By Imani Johnson
On Wednesday, March 21, The Rose Black Resource Center will celebrate its one-year anniversary at California State University, Dominguez Hills.
The Rose BRC’s mission seeks to measurably increase the quality of the black students’ experience from inquiry to alumni. According to the center, it attracted 1,255 students last semester.
Jonathan Henderson, the project coordinator of the Rose BRC, said in its first year the center has accomplished many things. One of the most important was getting African-American students more invested in culturally relevant on-campus events, Henderson said.
“One of the things students said when the center first started was that they didn’t have a lot of programs and events that spoke to themselves specifically as African-American students,” Henderson said.
The Rose BRC has provided a safe space for black students to gather, as well as chances at mentorships, social support and other resources.
“I’ve now been in leadership roles that I never thought I was going to be able to be in as a freshman,” said Zamyns Howard, a criminal justice major. “The Rose Black Resource Center has helped me [through] workshops for financial literacy, job opportunities and internships.”
The center’s biggest accomplishment this past year was creating a new support group at CSUDH.
“We started the only black women support group [that is] led by black women students called Talk To Me Sis,” Henderson said.
Outside of the center, internships and job opportunities for students have been made to help them while attending CSUDH, as well as in preparation for after graduation.
“Five are off-campus [and] 10 are on-campus partnerships,” Henderson said. “The off-campus partnerships, we’ve helped students get internships with nonprofit organizations and the on-campus partnerships help us to produce our programs and events.”
The Rose Black Resource Center has a lot ahead of them and plans on providing more resources in the coming years.
“Something I want to propose is getting an academic advisor in the Rose Black Resource Center,” Henderson said. “Culturally relevant programming, free printing and having a place to stay is great but, … the goal is to [graduate] and I think an academic counselor will provide students with some accountability.”
The Rose BRC wishes to reach more African-Americans on campus in the years to come.
“I want to reach every single Black Student on campus,” Henderson said. “That’s my goal. You might not come into the Black Resource Center, but at least you know there is one.”
Photo by Kyle Umeda.