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Black Thriving Initiative to Receive $250,000 in CSU Funding

Black Thriving Initiative

Cal Poly Pomona’s Black Thriving Initiative will get a boost in funding thanks to a one-time grant from the California State University system.

The CSU recently announced plans to allocate $4.6 million to the 23 campuses to advance Black student success and elevate Black excellence systemwide. Cal Poly Pomona has been awarded $250,000, with $125,000 available immediately and the other half coming in November.

The funds will support these efforts at Cal Poly Pomona:

The university is in the process of allocating funds to targeted projects, according to Cindy Pickett, presidential associate for inclusion and chief diversity officer.

“With this funding from the CSU, we will be able to demonstrate immediate impact in these high priority areas,” Pickett said. “This is a first step in a broader, sustained effort to support the well-being and success of our Black students, faculty and staff. “

The awards are the result of a pledge the CSU has made to allocate $10 million from 2024 to 2027 or programs and projects to advance Black student success. The “Black Student Success Report,” released last June, articulated 13 recommendations for the CSU to support Black students and addressing issues such as Black student enrollment, retention and graduation rates. 

“Leaders — at the system level and across the CSU’s 23 universities — are thinking broadly and acting boldly to advance institutional change and further the momentum of the Black Student Success report,” said CSU Chancellor Mildred Garcia. “With a primary focus on ensuring that Black students attain their academic goals and are positioned for a lifetime of success, we also intend this funding the strengthen enrollment and retention efforts, improve classroom experiences, and bolster staff and faculty development across the system.”

Cal Poly Pomona launched its Black Thriving Initiative in December 2022, the first of its kind in the CSU. The initiative was developed after listening sessions and data from a recent Black student, staff, and faculty wellbeing assessment revealed deeply troubling statistics — including that 87 percent of Black students indicated they feel they cannot be their authentic selves at the institution without fear of repercussion.

The results of that assessment prompted the university to plan a series of events, including a symposium, listening sessions and workshops to raise awareness of the issues facing CPP’s Black community and design strategies for addressing them.

As part of those ongoing efforts, all students, faculty and staff are invited to join the Office of Inclusive Excellence and the CSU in celebrating Juneteenth this year!