African Center for Community Empowerment

Award Recipients - 2005

Saywalah Kesselly, Founder


The African Center for Community Empowerment, Inc. (ACCE) was established in 2001 by a group of concerned neighbors and parents including some who had lost their sons to street violence.  Its primary objective is to address the high rate of delinquency, school drop-out, drug use and street violence among youth in Queens. ACCE serves as a resource center that fosters creativity and innovation for young people, parents and the community.  Programs include after-school academic and educational class for children, activities for parents and collaborative projects with other nonprofit organizations.

From a storefront space in St. Albans, Queens, ACCE’s staff and volunteers serve the community guided by the African proverb: It takes a village to raise a child. Its approach is to bring together all stakeholders to work collectively and collaboratively to help raise children and build a strong community.  Current programs focus on youth engagement, parent participation and community empowerment.  These include daily after school activities for children such as tutoring, homework assistance, test preparation, computer literacy, arts, sports and games as well as mentoring programs for middle school students, ACCE cultivates parent involvement provides social service referrals and parenting and computer classes.  Through its partnership and collaborative projects with government agencies, schools, cultural and other nonprofit community organizations, ACCE, also promotes community leadership.

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