Choose Life: we are all Created Equal: ACNA Nottingham: fertile ground for community connection

Here is the news:

MARCH 26TH 2017-Mothers Day Dinner
APRIL 15TH 2017-Easter Gospel Extravaganza
APRIL 30TH 2017-Dialtone Dance
MAY 27TH 2017-Charity Ball
JUNE 18TH 2017-Father’s Day Dinner
JUNE 24TH 2017-Members Domino Competition
JULY 22ND 2017-Family Barbecue and Dance
AUGUST 5TH 2017 -Jamaican Independence Event
AUGUST 6TH 2017-ACNA-Church Service
SEPTEMBER 30TH 2017-Members Domino Competition
OCTOBER 21ST 2017-gone But Not Forgotten
NOVEMBER 18TH 2017-Lifestyle Conference
DECEMBER 8TH 2017-Staff and Volunteer Dance
DECEMBER 16TH 2017-Children Christmas Party
DECEMBER 31ST 2017-New Year Eve Ball

If you want to know about great food, events, and venue, business development or consultancy contact ACNA. If they don’t know, they’ll know someone who does. or call ACNA office number on 0115 9691364

ACNA is a place where ordinary people get involved: it’s the beating heart of Nottingham telling us that we’re all created equal and never forget the community where you came from. Social events, weddings, birthdays, music, performance, elders meet ups, coffee and lunch club every Wednesday.

Above Tony Kofi  ACNA interiors, black faces of Nottingham project and rejuvenator of the voluntary sector and advocate of survivors in Nottingham Maxine Robinson

ACNA helps to execute equality for more people, more of the time. We live in a democracy  and twenty eight years ago ACNA was created in Nottingham to give us all the freedom to chase our dreams about the greater good for everyone.

28  years that has seen the positive impact  of change from the 1970’s Race Relations Act, The Equal Pay Act, the miner’s strike, closure of many mines, riots.  ACNA has given people a venue for informal and informal learning, a satellite for mobility across the UK and the world for (at least!) four generations of Nottingham people.

Over this economically and technologically turbulent period,  ACNA has provided a place where work and purpose, activity and activism through friendship and fundraising, connection and confidence building for everyone in Nottingham through comradeship and support across the UK.


Above Len Garrison who founded Nottingham Black Archive in 1981. Len died in 2003.

ACNA connects Nottingham with a much wider world and how injustice and social harms can be remedied through the everyday connection between people, living and working in a local neighbourhood. Every group run by ACNA is much more than a group, it’s a living connection with a big history of slavery connected with the history of all the economies of the world. ACNA is part of a world wide awareness that simple community in neighbourhoods provides an essential place for individuals, groups and organisations to learn, think, share and innovate. ACNA has nurtured stars of stage, screen, theatre, business, science and sport because it recognises the value of each within a fantastic world community with all its history and legacy. You feel empowered by that knowledge.

Above turnout for Nottingham News Centre‘s Norma Gregory’s Miners of African Caribbean origin project

In the last thirty years we’ve seen better representation in parliament, business, science and technology of people who aren’t from one background. We’ve seen an eight year presidential term of Barack Obama who, as he leaves office, points out the uneven progress of democracy as two steps forward, one step back. Here, as in the US, we have had recession and watched in the aftermath, the increasing power of technology over our lives. In Nottingham, we’ve got the most amazing grasp of technology.

Hopefully, we’ll also be the first city to understand that we need also to create permanent part time jobs for people at every stage of life that will facilitate the softer, creative and more supportive parts of our lives that will temper the tendencies of that technology to game certain groups out of the economy.

Above images left the Wiseage and background project and right, Nottingham Employers at the regular Jobs Fair Nottingham

Gaming people out of jobs means you discourage certain people from thinking they can access particular roles.

The twenty eight years of ACNA take in a wide sweep of history and the 2016 Journey to Justice is part of  ACNA’s heritage. ACNA has survived because it has always been the result of complex interrelationships, locally, regionally and internationally who support its spirit with good will but also, there’s a new generation of activists and sponsors who recognise both the value of history but also the need for people to meet, engage and communicate on a daily basis in Nottingham.

In 2017 there is a dynamic calendar of plans, activities and events at ACNA and there will be groups, meetings, discussions about jobs, wages, poverty, housing, inequality, voting,  democracy, all the things that preserve the things that we all value. But they won’t always be formal discussions, they’ll be between people and groups and organisations who live and work in Nottingham, all people who want to make things work for everyone. Not to score points.

Because real progress isn’t progress unless it’s for everyone. When people are on weak contracts, where they’re made redundant, where they see the inequality and injustice in employment and access it’s hard not to think that the game is stacked against them.

What we need now is an understanding that we have to mitigate stark inequality with training for the creative industries, the support services to provide new services that will give us the quality of life that we all need.

It must not be more bureaucracy around the healthcare industries which only creates stress and illness amongst workers and the cared for. People need their place in society to be protected. It’s sacrosanct.

As Barack Obama says, we all need a new social compact (we’d call it a social contract). Things are better in this country than ten, twenty, thirty years ago but we now need something that connects everyone at every age, stage and background into a new way of working and living that makes communication sense for old, young and middle aged people. Attitudes of people across the spectrum have changed and developed but that’s because people like Doreen and Neville Lawrence and the parents of Damilola Taylor have never given up in seeking and believing in democracy and justice. Obama quotes Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mocking Bird: ‘You never understand a person until you consider things from their perspective and feel what it’s like to walk around in their skin’

The fact that we know that we need to grow beyond  just what we want, beyond the technologies that push us into bubbles where we’re terrified of criticism and challenge is a good thing. Inside this in Nottingham we’ve had some brilliant initiatives great projects but those projects need to know each other in a gentle and nurturing way to grow further themselves.

Because injustice never disappears with a project, or funding, or the next round of proposals. Unequal treatment doesn’t vanish because we have laws and believe in Human Rights. Injustice can be challenged when we realise that we’re all individual guardians of the values that we all care about and when we talk to other people we’re learning not telling and ordering.

ACNA  represents the need to discuss, debate, converse more in Nottingham. To get the technologists and creative individuals in Nottingham to recognise that they’re in a highly privileged and subsidised space through the actions, histories and labour of others and that they need to connect with that to understand real value.

Their brilliant minds and use of technology need to be taken into the harder places and spaces of difference and diversity. It’s easy to implement technology in a rational space that’s been given to you, far harder to implement technology in the unruly space where we all really live.

We need to transform the streets, pavements, shop signs in our neighbourhoods and city so we can all touch feel and smell the different kind of flavours that technology should bring.

Peace in our neighbourhoods brings peace in the wider world with technology. Let’s invite the people who run the technologies to more of our events, let’s include them.

Barack Obama: ‘Our democracy is threatened when we take it for granted…. Fed up arguing with strangers on the internet?  Try talking with one of them in real life…..If something needs fixing get on it and run yourself, show up, dive in, stay at it.

Sometimes you win , sometimes you lose. Get involved in ACNA, get into life in Nottingham.


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