Super Sunday: President Mildred García Promotes Importance of College for African American Students at Crenshaw Christian Center
President Mildred García represented California State University, Dominguez Hills in a CSU Super Sunday event at Crenshaw Christian Center (CCC) on Sunday, Feb. 28 in Los Angeles. The systemwide initiative sends the presidents and other representatives of the 23 campuses to African American churches in their communities during Black History Month to inform and encourage parents and youth about the importance of higher education.
Introduced as the first Latina president of the CSU university system, García addressed the congregation with the need for the state and the nation to educate students of color so that they could carry on with the work of leaders like herself, CCC Pastor Fred Price, Jr., and television personality and philanthropist Tavis Smiley, who made a surprise appearance at the Sunday service.
“Let’s face it, without people of color, this country can’t progress, and we must make sure that every child is educated in the state of California so that they can become our leaders,” she said. “We can take the state out of the horrible fiscal crisis we’re in... and make sure our leaders [come from] students of color, who are going to take my job, Dr. Price’s, and Tavis Smiley’s and lead us through generations.”
García shared materials from the CSU’s “How to Get to College” campaign and underscored the need to prepare children from the sixth grade through high school with skills such as algebra to ensure their admittance to the college or university of their choice. She related her family’s commitment, despite her humble upbringing in Brooklyn, to “the importance of higher education.. and the doors it opens up to every one of us.”
“I stand before you as one of seven, the youngest girl from a very poor family in Brooklyn, New York, where my family worked in factories and did everything they could to first understand the faith of God and second, to understand how education opens doors,” she said. “I stand before you as the child of parents who made $50 a week, as president of Cal State University, Dominguez Hills and I want to give back to the community.”
García pointed out the fact that within the CSU system, one out of every 15 students is African American.
“I’m proud to say that at Dominguez Hills, 30 percent of our population is African American,” she added. “This is your university.”
- Joanie Harmon
Photo above: Sophomore Lindsay Smiley, a communication major, speaks to potential students and their parents about enrolling at CSU Dominguez Hills.
Photo by Joanie Harmon