How CSULB is continuing to support Black students

Published August 28, 2023

The California State University recently issued a plan designed to both elevate Black achievement and address the continuing declines in Black student enrollment, retention and graduation rates across the 23 CSU universities. 

The report, “Advancing Black Student Success and Elevating Black Excellence in the CSU: A Call to Action,” included 13 recommendations ranging from a comprehensive enrollment strategy to creating welcoming and affirming spaces on each campus. 

“The time is now, perhaps more than ever, 特别关注黑人学生在招生过程中的成就, retention and graduation,” said Cal State Long Beach Provost Karyn Scissum Gunn.  

她补充说,海滩大学招收的黑人本科生比例为3%.69%(2022年秋季学期))在长滩社区(12%)中“远远落后”.1%, according to U.S. Census data). In addition, 2016年秋季入学的科罗拉多州立大学黑人学生中,只有48%的人在六年内获得了学位, compared to 71.3% of their white peers.  

The Beach is doing its part to ensure Black student success, with numerous programs aimed at recruitment, enrollment, financial aid, academic success, mental and emotional wellness, and establishing a sense of community.  

Here’s a look at some of the efforts The Beach is making to advance Black student success and elevate the Black experience on campus. 

Preparation, recruitment and welcome

CLA students celebrate graduation

CSU Super Sunday 

Super Sunday is an annual CSU-wide event held in February, during Black History Month, at area African American churches. 

The CSU partners with faith-based leaders in churches across the state to discuss the importance of preparing for college, and the transformative power of a college education and degree. 

“超级星期天仍然是我们校园的重要推广活动, the CSU and our communities,” said President Jane Close Conoley earlier this year. “它帮助潜在的比奇学生意识到他们可以获得负担得起的教育, and that it is never too early to prepare for college, and never too late to return.” 

Last year, Provost Scissum Gunn and Beth Lesen, vice president of student affairs, 在两个长滩教堂:圣殿浸信会教堂和岩石基督教团契. Elijah Sims ’07, ’22, coordinator of student success & support at Long Beach City College and interim director of the Long Beach College Promise, visited Brister Baptist Church in Compton.  

Since its launch in 2005, 超过一百万人参加了基社盟的签名宣传活动 African American Initiative, which aims to increase the preparation, support, 黑人和非裔美国学生的保留率和学位获得率.  

Day at The Beach 

During the annual Day at The Beach – which takes place each April – a reception is aimed specifically toward admitted Black students. It’s hosted by Africana Studies, the Black Faculty and Staff Association, and the Black Students Union.  

During the reception, which includes lunch, faculty and staff greet prospective students and family members. They inform them of Black student opportunities and give them a sense of belonging and resources.  


Separately in April, the Black Beach Experience connects Black high school students with Black CSULB students to hear about their unique stories, experiences and opportunities. It’s hosted by the Black Student Union on campus. 

The Black Cultural Welcome is going to be held Sept. 12 on the first floor of the University Student Union. 这是即将入学的黑人学生与教职员工和同学见面的联谊会. 各学生团体亦会应邀出席,推广他们的活动. Africana Studies and other departments are also present to welcome new students and share their programs.

BOSS program 

The BOSS program (Business of Student Success) – an independent, Long Beach-based nonprofit – equips youth, especially Black and economically disadvantaged boys of color, with the tools and skills to succeed in all aspects of their lives. BOSS关注初高中男生的智力、身体和情感健康. BOSS注重STEAM学习和批判性思维能力的强化.  

Every summer, CSULB组织60-70名男孩参加为期两周的夏令营,让他们参与阅读, math, coding, robots and career and college counseling. They also play sports and often have sports and entertainment notables visit for inspirational speeches. CSULB的教师和学生担任演讲者、导师、教练和夏令营辅导员. 

Kagba Suaray, Ph.D., a math professor at The Beach, 是BOSS领导团队的成员,并担任其数学/STEM倡议顾问.  

“Through role modeling, 我们正在向年轻人展示,有像你这样的人在STEM领域取得了成就,” Suaray said. “There are (Black) inventors and innovators of the past. As a community, we need to light that spark up again.” 

Financial opportunities, scholarships  

Mary Jane Patterson Scholarship 

The Mary Jane Patterson Scholarship – named after the first African American woman to earn a bachelor’s degree from an established four-year college in the U.S. – was established at CSULB in 2019 as part of the Teachers for Urban Schools Project. The project was designed for students enrolled in a teacher education program at The Beach who are interested in teaching in urban classrooms and working with Black students. 

The Teachers for Urban Schools initiative was launched to address the nationwide shortage of teachers of color, particularly African American teachers. 

David Ifediba and Gigi Givens

Black Alumni Scholarship and Gala 

The Black Alumni Scholarship 为海滩学校的非裔美国学生提供经济支持. 由约翰·汉密尔顿(John Hamilton)于2021年创立,他曾是负责学生成功的副总裁 & equity, the scholarship offers support to qualified students for tuition, books, transportation and living expenses.  

Each year, CSULB faculty, staff and alumni organize a fundraising gala, typically in downtown Long Beach. 到目前为止,晚会已经为奖学金和CSULB的黑人资源中心筹集了大约30万美元. 

Farmers & 招商银行自该计划成立以来一直是其支持者. “Since the first meeting with Dr. Hamilton and Tracy (Kelly, student success & equity coordinator), we have been inspired by their devotion and mindful approach to providing support to students through the creation of a strong, 爱心社区致力于通过教育赋予学生力量,” said Tiffany Roberts, vice president of Farmers & Merchants Bank and director of the FMB Foundation.  

Eliminating achievement gaps in our communities by building and strengthening programs that lead to a more equitable future for all is one of the priorities of CSULB’s comprehensive No Barriers fundraising campaign

Catalyst for Change scholarship and internship 

Catalyst for Change provides scholarships and internships for CSULB students who are interested in social and racial justice. 

The program was established in 2020 in the memory of George Floyd, as well as honoring Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Ron Settles and countless other Black men and women who have suffered or died as a result of police brutality or inactivity.  

Catalyst for Change的资金来自Beach社区和Brotman-Skoff家族, who established an endowment to support the program. 

“We hope the Catalyst for Change program can give students the ability to gain meaningful work experience without having to sacrifice an income,” said Pegi, Gabi and Jeff Skoff. “The goal of this program is to holistically support students to build critical workplace skills that translate to a real advantage for them.”   

Academic support   

Kagba Suaray, math professor
Kagba Suaray, Ph.D., math professor and co-founder of the Hesabu Circle. He's also on the BOSS Program leadership team.

Hesabu Circle 

The Hesabu Circle – co-founded by CSULB mathematics professor Suaray – encourages more Black representation in STEM, particularly in the field of mathematics. “Hesabu” is the Kiswahili word for “mathematics.” Established during the protest-filled summer of 2020, Hesabu圈子旨在重建黑人数学成就者的身份.  

The group is a program designed to help Black students of all ages from around the world connect with Black math professionals and educators. 

Hesabu圈子举办了许多虚拟和面对面的活动, such as field trips, mentoring workshops, interactions between K-12 students and Ph.D. mathematicians, and professional development opportunities. 

Africana Studies Department 

The Africana Studies major is designed to provide students with a rich intellectual experience through the study of African peoples – continental and diasporan. Africana Studies seeks to critically examine and understand the Africana initiative and experience from an Afrocentric or African-centered perspective. 

非洲研究系有很多有成就的教员,包括 Maulana Karenga, Ph.D., chair of the department and founder of Kwanzaa.  

The Africana Studies Student Association is an affiliated group of students who major and/or are interested in the field.  

Black & Pan-African Scholars House 

Located in the H building of Parkside, the Black & Pan-African Scholars House provides a safe, 欢迎属于或支持校园黑人社区的学生. Living in this house offers opportunities to engage in discourse about the Black/African American/African experience on campus.  

Residents also receive mentorship from staff and faculty, and get a chance to explore their multiple identities, plan and attend events, and create friendships. 社区将居民与校园内的办公室/部门联系起来,并提供学术服务, social, wellness and cultural resources.  

Resources for students 

The Black Resource Center位于教师办公室4,是一个闲逛、学习和聚会的社区空间. It’s equipped with a microwave, fridge, computers and a printer, and is often used by clubs and organizations as a meeting space. 

The BRC provides scholarship and internship opportunities, and hosts culturally empowering programs and events, such as the Black Cultural Welcome. 助理导演保罗·卡特还组织了黑人/泛非毕业典礼, aka the Black Cultural Celebration. 

The Black Student Union 作为其他各种非裔美国人组织的保护伞, such as the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the National Society of Black Engineers, King II King, Queen II Queen and the Africana Studies Student Association. 

The BSU is the largest Black organization at CSULB. It promotes academic excellence, cultural consciousness, social responsibility and reconnection with family. The BSU aims to serve The Beach’s Black community, as well as the Black community through the greater Long Beach area. BSU还让非裔美国学生了解最新的事件和活动. 

Men’s Success Initiative 

The Men’s Success Initiative at CSULB is a program focused on cultivating a sense of brotherhood among students working toward graduation, and men of color who have found success. The program emphasizes three foundational tenets: 

  1. 赋予有色人种获得个人和学术成功的权利; 
  2. To challenge antiquated perceptions on gender and masculinity; and 
  3. Develop a thriving community of brothers by retaining (and graduating) undergraduate men of color.  

The initiative offers free tutoring, academic workshops, scholarship information, academic and personal advising and mentoring.  

The Men’s Success Initiative has also established many partnerships with on and off-campus organizations, such as 100 Black Men of Long Beach and the Math Collaborative at Jordan High School in Long Beach.  

For more information, check out the initiative’s website

Mental and emotional health 

CSULB为非裔美国学生提供了专门的心理健康资源. Black Table Talk is a recurring group session that occurs during the school year when folks want to talk about current events, 或者影响非裔美国人社区的高调事件, such as incidents of police brutality. 

如果需要更多的个人护理,学生可以要求与黑人治疗师一对一. Counseling and Psychological Services features two Black therapists, Dr. Shelly Collins and Nina King.  

Sister Friends is a weekly support group for Black women students. The group meets Thursdays from 1-2:30 p.m. in University Student Union, Room 204. For more information, check out Sister Friends’ Instagram page.