WHAT WE DO
ACLP envisions a world where children, regardless of backgrounds can access just and equitable quality education and opportunities, where Black people’s lives are valued, and where individuals across the African diaspora come together to solve issues impacting their communities and beyond.
The African Community Learning Program is a nonprofit organization that educates, connects, empowers, and supports people of African background in West Philadelphia.
"You can do whatever you want to do -- whatever is in your heart, whatever is in your gut you can absolutely do it. Don’t try to get rid of your culture; it’s beautiful, it’s necessary, it sets you apart.”
- A message from then NBC 10 reporter Aundrea Cline-Thomas to ACLP students during the organization’s trip to the NBC 10 News Philadelphia station on April 20, 2018
HOW DID WE BEGIN?
As a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, Aminata Sy launched African Community Learning Program (ACLP) with the support of her husband Abdoul Wane on June 13, 2017. Aminata noticed that many children of African descent struggled in Philadelphia’s public schools. As a Senegalese immigrant, Aminata saw a reflection of herself in these students and believed they, too, could overcome societal and educational challenges to achieve their goals.
Aminata started an after-school program supporting elementary- and middle-school-aged African and first-generation American students, many of whom did not speak English, with reading, writing, and speaking skills. She began in her home basement in West Philadelphia, moved to the Blackwell Library, and then to Paul Robeson High School on October 15, 2019. From 2017 to 2019, ACLP created and taught students a culturally responsive African-centered curriculum, brought in nine empowering guest speakers, and took students to five career- and college-related field trips.