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Para To Speak At Antioch Church

Published: February 17, 2014

Reaching out to the local African-American community, CSULB Interim President Donald J. Para will speak at Antioch Church in Long Beach on Sunday, Feb. 23, at 10:30 a.m. as part of the California State University’s (CSU) Super Sunday, an initiative designed to inform young African Americans about the value of higher education and encourage them to pursue it.

Para is joining CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White, CSU trustees, other campus presidents, alumni and students who together will speak to nearly 100,000 youth and their families at a total of 113 churches throughout the state during the month of February.

“Encouraging African-American men and women to obtain a college degree is an important issue that requires collaboration between parents, teachers and religious and civic leaders,” Para pointed out. “Building those relationships is what Super Sunday is all about.”

Para noted that CSULB has been recognized nationally for improving the graduation rates of its African-American students. In 2004, the campus’ six-year graduation rate for African-American students was 38.1 percent, but by 2010, the rate improved to 50.7 percent, a 12.6 percent increase.

“Although more African-American students are succeeding in college, we can do better, and we have to,” he added. “By 2018, about 60 percent of all California jobs will require a college degree, and we want to make sure that each year more African-American students graduate from college and are able to compete for these jobs.”

Launched in 2005, CSU Super Sunday is an annual event where leaders throughout the 23 CSU campuses work together in a united effort to give underrepresented students the tools needed to successfully enter college. To date, almost 500,000 churchgoers have received information about financial aid, been introduced to the 23 CSU campuses and learned how to achieve academic success at the university.

“We are committed to bolstering the number of pathways to a university education for traditionally underrepresented students and producing highly-skilled graduates that will help meet the nation’s changing workforce needs,” said White. “Higher education changes the trajectory of life and by working with our partners throughout the state during Super Sunday, we can ensure that students are ready to enroll and succeed in college.”

Para To Speak At Antioch Church  In Long Beach
PHOTO BY DAVID J. NELSON
Donald J. Para

While President Para is in Long Beach on Sunday, White will take the pulpit during the 10:30 a.m. service at Trinity Baptist Church in Los Angeles.

After services at each of the churches, parents and students have the opportunity to engage with CSU representatives, obtain posters on “How to Get to College” and learn how to navigate CSUMentor.edu—a website that helps students explore campuses, majors and apply to the CSU.

Super Sunday is produced by the CSU African-American Initiative—a partnership between CSU campuses and African-American religious leaders with the goal of increasing college going rates among African-American students. Over the years, CSU Super Sunday has grown in both size—it started with 11 churches—as well as impact on students.

For more information about the list of participating churches, times of service and locations, go to the CSU Super Sunday website.

–Rick Gloady