About the ACSioN Network of Canada
Formally inaugurated in September 2006 and headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, the African and Caribbean Synergic inter-organizational Network of Canada – called the ACSioN Network for short – is an engine of social capital that unlocks the dynamic creative potential of students and young professionals from the African diaspora, through culturally intelligent services and leadership development programs.
A non-profit institution with a robust organizational framework and common value system supported by its national boards, chapters and various affiliated organizations, the ACSioN Network empowers African-Canadians to catalyze economic, academic, and sociocultural excellence in partnership with stakeholders who invest in diversity and practice respect.
The ACSioN Network envisions a community of ethical, prosperous, magnanimous, confident, and respected people of African descent, united through their pursuit of the utmost excellence, and their willingness to serve the community.
We dream of a Canada where Canadians of African descent freely inspire each other to unhesitatingly pursue the realization of their communities’ greatest potential and, in so doing, inspire all their fellow Canadians to do the same.
Whether simply imparting wisdom and insights from their unique perspectives, or leading the way in building bridges of prosperity between Canada, the African continent and the Caribbean, we know that people of African descent can be strong catalysts for positive development. Here in the 21st century, this is truer than ever. And thus we dream of local communities where people of African descent leap beyond obstacles to create beacons of global opportunity and networked centres of innovation, rather than allow themselves to be restricted by deprivation, disenfranchisement and a sense of despair.
We view the many African, Caribbean, and Black groups of post-secondary students and young professionals as subgroups of a united, yet vastly diverse and multifaceted community of young adults of African descent; an ecosystem overflowing with talent, ambition and creativity, which has everything it takes to make this vision a reality – and more.
The ACSioN Network does not simply seek to be the largest, nor the most well-known organization of its kind; more precisely, the ACSioN Network aims to set the standard for all organizations of its kind, and to uplift and inspire all those who are associated with it.
We aim to create the best possible outcomes using the resources which are available; we aim to avoid wasteful reduplication of efforts, and we are driven to create a net positive impact upon the environment within which we operate and which we are a part of.
Our Network’s administration springs directly from the communities to which our members belong, and therefore retains a nuanced and intuitive focus upon the needs of its membership in order to provide these communities with the best service possible.
The ACSioN Network welcomes all African-Canadian post-secondary students and professionals into a highly interconnected fellowship of service, unified by an overarching focus upon helping our communities grow and prosper.
When efficiency is properly applied to groups united by a common goal, synergic cooperation is the happy result. Cooperation allows the ACSioN Network to make the most of the extraordinary talent which can be found everywhere within our communities, and thus allows our organization to better adapt its resources and methods in order to address the broad array of challenges which face communities of the African diaspora.
The ACSioN Network helps its student members continue to expand the limits of their personal potential for stellar academic achievement and inspire their predecessors, encourage their peers, and guide their protegés in the process.
We help all our members – young up-and-coming professional Canadians of African descent – to maximize their ability to create personal economic prosperity, and subsequently become an independent, self-aware economic driving force for their communities, especially within (but not limited to) the Canadian context.
In everything the ACSioN Network does, we promote and develop authentic and positive manifestations of both continental African and diasporic African (Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Canadian, Afro-American, etc.) cultural perspectives, even as we adapt them to our Canadian context and thus make our vital contribution to the enrichment of the Canadian multicultural landscape.
“To be the greatest, most effective and self-determined service of students and professionals from the African diaspora, who cooperate to elevate their communities beyond the highest standards of academic, economic, and sociocultural excellence.”
The 5 Ps of ACSioN
- We engage in all our activities peacefully and with respect, and work to create harmony in our community rather than petty conflict.
- We are completely solution-oriented, and we regard problems as springboards leading to opportunities to learn and grow, instead of viewing such as mere stumbling blocks.
- We are always constructive in our criticism; this means that we propose viable and beneficial solutions, and actively work as a team towards their successful implementation.
- We believe in our community’s capacity to develop appropriate responses to any challenges it may face, and seek to minimize the harmful effects of afro-pessimism wherever they may be manifest.
- For all our activities, we set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely (S.M.A.R.T.) goals and objectives which are fully in line with the ACSioN Network’s vision and mission, and we always maintain the achievement of these objectives as the principal focus of any activity we undertake.
- We set high, clear and consistent standards for excellence in everything that we do, and consistently achieve or surpass these standards.
- We aspire to provide our members with the best service possible, and we respect and defend members’ rights within the Network in accordance with our standard policies and regulations.
- We hold ourselves accountable for the fulfillment of our promises, act with transparency wherever prudently possible, and ensure that our use of financial resources and volunteer time is as efficient and ethical as it can be.
- We strive to ensure that the pursuit of our personal individual goals does not negatively impact the prosperity of the ACSioN Network and its members at any time; and we minimize and/or eliminate conflicts of interest wherever prudently possible.
- We give our very best efforts to the activities we engage in, by expanding the limits of our personal and collective creativity and utilizing the best means available.
- We proudly champion and espouse the ACSioN Network and its mission whenever prudently possible.
- We ensure that everything we do is strongly grounded in both a profound understanding of what has come before us, as well as a good awareness of present conditions, in order to move forward into the future with accurate bearings. Thus informed, we facilitate the positive evolution of our organization and community in accordance with our long-term vision.
- We foster a culture of innovation that encourages the constant search for, discovery, and refinement of methodologies which help us draw closer to a more perfect fulfillment of our vision and mission.
It seems we’ve heard it all when it comes to the most humanistic components of environmental, social and governance goals across organizations both large and small.
"Diversity" "Inclusion" "Belonging"
- Regardless of whichever buzzword is popular at the moment, respectful relationships are the true wellspring of all these beautiful by-products of diversity, inclusion, belonging, et cetera, at every level.
- And so at the ACSioN Network of Canada, that’s exactly what we focus on. We seek to develop greater respect for all our stakeholders’ nuances and capacities, and in turn, we expect the same from everyone.
- Naturally, just as the ACSioN Network directly contributes to strengthening Canadian diversity, the ACSioN Network also aspires to represent the richest possible spectrum within the African diaspora through its very membership at all leadership levels.
- We go beyond an abstract belief that respecting the unique perspectives and talents of students and young professionals of African descent makes us stronger. As Canadian members of the African diaspora, we know this to be true. We exercise this cultural intelligence every day, catalyzing equitable community development in the process.
While the demographics of each locality are unique and may represent varying concentrations of members of the African diaspora, the ACSioN Network actively emphasizes equitable and balanced participation by its members according to many dimensions of identity (both permanent and mutable), particularly, though certainly not limited to, the following:
- Region and/or country of recent family origin: Africa, the Caribbean, and the Americas (outside the Caribbean)
- Official language proficiency: Francophone, anglophone
- Citizenship or residency status: Canadian citizens, permanent residents, international students, and foreign skilled workers
- Sector of study, employment and/or expertise: Finance, engineering, health, education, human resources, arts and culture, law, communications, marketing, etc.