African & Caribbean Diversity–Our History
Inspirational, empowering, and supportive are three of the common adjectives used by the students to describe our programme.
Rewarding, satisfying, and enriching are words used by our mentors to describe their involvement and contribution to our initiative.
African & Caribbean Diversity was founded in 1990 by a group of black professionals whose shared vision was of a dynamic organization that would promote the entry, development and advancement of its members into business organizations. In doing this, it would make a positive contribution to the African and Caribbean communities and to the economy of the UK. Today, we are the leading membership organization of its kind in Europe.
Mentoring and Enrichment
Since 2003, African & Caribbean Diversity’s Mentoring and Enrichment Programme has been bringing together volunteer mentors from city-based companies, largely from multinational corporations, and 14 to 18 year old black British young people from London’s state schools. The key aim of this highly intensive 4-year programme is to improve the academic attainment, career prospects, and social mobility of these students.
The project targets those pupils identified by their schools as having academic potential, but who largely come from households that face inter-generational economic and social exclusion, as a result of poverty. This exclusion can deny them the information and self-belief needed to either continue education post age 16 or to access higher education, especially to UK’s most competitive universities.
We help students with high potential see the importance of education through university residentials, workshops, company visits and one-on-one sessions with corporate mentors.
ACD encourages its mentors to build a one-to-one relationship with the ACD pupils they support. This allows the mentor to effectively tailor the sessions to meet the personal and professional development of the individual student.
Because of our efforts, ACD has actively contributed to narrowing the gap in the educational achievements of black British youth within government statistics and has in addition, facilitated creative and practical routes into employment for this underrepresented group. We have had over 300 students come through our programme over the past 10 years and the results speak for themselves:
• 97% of ACD students continue onto post-16 education.
• 71% gain admission to universities, with 27% going to the Top 30 universities.
• ACD has alumni present at the top 20 universities listed in The Sunday Times University League Table.
• ACD Alumni take up leadership positions at university, in either the Student Union or the university’s African-Caribbean society or organizing outreach activities or events such as TEDx.
• ACD Alumni normally take a gap year giving back to the community by becoming assistant teachers or arranging information and motivational workshops sharing experiences.
• 95% attain the Government’s benchmark of 5 GCSE passes, including English and maths. (2010 average for black students was 43%).
• Over 90% of ACD Alumni are in employment, with over 60% gaining employment in highly competitive graduate recruitment programmes where black British citizens are greatly underrepresented.
ACD has raise hundreds of young black men and women of London to become successful and influential members of the local community. Our graduating students have also become role models, advisory board members and mentors for the next generation of ACD students.