California State University, Dominguez Hills Interim President Willie J. Hagan helped kick off CSU Super Sunday, a system-wide event held at nearly 100 predominately African American churches throughout the state in February and March, when he attended services at the historic First AME (FAME) Church of Los Angeles this past Sunday, Feb. 10, and spoke before the congregation about the importance of college.
Reaching more than 100,000 churchgoers, 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. It is in its eighth year.
During Super Sunday services this month and next the CSU chancellor, campus presidents, administrators, Board of Trustee members, alumni, and current students are invited to take the pulpit and educate families and the community about the requirements for students to successfully enter college and obtain a degree.
This year, CSU Dominguez Hills representatives will attend six services at local churches; the first two took place this past Sunday with President Hagan at FAME and alumna Jimmie Thompson (Class of ’92, B.A., political science) at Gospel Memorial Church.
|Speaker||Date||Church||Worship Service Time|
|Willie J. Hagan, President||Feb. 10||First AME Church, Los Angeles (FAME) 2270 South Harvard Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90018
|Jimmie Thompson, Alumna||Feb. 10||Gospel Memorial Church
1480 Atlantic Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90813
|Willie J. Hagan, President||Feb. 17||New Philadelphia AME Church
19100 Susana Road
Rancho Dominguez, CA 90221
|Gayle Ball-Parker, director of Alumni and Family Programs||Feb. 24||Church One
700 E. 70th Street
Long Beach, CA 90806
|Asja Hall, CSUDH 2012 Hearst/CSU Trustees’ Award Recipient||Feb. 24||Holy Trinity AME Church
200 East 68th Street
Long Beach, CA 90805
|Jimmie Thompson, Alumna||Feb. 24||Second AME Church
5500 South Hoover Street
Los Angeles, CA 90037
|8:00 am & 11:00 am|
This isn’t Thompson’s first time speaking for CSU Super Sunday or the first for CSU Dominguez Hills alumna and director of Alumni and Family Programs Gayle Ball-Parker (Class of ’78, B.A, psychology). On the CSU’s first-person blog, Voices and Views, Thompson shared last year why she participates in Super Sunday and what CSU Dominguez Hills means to her, writing “A big part of the reason I am such an advocate for the CSU is that I always felt welcomed on the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills.” Read the full blog entry here.
In 2011, Ball-Parker shared her thoughts on Voices and Views, as well. In her post she talks of her journey to higher education and the support of her family and church along the way.
“I know that the African American church is an important conduit to reach children and families,” she writes. “Many just do not have access to the information on how to get to college and how to pay for college. If no one in a family has ever attended college, just finding that information can be intimidating. The churches can help bridge that gap.”
Read Ball-Parker’s full blog entry here.
After the church service, parents and students receive information about financial aid and the CSUMentor.edu website that provides the tools to plan and apply to CSU campuses, as well as talk to CSU representatives and receive a How To Get To College poster – a practical guide about how to prepare for college. The guide – available in several languages as both a printed and electronic document – provides the list of classes that students need to take in grades six through 12 to qualify for admission to the CSU. It also provides tips for parents and mentors to help students succeed.
Over the years, CSU Super Sunday has grown in both size – it started in 2006 with eleven churches – as well as impact on students. For next fall, the number of applications CSU received from those self-identifying as African American jumped by almost six percent.
For more information about the list of participating churches, times of service and locations, go to the CSU Super Sunday website.
Visit the CSU External Relations website to learn more about the CSU African American Initiative and other community initiatives and partnerships to address college access for underserved communities.