San Bernardino, CA
Last week, the Pan-African Student Success Center was formally opened at a ribbon-cutting ceremony held in the university’s Santos Manuel Student Union Cross Cultural Center.
The Pan-African Student Success Center will help Cal State San Bernardino students with advising, tutoring, internship and scholarship resources, as well learning about their own culture.
“This is a milestone not only for our university but for the surrounding communities,” said committee member and SMSU facilities coordinator Anthony Roberson. “This center will give our students the opportunity to engage with faculty, staff, alumni, and community partners.”
CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales told the nearly 200 students, faculty, staff and visitors who attended the opening that the center will help current and future students. “It is the result of a collaborative effort that involved many segments of our campus community, none more engaged than our students.”
Morales continued, “Today we see the realization of those visions with the grand opening celebration of this center. It truly is a proud moment for all of us, establishing a resource that will benefit current students as well as the generations who follow.”
In addition to Morales, other speakers at the event included the co-founders of the university’s Black Scholars Matter: Cassandra Butcher, Alex Avila and Damarea Parker.
“The Pan-African Student Success Center is a cultural space for people that look like me, feel like me and identify like me. This is a space for you,” Butcher said. “In this center you don’t have to work twice as hard. You can be who you are and that will be enough. If you ever felt like no one cared about you on this campus, we want you to know that this center cares about you.”
Avila also commented, “In speaking with a civil rights activist on marches and protests, he talked about legacy, he talked about legacy in metaphor. Legacy is like a seed. When you plant the seed, you must water the seed and nourish the seed for it to continue to exist,” Avila said. “So legacy must be nourished, must be watered, taken care of.”
Parker, who also sang the Black National anthem to open the ceremony, said the center’s work has just begun.
For more information regarding the Pan-African Student Success Center, contact Damarea Parker at (909) 537-3519 or by email at damarea.parker@ csusb.edu.