California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White and Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro will speak at two local African-American churches Sunday, Feb. 16, as part of CSU Super Sunday — the flagship event of the CSU African-American Initiative that focuses on closing the college achievement gap for African-American students.
White will speak at the 10:45 a.m. service of Saints Rest Baptist Church (1550 East Rev. Chester Riggins Ave.) with Minister Bryson White and Castro will speak at the 9 a.m. service of the West Side Church (1424 W. California Ave.) with the Rev. Paul Binion.
The two congregations are among nine predominantly African-American churches in Fresno — and more than 100 statewide — participating this month in CSU Super Sunday, a system-wide effort to inform communities about the opportunities to earn a college degree in California.
Throughout California, CSU campus presidents, trustees, the chancellor and other higher education officials will speak from the pulpit about college readiness and the possibilities for obtaining financial aid.
Other area churches being visited by Fresno State representatives Sunday are Bethesda Apostolic, Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church and Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church.
On Feb. 23, church visits will be made to Saints Community Church of God in Christ, Family Word Fellowship Church, New Beginnings Community Baptist Church and Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church. (See list below).
Dr. Castro also will visit Crenshaw Christian Center in Los Angeles (7901 S. Vermont Ave.) on Sunday, Feb. 23 for the 10 a.m. service with Pastor Fredrick K. Price, Jr.
After the services, parents and students can engage with CSU representatives, obtain posters on How to Get to College and learn how to navigate CSUMentor.edu — a website to help students explore campuses and majors, as well as apply to the CSU.
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,” White said. “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.”
The CSU African-American Initiative (AAI) is a partnership between CSU campuses and leaders in the African-American community dedicated to increasing the number of African America students who attend and graduate from college. In addition to the AAI, the CSU has formed many other partnerships aimed at increasing college opportunity for students of color and of underrepresented populations. These include initiatives for the Asian-American and Pacific Islander, Latino and Native American communities.
For more information, contact Frances Pena, Fresno State’s director of University Outreach Services at 559.278.2048.
CSU Super Sunday 2014 – Fresno State
SUNDAY, FEB. 16
9 a.m. — WEST SIDE CHURCH
Pastor Paul Binion
1424 W. California Avenue
Fresno, CA 93706
Fresno State speaker: Dr. Joseph Castro, President – California State University, Fresno
Volunteer staff: Mrs. Frances Pena, Outreach director, Ms. Kornya Lansana, and Ms. Mailee Lee, Outreach counselors.
10:30 a.m. — MOUNT OLIVE MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH
Reverend Edward B. Lee Jr.
101 W. Clinton Avenue
Fresno, CA 93705
Fresno State speaker: Ms. Melissa Knight, lecturer – Women Studies Program
Volunteer staff: Mrs. Melissa Rodriguez
10:45 a.m. — FELLOWSHIP MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH
Reverend Richard L. Daniels
2529 East Belmont Avenue
Fresno, CA 93701
Fresno State speaker: Dr. Cynthia Matson, vice president – Administrative Services & chief financial officer
Volunteer staff: Mr. Rick Chacon, Outreach Counselor
10:45 a.m. — SAINTS REST BAPTIST CHURCH
Minister Bryson White
1550 East Rev. Chester Riggins Ave
Fresno, CA 93706
CSU speaker: Dr. Timothy White, Chancellor, California State University System
Volunteer staff: Mrs. Frances Pena-Olgin, Outreach director, and Ms. Kornya Lansana, Outreach counselor
11 a.m. — BETHESDA APOSTOLIC CHURCH
Pastor Tobias Brookins
3723 East Dakota Avenue
Fresno, CA 93726-5106
Fresno State speaker: Dr. Ida Jones, director of the Central for Scholarly Advancement of Learning and Teaching (CSALT).
Volunteer staff: Ms. Louise Pacheco, Outreach counselor
SUNDAY, FEB. 23
9 a.m. — NEW BEGINNINGS COMMUNITY BAPTIST CHURCH
Reverend Angulus Wilson
5089 East McKinley Avenue
Fresno, CA 93727
E-mail: info@ nbcbc.org
Fresno State speaker: Dr. Hasan Johnson, Assistant Professor, Africana Studies
Volunteer staff: Ms. Louise Pacheco, Outreach Counselor
9:45 a.m. — SAINTS COMMUNITY CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST
Reverend Bruce E. McAlister
3740 E. Ashlan Avenue
Fresno, CA 93726
Fresno State speaker: Dr. Lynette Zelezny, associate provost – Academic Affairs
Volunteer staff: Mrs. Jennifer Page-Smith, Outreach counselor
10:30 a.m. — FAMILY WORD FELLOWSHIP CHURCH
Reverend Bruce Franklin
1444 West Shield Avenue
Fresno, CA 93726
(559) 312 3313
Fresno State speaker: Ms. Benita Washington, field faculty, Social Work Education
Volunteer staff: Mrs. Frances Pena-Olgin, Director, Outreach counselor
10:30 a.m. — RISING STAR MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH
Pastor Booker T. Lewis
1104 Collins Avenue
Fresno, CA 93706
Fresno State speaker: Mr. Thomas-Whit Ellis, Theatre Arts professor
Volunteer staff: Mr. Jesse Farias, Outreach counselor
- CSU External Relations
- CSU African American Initiative
- CSU Super Sunday website (list of participating churches statewide, service times, locations)
Photos by Cary Edmondson/University Communications