External Relations

The African American Initiative

The CSU African American Initiative is a partnership with California churches serving predominantly African American congregations. The goal of the initiative is to increase the college preparation, enrollment and graduation rates of African American students.

The African American Initiative began in March 2005 when CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed and Church of God in Christ Bishop Charles E. Blake convened civic, business, and education leaders in a town hall meeting at West Angeles Church in Los Angeles. This meeting was followed by a similar town hall held at Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland. The purpose of the meetings was to create the groundwork for the development of a strategy to educate students and parents about early preparation for college.

As a result, the CSU and the churches began to share institutional resources to increase parents' and students' awareness about higher education and the steps to get to and graduate from a four-year university.


Woman at podiumCSU Super Sunday: Each February, CSU leaders including the chancellor, trustees, presidents and other higher education ambassadors speak from the pulpit during the Sunday Service at churches across the state to encourage youths to go to college. Students, parents and community mentors receive information about preparing for college, applying to a CSU campus and receiving financial aid.

People in auditoriumCSU Super Saturday is a college fair that prepares middle school and high school students to successfully enter and graduate from a CSU campus. The fair welcomes parents, mentors and students to participate in workshops about the CSU application and admission process, students qualifications for college, the CSU Early Assessment Program, financial aid, student's life on a campus and student housing.  All 23 campuses in the CSU system are represented at the Super Saturday College fair and members of all communities are encouraged to attend.

Policymakers' Briefings: Each year CSU presidents and the chancellor host two policymakers' briefings with African American Pastors and faith-based leaders of Northern California and Southern California. The purpose of these briefings is to solidify the partnerships that support the African American Initiative.
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Train-the-Trainer Workshops: Community Education Advisers have the opportunity to attend Train-the-Trainer Workshops organized by the CSU. Through these workshops advisers become familiar with the tools to prepare middle and high school students for entry to the CSU system.
People in auditoriumSummer Algebra Institute: The 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 coordination with 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 »
CSU Counselor Conferences: As an expansion to the Train-the-Trainers workshops, the CSU welcomes and encourages church education advisers to attend the annual CSU Fall Counselor Conference.

Quarterly Meetings: Church education advisers and community organization leaders meet quarterly with CSU outreach directors and other higher education representatives. The quarterly meetings facilitate the planning and evaluation of activities and programs of the African American initiative.

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2012 Dream Deferred Conference

2012 Meeting of Pastors and CSU Officials

2012 Super Saturday Photo Gallery