ACS Committee members 2022
ACS Committee members 2022

Society Spotlight: Oxford African and Caribbean Society

I am Jamelia, a second year History student at St Anne’s College and the current secretary for the African and Caribbean society.

I grew up in Lambeth, South London, surrounded by an array of cultures — it was a patchwork of stories and experiences. As a child, my family would always tell me about the beautiful history of my motherland, Somalia. These words nurtured my interest in what I now know as, oral history. This process of passing down these stories and folktales across generations should be celebrated and amplified, and this is where the ACS shines.

At the Oxford ACS, we pride ourselves in celebrating the heritage of our members whilst simultaneously enriching pathways for personal and professional success. Our wide-ranging events aim to cater to all our members’ interests – from our Annual Handover ball, Meet the Sponsors, Self-expression workshops to our Black History Month Showcase. In addition to providing opportunities and safe spaces for current members, increasing the admission of African and Caribbean students to Oxford is one of our focal points. Alongside bridging these barriers to access for prospective students, we aim to strengthen our Alumni network. This is because the Oxford ACS experience is a continual journey, one that does not start or end with our degrees.

My advice to new students joining this year

Coming to Oxford can be a daunting experience but it should never be limited to this. Its challenges are always rewarded with moments of great happiness. Spaces, like the Oxford ACS, gave me a chance to hear and listen to the experiences of others, and for this I am eternally grateful. My biggest advice is to maintain your peace and happiness by continuing or taking up any hobbies and sports – although this is easier said than done.

Looking to the future and how you can get involved

Reflections and Writings is a project that I will be launching this term. It reflects on, challenges, and addresses the many experiences of our members. It will be an archive for future cohorts to contribute to and look back on. As well as encouraging participation from our members, for any non-members, this project will provide an insight into the African and Caribbean experience.

It will combine the essence of what the ACS really is: more than a society.

For anyone who wants to get involved or find out more, please visit: our website, Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok and Facebook page.  For any enquiries, please email us.