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Black Expo, Super Sunday mark big weekend of outreach to Black students and families

Sacramento State administrators visited several local historically Black congregations during Super Sunday on Feb. 24, 2020 to talk about the benefits of college education, connect with congregants, and encourage worshipers and their families to consider attending Sac State. This year's Super Sunday event will be virtual and held Feb. 27. The outreach is part of a California State University-wide effort to increase the number of Black students enrolling in and graduating from the system. (Sacramento State/Jessica Vernone)

Sacramento State will be involved in two events this weekend to support and celebrate Black students and their communities during the final weekend of Black History Month.

The Sacramento Black Expo and Super Sunday are part of the University’s ongoing efforts to attract and retain Black students and to reach out to Black communities.

On Saturday, Feb. 26, inside the University Union, the Sacramento Black Expo will offer workshops, exhibits, and seminars on topics such as careers, home buying, health care, and college admissions. Blues, jazz, and hip-hop music will be featured, and vendors will serve food outdoors in Serna Plaza.

All participants must wear face coverings and show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of attendance at the event, which runs 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and is free and open to the public. COVID-19 tests and vaccinations will be available at a mobile health clinic on the premises.

On Sunday, Feb. 27, the Expo will present an awards dinner and concert featuring R&B singer Chante Moore. Among the honorees is Robin Carter, retired dean of the College of Health and Human Services at Sac State and now a special assistant to President Robert S. Nelsen. Tickets to the event can be purchased online.

Carter, whose career with the University spans 33 years, will be recognized for her contributions toward building equity for Black students. Across her various roles with Sac State, Carter said she is most proud of her mentorship of students, many of whom have “gone on to have impactful careers and continue to make meaningful contributions to their communities.”

Sac State “has come a long way” in its efforts toward inclusivity for students of color, she said. “But we still have work to do. That’s why I’m glad to come back to the University after a year of retirement. I want to continue to be a part of this transformation.”

Tables, presenters and attendees in the University Union ballroom during the Sacramento Black Expo
The Sacramento Black Expo, seen here in 2020, is expected to draw hundreds of Black students and their families to campus on Feb. 26 to attend workshops, exhibits, and seminars on topics such as careers, home buying, health care, and college admissions. (Sacramento State/Student Affairs)

 

Sunday also marks the annual Super Sunday event, during which Sac State and the California State University system will conduct outreach to congregations of traditionally Black churches.

This year, Sac State’s event will take place online, with Zoom sessions geared toward prospective college students and their families.

Participating churches include Center of Praise Ministries, St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, Shiloh Baptist Church, Antioch Progressive Church, Common Ground, O Logos Alive, Calvary Christian Center, City Church of Sacramento, Murph-Emmanuel AME Church, Future Community Church, South Sacramento Christian Center, Friendship Christian Ministries, and Genesis Church.

About 6% of Sac State students are Black, compared to an overall population of 13% in Sacramento.

Super Sunday will offer participants an opportunity to gather information about financial aid, admissions, and various forms of student support, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Center and the Educational Opportunity Program. University administrators will talk about their journeys in higher education.

“Super Sunday is a powerful display of the campus and community coming together to empower, enlighten, and inspire excellence in higher education access and success,” said Marcellene Watson-Derbigny, Sac State’s associate vice president for Student Retention and Academic Success. The event allows regional leaders “to see the broad and global outreach that makes Sacramento State such a dynamic and transformative campus,” she said.

That commitment is reflected in Sac State’s rising graduation rates, she added, which have improved among all students in recent years, including Black students.

Sac State also has significantly closed the equity gap affecting students of color. The gap, reflecting the difference in graduation rates between traditionally underserved minority students and others, shrunk from a high of nearly 12 percent two years ago to about 4 percent last year.

If trends continue, Sac State will achieve or surpass most of the 2025 graduation goals that CSU has set for the University, said James Dragna, executive director of University Initiatives and Student Success.

 

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About Cynthia Hubert

Cynthia Hubert came to Sacramento State in November 2018 after an award-winning career writing for the Sacramento Bee. Cynthia believes everyone has a good story. She lives in East Sacramento with her two cats, who enjoy bird-watching from their perch next to the living-room window.

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