Our long term vision of advancing the lives of the African community in Minnesota requires
effective culturally based organizing and resources. We also build leadership to build
power within our community who also act as bridge builders between our community and
other communities and build relationships across all sectors.
ACER takes a new direction in creating access and opportunity for underrepresented groups in the Twin Cities North West suburbs. We engage with underrepresented communities along the Bottineau Transitway Corridor for them to become actively involved in the planning and decision-making process.
Through the Corridors of Opportunity grant, ACER works to ensure that underrepresented communities along the Bottineau transit way corridor are engaged in the planning process to produce equitable outcomes. With our Making Transit Meaningful Project we work to connect communities of color in the NW suburbs of Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, New Hope, Crystal and Maple Grove to be actively involved in the process. Together, we elevate the voices of the underrepresented communities in these cities to impact positive outcomes.
ACER is also serves a Co-Chair of the Blue Line Coalition. The Blue Line Coalition is a coalition of community organizations working together and representing the following populations: communities of color; immigrants and refugees; people living with disabilities; low income communities; and transit dependent populations along the Blue Line Corridor.
The ACER Fair serves as a resource to close the gap that people of African descent face in accessing resources and in navigating the system. It provides a culturally- appropriate venue for
members of the community to learn about a variety of resources and services in an effective and efficient way. The fair also offers an opportunity for both institutions and the community to
provide information, get feedback and build better relationships with one another.
ACER's work focuses on populations who are experiencing disparate outcomes in health, and whose opportunities for good health are compromised by a deficiency in the social determinants of health lack of access to resources, insufficient education, unaffordable housing, racism and low income.
In 2016 ACER is partnering with the Minnesota Department of Health to conduct focus groups that will inform MDH™s research projects that are connected the African diaspora. Through the Bush Meat Project, we engage members of the western community to assess the consumption of bush meat, as well as the perception and risks associated with this practice. In the Malaria project, we are working with the community to get input on the practices of community members who visit friends and relatives back home in inoculating themselves against malaria, and any barriers they might face in trying to do this, and also how often people contact malaria when they visit back home.
Through our Making Transit Meaningful Work, ACER also belongs to the Health Equity Engagement Cohort (HEEC). HEEC was formed after a 2012 health impact assessment (HIA) recommended there be an entity that engages deeply with transit-dependent populations.
The HIA concluded:
1) the light rail could benefit everyone along the projected corridor running from North Minneapolis to Brooklyn Park, and
2) there are currently stark health disparities between geographic and racial/ethnic lines that need to be changed. As part of this cohort, ACER, along with other organizations of color work to ensure that the communities along the Blue Line corridor extension achieve equitable health outcomes as a result of the light rail development
Access to good quality affordable housing has been identified by our community as a key issue in improving lives.
ACER is also a member of the Equity In Place table. The Equity In Place is a coalition of several organizations across the seven county metro area that are led by and serve communities of color. The coalition advocates for equitable investment in these communities as a solution to improving their lives, and working against the displacement and gentrification of communities of color.
ACER serves on the Fair Housing Advisory Committee. This committee advises the Fair Housing Implementation Council as they work on their addendum to the Regional Analysis to Impediments.