USC Student Affairs
USC CBCSA Home University of Southern California

The mission of the Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs (CBCSA) is to create an afrocentric, holistic learning environment, for academic, social and professional development, and civic engagement for all members of the USC community. CBCSA strives to develop an environment that encourages the intellectual, professional, as well as social and cultural growth of Black students entering and completing degree programs. The five major areas of focus include: Cultural and Community Awareness; Leadership; Professional Development; Social Enrichment; and Retention.


Alternative Spring Break: Civil Rights Movement
Application submission deadline: November 2013

This powerful week-long trip takes a group of USC students on an exciting adventure throughout the rural south during Winterbreak (March 2013). 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 . Please contact the CBCSA for more information on this great trip.


Distinguished Speaker Series

The purpose of the Series is to create a greater sense of community by introducing students to faculty from various disciplines to discuss important themes impacting the black community locally and globally. Students will explore ideas, concepts, historical and current events that will challenge students to shift from cultural knowledge to cultural competence.

  • Student will be able to identify at least one black USC faculty from outside their classroom experience.
  • Students will be able to articulate core issues that affect the black community locally, nationally and globally.
  • Students will be able to critically analyze the issues and their impact on the black community.
  • Students will be able to develop ideas on ways to serve as advocates for change.


Dr. Thomas Kilgore Honor Showcase
Applications Coming Soon!

The Dr. Thomas Kilgore Academic Showcase promotes students of academic excellence, who are recognized for their achievements in research. Current undergraduates and graduate students are encouraged to share their research and are supported towards their future career aspirations. This is a unique opportunity to exhibit and share examples of research and creativity with the University and local community. Students may present work in a variety of ways, such as through poster or panel sessions, art exhibits, and electronic media.


Howard University Exchange Program
Applications Coming Soon!

The HBCU Exchange Program allows 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. Students will explore the distinctive opportunities offered by a HBCU while further exploring the diversity of the black community in a unique and supportive environment.

  • Students will examine and identify the unique qualities of a HBCU college experience
  • Students will be able to articulate and apply different academic models acquired through the exchange institution to what they have and will learn at USC
  • Students will be able to compare and contrast cultural themes at a HBCU to those explored at USC
  • Students will be able to articulate characteristics that make the black community a diverse a community
  • Students are encouraged to integrate their experiences at the HBCU upon their return to USC


Somerville Place
Somerville Place is a residential community established in 1995 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. This successful transition allows residents to excel academically and emerge as campus leaders. Somerville Place also aims to foster an understanding of and respect for black culture, while cultivating a sense of family and community

Excel Leadership Program
The purpose of the Excel Leadership Program is to equip students with complimentary leadership styles that will create a sense of community, help students identify and cultivate their own leadership styles, and create ambassadors for African-centered leadership principles campus-wide. The annual retreat and workshops serve to assist students in leaving a lasting legacy. It includes partnerships with the Black Student Assembly, Office of Black Alumni Programs, Campus Activities, Faculty and Staff, and off-campus partners.


Black Welcome Week: August 30 –September 15, 2013
Black Welcome Week is a collaborative effort between CBCSA, the Black Student Assembly (BSA), and black student organizations aimed to introduce new and returning students to the multiple and diverse cultural events and opportunities that are part of the Trojan experience. Activities range from engaging students in civic and community involvement to indulging in cultural foods while socializing with students, faculty and staff. Don't miss out on this great opportunity to engage in this Trojan family tradition.

Black Family Weekend: October 24-27, 2013
Held in conjunction with USC’s Trojan Family Weekend, CBCSA and the Black Student Assembly invite students and their parents to an annual Soul Food Dinner on Friday evening, a Family Tailgate on Saturday and Worship Service and Brunch on Sunday. Students, family, friends, faculty, staff and alumni are invited.

Black History Month: February 1-28, 2014
Black History Month serves to promote, preserve, interpret and disseminate information to the university community about life, history and culture of descendants of the African Diaspora.

African American Recognition Dinner & Cultural Celebration: May 14-15, 2014
Bridging our past with our present, this annual celebration serves as traditional rites of passage that recognizes and affirms students of African descent who have completed a rigorous journey through academia at USC. This largely attended and highly anticipated event unites students, families, and friends through culture and achievement. The ceremony is traditionally held on the Thursday evening before USC commencement, honoring undergraduate, graduate and professional school students.


Project ReMix: Exploring the Mixed Race Generation

Project ReMiX is a monthly, interactive discussion series aimed to explore issues facing the mixed race generation- a growing population in the U.S. and especially at USC. It introduces students who might not otherwise seek out the specific cultural centers for resources and support. The program’s partners are Asian Pacific American Student Services (APASS) and El Centro Chicano (ECC).


Black QueerStory

“A queer black mobilehomecoming” is a monumental journey in celebration of the bravery and genius of the trailblazers of the black queer/lesbian/gender-non-conforming community. Julia Wallace of Queer Renaissance and Alexis Pauline Gumbs of Broken Beautiful Press hit the road in their environmentally sustainable RV and travel across the country to learn, document and transmit the legacies of brave black queer warriors who have been transforming the meaning of life since the 1980's or earlier and hosting amazing intergenerational community education events all over the US.

Unity through Community: Black & Latino Overnight Experience
The Overnight Experience gives newly admitted high school seniors the opportunity to experience life at USC by staying overnight with a current USC student after an entertaining and engaging evening of events. The purpose of the Overnight is to assist in the recruitment of African American and Latino students by exposing them to the student experience at USC. The program’s partners are the Office of Admission, El Centro Chicano, Black Student Assembly, and Latino Student Assembly.


Pre-College and Community College Outreach:
The Center for Black Cultural & Student Affairs is committed to providing visiting students with insight into college life, encouraging them to pursue higher education despite current and foreseeable obstacles. Targeting students from as early as 4th grade through the community college level, participants typically take a university tour followed by a presentation headed by one or more CBCSA staff members. Most presentations include a panel of USC’s African-American students of diverse backgrounds who share their rich and varied college experiences. The panel concludes with answering any questions that visiting students may have concerning college life. This outreach program serves as another vehicle for USC students to give back to the community while enhancing their experience at USC.


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