First Robotics Canada Team #7013
The African Canadian Christian Network (ACCN) is a network of Black churches and allies with a social justice agenda, working together with communities, governments, institutions to improve life outcomes for Black youth and their families.
Since its inception in 2007, ACCN has:
· sponsored 67 anti-violence projects, with support from the Ontario government;
· established an innovative partnership with more than 20 of Canada's top independent schools through which it has secured more than $18 million in scholarships and financial aid for Black youth, many of whom are from priority neighbourhoods;
· developed a peer mentorship program—GLEEM (Growing Leaders and Empowering Everyday Mentors), a ‘giving back’ model all who benefit from its programs will be encouraged to adopt
· created a mentoring program for parents of Black children to equip them in fostering their children’s success.
ACCN believes in the untapped potential residing in Black youth and the promise this represents for a future of high achievement in all sectors of society. In the area of STEM, ACCN is currently partnering with the highly-acclaimed FIRST Robotics Canada to create Canada’s first Black robotics team, which will participate in local and (eventually) international robotics competition.
The robotics program is designed to address the drastic under-representation of Black youth in STEM studies and careers. ACCN will place special emphasis on recruiting youth from high priority neighborhoods for the program.
ACCN is committed to partnering with government, community organizations, institutions and others, to utilize the connections and resources of its network as a conduit to create environments in which Black youth of diverse backgrounds will thrive.
Nurturing Promise…Harvesting Potential is ACCN’s Action Plan.
Its focus will be to:
--Foster opportunities in STEM+
(Science Technology Engineering Math, plus High Skilled Trades)
--Mentor parents and youth through GLEEM
(Growing Leaders and Empowering Everyday Mentors)
--Advance academic excellence
--Support anti-violence efforts
ACCN’s vision is to see Black youth: leading lives free from violence; achieving academic success; becoming leaders and role models; and, contributing as citizens of their communities.
In 2018 ACCN created TECHTRONIX, Canada’s first Black youth community robotics team, in partnership with internationally-acclaimed FIRST® Robotics Canada. The team will participate in local and international robotics competitions.
TECHTRONIX team members come from different neighborhoods across the Greater Toronto Area.
The Robotics program is designed to encourage Black youth to enter STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) studies and careers. STEM+ is also ACCN’s goal to introduce Black youth to high-paying, high-skilled trades.
Youth interact with and are mentored by STEM+ professionals and tradespersons; and gain valuable skills such as how to present, compete and collaborate with confidence. ACCN's goal is to open youth’s minds to possibilities of the future and their place in it.
ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE: ACCN has established an innovative partnership with more than 20 of Canada's top independent schools through which over the past 10 years it has secured more than $18 million in scholarships and financial aid for Black youth to attend independent schools.
Academic Excellence includes a Summer Experience program that combines accelerated Math and Science coaching with other summer activities to sustain learning into the fall, including learning gained from the Robotics program.
PARENT2PARENT Mentoring: P2P provides parents and caregivers of Black children opportunity to support and be supported raising their children to succeed in school and in life. P2P has 3 components:
Circle Families who have successfully raised Black children coming alongside others seeking strategies, tools and moral support in raising their own. Family gatherings take place in community spaces where recipient families also have opportunity to share from their own areas of survival and success.
The Online Parenting Support Community (OPS-C) is a web-based resource center and shared parent community space. The space has a public and subscription-only portals.
The online community features tips and strategies; inspirational success stories; webinars; publications; links; new books; government information; and updates on important events of interest to parents of Black children.
GLEEM: (Growing Leaders and Empowering Everyday Mentors).
GLEEM is ACCN's peer mentorship initiative that provides opportunity for parents and youth who have benefitted from ACCN programs—including the independent schools program—to ‘give back’ to other Black youth and families who have not had the opportunity to attend private schools.
ANTI-VIOLENCE: ACCN has sponsored 67 anti-violence projects, with support from the Ontario government, and maintains an ongoing interest in restorative justice for Black youth in conflict with the law.
Community Parent Education Program (C-PEP)
C-PEP provides Black and other churches with a resource kit and specialized training on the social justice agenda needed for the advancement of Black children.
C-PEP builds understanding of impacts and legacies of anti-Black racism on Black families; and equips Black families to build their children’s inner resiliency for thriving in a society that does not always promote or protect them.