​Newswise — During the 16th annual Super Sunday celebration on February 28, 2021, California State University leaders, including Chancellor Joseph I. Castro, campus presidents, administrators, students and alumni, joined more than 100 predominantly African American churches across the state to share stories, information and personal experiences with future students and their families about the transformative power of higher education.

As part of the West Angeles Church of God in Christ's Sunday service, Chancellor Castro shared his inspiring personal story​ and assured future students that attending college is attainable and life changing. 

“I am the grandson of a dreamer from Mexico. I am the son of farmworkers. I am the first in my family to graduate from college, raised by grandparents and my single mother who worked very hard to give me the opportunities they didn't have," said Castro. “Higher education transformed my life. I assure you that no matter your circumstances, the CSU is within your reach. It is affordable and it will change your life."

​This year Super Sunday was conducted virtually for the first time ever due to coronavirus safety protocols and travel restrictions. Live and pre-recorded messages of hope and encouragement from CSU leaders were shared during worship services throughout the state.

Since its launch in 2005, more than a million people have attended this signature event of the CSU's African American Initiative, which aims to increase the preparation, retention and degree attainment of African American students.

Outreach to underrepresented communities, strengthening community partnerships and encouraging a college-going culture is critical to closing equity gaps for students. Eliminating equity gaps is one of the key goals of CSU's Graduation Initiative 2025. The initiative has continued to set record completion rates, awarding an all-time high of 109,450 bachelor's degrees for the 2019-20 academic year while narrowing equity gaps.

The CSU is committed to fostering a vibrant community of diverse students, faculty, staff and administrators, all focused on one thing: student success. To learn more about the CSU's commitment to inclusive excellence, visit our website