California Community Colleges Celebrate 5th Edition of Black Student Success Week


The California Community Colleges system marks its fifth anniversary of intentional advocacy for a better future for Black students with its annual Black Student Success Week, April 22-26. The series of virtual events is expected to draw more than 5,000 students, parents, educators, college administrators, and community and civic leaders throughout the week.

In 2020, a dedicated coalition of leaders and advocates within the California Community Colleges pioneered the creation of Black Student Success Week. This annual event, observed during the last week of April, offers a time for stakeholders across the state to advance the system’s commitment to increasing enrollment and the academic well-being of Black and African American students.

Since 2020, the California Community Colleges system has experienced an increase in statewide headcount, with at least an 8% gain for fall of 2023 compared to the previous fall. This puts the system on track for over 2 million students for the year. Even more encouraging is that some of the California Community Colleges strongest enrollment growth has been in students from groups historically underrepresented in higher education, including Black students, Hispanic/Latino students, students with disabilities, and students aged 35 and older.

The enrollment increases are a result of various system wide efforts, including Black Student Success Week, which not only brings attention to obstacles that prevent Black students from enrolling in college, but also opens dialogue around action needed to increase completion rates and close the achievement gap. All are encouraged to listen in and join the important dialogue.

“We have seen progress with increased enrollment, but our work is not done,” said Dr. Keith Curry, President and CEO of Compton College and Chairman of the Black Student Success Week Committee. “We must be persistent in addressing the issues so that students not only enroll in college, but also complete courses and return each semester to graduate, receive their certificate, or transfer to a four-year university to complete a bachelor’s degree.”

This year’s theme, Building a Better Future Together: the Urgency is Now, will focus on innovative approaches to ensure Black students succeed in community colleges. The daily workshops start with The Black Hour at 12 p.m. The workshops are open to community college administrators, staff, faculty, practitioners, students, and all interested parties.

The workshops are followed by The After Party,an hour-long small group discussion on the topic of the day. In the evenings, returning for the second year is The Student Hour, a student-centered series presented by the California Community Colleges Campaign to share information regarding resources to help Black community college students succeed.

Finally, The Blackout Advocacy Day takes place April 25 with an opportunity for constituents to engage with local elected officials and higher education policymakers to discuss key priorities. Past advocacy called for increased college affordability and intentional funding for dedicated programs and spaces for Black students to thrive at all California community colleges.

“The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and Board of Governors are excited about the overwhelming success of Black Students Success Week over the years,” said Pamela Haynes, California Community Colleges Board of Governors. “We are grateful for the planning committee and the many partners who coordinate this extraordinary effort, which is in direct alignment with the system’s Vision 2030, a collaborative action plan that acts as a roadmap for our focus on equity, access, and support for students.”

More information can be found on the new Black Student Success Week website at The website provides information regarding the week’s activities, including registration, the schedule of events, and an overview of topics.

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