California State University East Bay

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California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

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President Visits Churches as Part of Black History Month

CSU East Bay’s President Qayoumi reaches out to local churches to recruit more African American students

CSUEB President Mo Qayoumi encourages members of Glad Tidings Church in Hayward to attend the university. The annual “Super Sunday” project aims to increase African American student participation in colleges and universities.

Although CSU East Bay may literally be a university on a hill, metaphorically its campus remains on ground level, firmly entrenched within the communities of Hayward and the surrounding area.

In continuation of this mission, CSUEB President Mohammad Qayoumi spoke at Hayward’s Glad Tidings Church on Sunday. The event marked just one of the many held around the Bay Area in observance of Black History Month.

The membership of Glad Tidings Church is predominantly, though not exclusively, African American.

“Education is a roadmap to achieve the American Dream,” Qayoumi told the crowd. “This can be achieved through the CSU [system].”

Qayoumi related his own experience growing up in Afghanistan, where his parents did not have the opportunity to go to college.

“My parents fostered in me a dream and a burning desire to achieve an education,” said Qayoumi.

CSUEB’s chief administrator also pointed out the challenges that many African Americans face trying to obtain a higher education in this country. “A lot more has to be done,” he said. “Today, only one in five African American students will have the opportunity to go to college.”

Despite these challenges, CSUEB and the entire CSU system have led the way in opening the once-locked gates of higher learning for minority students. “It’s the largest, most diverse university system, with the highest number of African American students,” said Qayoumi, referring to the CSU.

To back up this claim, CSUEB hosts annual admissions workshops for local African American and Latino high school students in order to lay out the roadmap that will lead them back to campus as students. Qayoumi also stated that the University will hold a similar workshop on the campus of Glad Tidings Church.

The results of CSUEB’s outreach to the African American community are tangible. Almost 13 percent of CSUEB students identify as African American, compared to 4 percent at UC Berkeley and 1 percent at San Jose State. This number can also be seen as a sign of success, considering that Census data shows that 13.2 percent of Alameda County’s population is Black.

The service also featured an address by former Oakland mayor and chancellor of Peralta Colleges Elihu Harris.

“Black History Month is the month we look at those who came before us,” said Harris, addressing the congregation.

“If you didn’t get up with the idea that I need to get an education, that I need to serve my family, then you are not in school.”

As Glad Tidings’ Senior Bishop J.W. Macklin stood up to deliver his weekly sermon, he invited the young people in attendance to come to the front and shake President’s Qayoumi’s hand, stating, “next time it will be when you achieve a college degree.”

“Today Cal State Hayward, tomorrow Washington D.C.,” said Macklin, as the crowd cheered.

The event would make anyone affiliated with CSUEB proud to be part of a campus community that can truly claim to be representative of the greater community in which it coexists. This was only a dream when politicians and educators began designing the State College for Alameda County in 1957, as part of what would become known as the California Master Plan for Higher Education. Since then, our school and our society has come a long way, but there is still much to be done.

This Black History Month we can all take pride in knowing that our dreams and aspirations are represented in the faces of CSUEB students, whose eyes turn ever forward to the future.

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California State University East Bay
President Visits Churches as Part of Black History Month