Emma-Louise Nelson

We had the pleasure of catching up with ACM Tutor and Campus Leader, Emma-Louise Nelson, to learn what ACM are getting up to during the month of October to mark and celebrate Black History Month.

1) Introduce yourself, your career background and role at ACM?

My name is Emma-Louise Nelson (AKA “S.E.L” or “Soulful Emma-Louise”). My career background – I’m a UK soul singer-songwriter, writing my own music and managing all aspects of my career, both artistically and business-wise. I used to be a member of the UK soul collective, Soul II Soul, remaining a long-standing member for about 12 years. I write for other artists, do vocal arranging, vocal production, choreography and stage presence, helping to shape other artists’ careers. My role at ACM is ‘Executive Lead on Student Attainment’, whilst also working as ‘Campus Leader’ at ACM London.

2) Tell us what Black History Month is about and why it’s so important for ACM to celebrate this time, and also to learn about Black History throughout the rest of the year also?

This initiative was born out of educating everybody, recognising that alongside prominent black figures such as Martin Luther King and Malcom X, there were/are other black professionals who have been working in all sectors, making global changes in our world throughout history. It is therefore important to make sure that our students not only know that we acknowledge them/their culture and make sure they feel supported and celebrated within Black History Month, but also feel supported/celebrated throughout the year. We are making pro-active steps to ensure there is a lot more black culture/history in the curriculum, understanding the experiences of BAME students, which will allow us to grow as a whole community. Yes, Black History Month is important, however as a community, the initiative of educating everybody on black culture, history and our experiences in the UK and globally is something we are going to be putting in the curriculum moving forward.

3) What has ACM got planned for Black History Month 2020?

Black History Month is going to be a mixture of celebrating our tutors, students, alumni, as well as iconic music artists who have used their platform to make positive change. We’ll also be educating everyone on facts about black history that you may not be aware of, plus having challenging discussions on issues that we have been experiencing globally. The main aim will be to get a level of understanding on what we need and what we can do as an ACM community for consistent positive change beyond Black History Month.

4) This year’s celebrations are being driven by our African and Caribbean Society, tell us about the ACS and how students can get involved?

Our African and Caribbean Society, although founded in ACM London, remains a group level initiative. We’ll be using Black History Month to generate more awareness of this society, which currently has 30 members. We need to make sure that students across our Guildford, London and Birmingham campuses are conscious of this society and realise there is support for them. The African and Caribbean Society is open to all students – if you want to get a better understand of the African/Caribbean culture or want to understand your peers on a deeper level, we encourage you to join. The society is getting involved in Black History Month by hosting Netflix Watch Parties, collating Black History Month reading lists, Spotify/YouTube student/alumni playlists and driving a Metropolis discussion/performance later this month!

5) What do you hope students will learn from the activities planned for Black History Month at ACM?

We hope that each student learns something from black history that they may not have known before, arming them with information for further discussions with their peers. We want there to be unity within the ACM community, moving forward as one voice, and not segregated by race, sexual orientation and/or religion. We hope Black History Month will help students understand their black peers and what they go through on a daily basis. As well as, a deeper level of understanding of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement with reference to recent global events. We will be using Black History Month to help educate and generate an understanding of ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Black Pound Day’ movements.

6) If students would like to put ideas forward how can they do that?

If students want to get involve or have any queries, please email societies@acm.ac.uk!

Look out for more information on Black History Month with further updates across ACM’s social media channels!


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