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ACLP December 2020 Newsletter Updates

Dear ACLP Family,

Words of gratitude

The COVID-19 pandemic has tested us all with our personal, academic, professional lives and beyond. Yet African Community Learning Program (ACLP)’s team members have remained focused in working to advance our organization’s mission throughout these difficult times. Thank you so much for your time, energy, commitment during an overwhelming period in our lives. Our Co-founder Abdoul Wane and I wish our entire team a strong finish with this fall 2020 semester and a great 2021 year! We thank our partners and supporters, special thanks to the Penn Libraries Community Engagement for connecting us with excellent ACLP leaders and volunteers and Principal Richard Gordon of Paul Robeson High School for recruiting some ACLP Future Scholars! We are able to keep going because of our combined individual efforts.

ACLP policy documents

I wrote two ACLP policy documents throughout this fall 2020 semester. One document

frames the issue of education inequities and injustices in the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) and analyzes the SDP Equity Coalition. The other document examines 50 top ranked U.S. School Districts, combines practical teaching experiences from ACLP and theories, and provides culturally responsive policy recommendations to the SDP Equity Coalition.

I will start sending these policy documents toward the end of this December 2020 to Philadelphia public officials to consider the recommendations for the SDP Equity Coalition initiative, including Superintendent Dr. William Hite and Mayor Jim Kenney; both leaders met with the ACLP community and are familiar with our organization’s work. We will publish these policy documents on our website at during the spring 2021 semester. Special thanks to our graduate students policy interns Monica Behn and Allison Kaczmarski for their support with these projects. As a second-year graduate student studying public policy, I wanted to combine both practice and theory to produce policy documents on culturally responsive teaching for Philadelphia’s children, especially Black students and English learners. I am glad we were able to accomplish that for the children of Philadelphia!

ACLP citations and Senegal flag raising

Congratulations to ACLP and its 14 leaders honored with Philadelphia mayoral citations on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at Philadelphia City Hall for the 3rd anniversary of the organization and its leaders’ contributions and where the Senegal flag was also raised! Special thanks to the City of Philadelphia, the Director of Immigrant Affairs Amy Eusebio, the Director of Multicultural Affairs Romana Lee-Akiyama, the City Representative Sheila Hess for their partnership with the occasion.

Looking into the spring 2021 semester

We look forward to the spring 2021 semester! ACLP will continue to share information for Philadelphia school students to prepare for college and thrive once there through our website, newsletters, social media. We highly encourage you to share these resources with high school students. We will also continue to build a solid foundation for ACLP to continue its work long term. ACLP will be on break starting on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. We will resume our work from Monday, January 25, 2020 to Tuesday, April 27, 2021. May the 2021 year bring health, justice, and opportunities!

Aminata Sy

Founder & President

African Community Learning Program

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