Friday, October 20, 2017
USC’s Center of Black Cultural and Student Affairs has always embraced the Black Student Body
By Shonassee Shaver
Published February 20, 2014

A Day in the life at CBCSA headquarters.

Photo Courtesy of CBCSA

In order for a college student to thrive, he or she needs a place to call home, a place where he can feel valued and important. The Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs (CBCSA) provides that for Black students, where one can escape the classroom and dorm life that may leave them feeling alone and different at USC.

The CBCSA welcomes Black students to the Trojan family at the University of Southern California where they work towards creating the best learning environment for students of African descent and the Trojan family at large.

University of Southern California was established in 1880 and is a predominantly white University.

In 1977, the Black Student Services Department was established under the Department of Campus Life, this was to ensure that the college career of Black students would be supported, funded and embraced.

The lack of college services and courses created an upheaval resulting in an increase in faculty, staff, students and programs. The first director of the Black Student Services Department was Mr. Willis Edwards.

In 1999, the Department of Black Student Services Department was changed to the Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs, Corliss Bennett-McBride became the current Director.

McBride’s position in office has offered new programs based on the needs and wants from the student body including African American Cultural Celebration, Annual Soul Food Dinner during Trojan Parent Weekend, and Black Welcome Week.

CBCSA’s programs and activities provide an outlet and sense of belonging for Black students. They are afforded the luxury of an “Alternative Spring Break: Civil Rights Movement” The students take part in group outings to historic sites that played a crucial role in the Civil Rights Movement. This trip also provides the students with a unique opportunity to contribute to the community by helping to build a house with Habitat for Humanity Montgomery for a family in need.

Then there is the “Howard University Exchange Program” an HBCU Exchange Program that SC students to experience college life at a historically black college or university and to examine academic and cultural themes within the framework of a different educational system.

Established in 1995, Somerville Place is a residential community named after John and Vada Somerville. This community creates an environment where academic success, leadership, self-direction, and personal growth are nurtured by successfully transitioning first-year students into university life.

Trojans who came before us….

Paul R. Williams

John Alexander Somerville and Vada Watson

Shonda Rhimes

O.J. Simpson

Paula Patton

Levar Burton

John Singleton

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