California State University, Northridge’s Department of Africana Studies hosted its first Student Welcome Reception on Sept. 28.
Theresa White, department chair of Africana studies and CSUN faculty member for eight years, initiated and produced the event, which welcomed both new and continuing students of the department.
Students mingled, met many on- and off-campus African-American leaders, and learned about black organizations and the opportunities provided to them as students.
“The students have an opportunity to be enlightened about the resources here,” said White, whose goal for the event was to focus on student success.
Approximately 80 guests and speakers attended, and White said she hopes to expand the event in years to come.
“It’s always gratifying to put on an event, and it’s inspiring for me to have support and camaraderie for the Africana Studies Department,” she said.
White created the event with the 2025 Initiative in mind, which aims to improve four- and six-year graduation rates by the year 2025.
Among the attendees at the reception was Ma’Ronda George, a senior double major in Africana studies and child development. George is a member of the Zeta Phi Beta Inc. Sorority, president and facilitator of the Black Leadership Council, and a member of the Black House Committee. She read an original poem at the event titled, “CSUN Africana Studies Taught Me.”
The reception and similar Africana Studies events help cultivate student growth because attendees are able to see the department as a whole and learn what it has to offer, George said. She noted that she looks forward to seeing where the department will go from here.
“Seeing all these students express their love for Africana studies was a beautiful thing,” George said.