By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Cal State San Bernardino welcomed about 300 male African-American and Latino high school students for the university’s fourth annual Black and Brown Conference held at the university’s Santos Manuel Student Union on Friday, Nov. 2.
CSUSB staff, faculty, administrators, students, visitors and university mascot Cody Coyote formed a welcome “Coyote Mob” as they stood along both sides of a walkway leading to the student union, giving high-five greetings and shaking hands with the high school visitors as they walked to the start of the conference.
The initial conference began four years ago when the young men — who came from five Inland Empire school districts in Colton, Fontana, Rialto, San Bernardino and Victorville — were in the eighth grade. The program was created to provide the students with early college awareness, preparedness and information to increase the number of African-American and Latino males who enroll and graduate from college.
The students were a mix of high school grades from freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors, some of whom had been to the earlier three conferences, said Felix Zuniga, a conference organizer, now working at the CSU Chancellor’s Office in Long Beach.
The conference featured keynote speakers, breakout workshops and tours of the campus focusing on various topics that included admissions, cultural capital, self-actualization, financial management, health and wellness, sense of belonging, and social justice. The day also included a conversation with law enforcement.
The young men not only received critical college information and the opportunity to talk about relevant issues facing young students today, but they also connected with the CSUSB community and established ongoing mentor/mentee relationships to help them on their educational pathway to college.
The Black and Brown Conference is a collaborative effort among the Santos Manuel Student Union, the Division of Information Technology Services, the Office of Student Success and Educational Equity, the Office of Admissions and Student Recruitment, the Office of Student Engagement, the Office of Advising and Academic Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, and the College of Education.
The conference is sponsored by the Office of the President, the University Diversity Committee, the John M. Pfau Library, the Santos Manuel Student Union, the College of Arts and Letters, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the College of Education, the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration, and the Office of Student Success and Educational Equity.
CSUSB is nationally recognized for its leadership role in changing the face of U.S. higher education. A reflection of the region’s dynamic diversity, CSUSB, which has the most diverse student population of any university in the Inland Empire, and the second highest African-American and Latino enrollments of all public universities in California, is considered a model of access and excellence in higher education.
For more information about the Black and Brown Conference, email firstname.lastname@example.org.