit their potential. ACER works with residents, local governments, and community partners to eliminate these disparities and ensure that the expertise of African immigrants is valued in the decisions that impact their lives and communities.
ACER’s work is not only critical for African immigrants, it’s also important for the health of the Twin Cities region. The demographics of this area already resemble the racial diversity we expect for the greater region by 2030. The progress we make now in the Northwest Suburbs can be a model for the future of an equitable and prosperous region.
WHAT WE DO
ACER believes African immigrants understand complex issues and know their communities best. We elevate the voices of our community members. We build bridges between residents and decision-makers so that our knowledge and expertise is represented in the policies that shape our communities.
The type of issues ACER works on will evolve, but the way that ACER works will not. We work with African immigrants through: