External Relations

The African American Initiative

The goal of the CSU African American Initiative (AAI) is to increase the college preparation, enrollment, and graduation rates of African American students from underserved communities. In partnership with California churches serving predominantly African American congregations, the CSU delivers a variety of outreach events and programs.


Woman at podiumCSU Super Sunday occurs during the month of February, at more than 100 churches across California, when CSU leaders including the chancellor, deliver a call to action from the pulpit encouraging youth to go to college. They are joined by CSU experts in admissions and financial aid who deliver tools necessary to prepare. It is estimated that the CSU has reached nearly 1 million students and their families through Super Sunday over the last decade.
Learn more about CSU Super Sunday »

CSU Super Saturday is a college fair that inspires middle and high school students to prepare for college success at the CSU. The fair includes most CSU campuses, and provides students and their families' with information about the admissions process, financial aid, STEM careers, and more.
Learn more about CSU Super Saturday »


Learning AlgebraThe Summer Algebra Institute offers a free-of-cost, six-week mathematics instruction for seventh and eighth grade students. The institute is provided by the CSU in collaboration with predominantly African American churches in the East Bay and Los Angeles areas. Through the institute, students deepen their knowledge of mathematics and become aware of the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM disciplines). View Locations »

Deepening the Partnerships

Train-the-Trainer focuses on building the capacity of community education advisers to support college readiness. Through these workshops advisers become familiar with the tools to prepare middle and high school students for entry to the CSU system.
People in auditorium

CSU Counselor Conferences extend the learning from the Train-the-Trainers workshops, by inviting community education advisors to attend the annual CSU Counselor Conferences in the fall to learn up to date information about admissions to the CSU.

Quarterly Meetings where Church education advisers and community organization leaders meet quarterly with CSU representatives to facilitate the planning and evaluation of African American Initiative events and programs.

The Initiative History

The African American Initiative began in March 2005 when the CSU convened civic, business, and education leaders in a town hall in Los Angeles. Soon after, a similar meeting was held in Oakland. Through these meetings, a strategy to educate students and parents about early preparation for college was developed. As a result, the CSU and its new church partners began to share institutional resources to increase awareness about higher education, and the steps needed to prepare.

CSU African American Initiative - Steering Committee

steering comittee


Jacqueline M. Mimms, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President, Enrollment Management

Channel Islands

Dr. Gregory Sawyer
Vice President, Student Affairs

Dominguez Hills

Matthew Smith
Educational Partnerships

East Bay

Stan Hebert
Associate Vice President, Student Affairs


Kornya Lasana
University Outreach Services, Outreach Counselor


Wilbur Tate
Educational Opportunity Program, Academic Advisor


Dr. John Johnson
Director, African American Resource Center

Long Beach

Carmen Taylor
Vice President, Student Affairs

Long Beach

Valerie Bordeaux
Director of University Outreach & School Relations

Los Angeles

Christopher Johnson
Assistant Director, New Student and Parent Programs

Monterey Bay

Paula Carter
Associate Director for Admissions

Monterey Bay

Aysa Guillory
Educational Opportunity Program, Educational Opportunity and Guardian Scholars Retention Advisor

Monterey Bay

Ronnie Higgs
Student Services


Gigi McGuire
Assistant Director, Community & Academic Partnerships


Tashiana Bryant
Office of Student Life & Cultural Centers
African American Student Center


Chevelle Newsome
Dean, Office of Graduate Studies

San Bernardino

Dr. Brian Haynes
Vice President, Student Affairs

San Francisco

Kenneth P. Monteiro
Dean, College of Ethnic Studies

San Francisco

Eunice Aaron
College of Ethnic Studies

San José

Romando Nash
Student Services

San José

Coleeta McElroy
Financial Aid & Scholarships


Nathan Johnson
Police & Safety Services

Staff Lead

Maryann Jackmon, Senior Director, External Relations
CSU Chancellor's Office

Initiative Co-Lead

Horace Mitchell
President, California State University Bakersfield

Initiative Co-Lead

William Covino
President, California State University Los Angeles

Staff Support

Marisela Cervantes, Director, Community Partnerships
External Relations, CSU Chancellor's Office

Staff Support

Dr. Barbara Young
California State University

News Clips

Super Sunday Newsroom

8/14/2015 Working with churches, summer algebra program for black students aims to boost college entry, KPCC