Newswise — (August 31, 2021) – In partnership with Apple and California Governor Gavin Newsom, the California State University (CSU) is announcing the establishment of a Global Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Equity Innovation Hub to be housed on the California State University, Northridge (CSUN) campus.
The Global HSI Equity Innovation Hub at CSUN will work to transform HSIs throughout the CSU and nation in order to increase student success and equip Latinx and other historically underserved students with skills for high-demand careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
CSUN’s Global HSI Equity Innovation Hub will work in collaboration with other CSU campuses and HSIs across the nation to accelerate educational equity while ensuring students have the skills to succeed once they’ve earned their degrees.
“The CSU, the nation’s largest four-year higher education system, has long been a leader in serving Latinx students with 21 of our 23 campuses receiving HSI designation,” said CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro. “The CSU takes great pride in the work we have undertaken to provide pathways to STEM education that result in the careers that power the world’s fifth-largest economy. Through bold vision from our state’s leaders in Governor Newsom, Senator Padilla, Congressman Cárdenas and Assemblywoman Rivas, this is an exciting opportunity to collaborate with an outstanding partner in Apple and to leverage their cutting-edge and creative technologies with the intellectual capacities of world-class faculty to combine that work to benefit thousands of talented students in California and beyond.”
CSUN President Erika D. Beck agreed.
“By reframing serving through an equity and racial-justice lens, the Global HSI Equity Innovation Hub seeks to exponentially accelerate educational equity across the CSU system and nation,” CSUN President Erika D. Beck said. “The Equity Hub at CSUN is an ideal site to continue these ongoing, collaborative efforts, while also expanding the map across HSIs nationally, to capture proven strategies to the benefit of all. We aim to shift the conversation away from what students must do to be successful to what our institutions must do to successfully serve our Latinx and other diverse students.”
The hub is the result of a public/private partnership, and the building was made possible through a $25 million allocation in the 2021-22 California state budget and a donation from Apple.
“This exciting initiative showcases California’s commitment to create new pathways to success for all individuals, reinforcing the fact that our innovation economy continues to expand,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “Expanding equitable educational opportunities for the state’s largest population has been a goal of my administration, and this $25 million allocation—along with the donation from California-based Apple—will help accelerate that goal.”
In addition to the significant financial support Apple is providing for the Global HSI Equity Hub programming, it also will provide innovative Apple technology, design support and thought partnership as the project expands.
“We are focused on advancing enduring change, and our newest grant commitments will further that effort by supporting problem solvers and solution seekers in communities of color nationwide,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. “Education, economic opportunity and environmental justice are fundamental pillars to ensuring racial equity, and everyone has a role to play in this critical mission.”
California State University campuses awarded more than 26,000 undergraduate and graduate degrees in the STEM Fields in 2020-21. Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) are defined under the Higher Education Act (HEA) as colleges or universities where at least 25 percent of the undergraduate, full-time enrollment is Latinx; and at least half of the institution’s degree-seeking students must be low-income. Twenty-one of the CSU’s 23 campuses meet these criteria, allowing them to compete for federal funding to build institutional capacity that expands and enhances educational opportunities for their students, in particular Latinx and other students from historically underserved groups.
CSUN is annually among the nation’s leaders in awarding degrees to Latinx students, and more than 21,000 of the campus’ approximately 39,000 students enrolled in fall 2021 identified as Latinx.
A number of federal and state legislators were also instrumental in securing funding for the Hub.
“To support a highly educated workforce, develop future leaders, and build a more inclusive democracy and economy, we must ensure Latinx students thrive. I’m proud to see this public-private partnership launch in California, home to more Hispanic Serving Institutions than any state in the nation. And there’s no better location than CSUN—at the center of Southern California’s creative and tech economy,” said Senator Alex Padilla. “As the first Latino to represent California in the U.S. Senate and one of the few Senators with an engineering degree, I know firsthand the importance of increasing diversity in the institutions that shape our society. The Global HSI Equity Innovation Hub is a smart investment that will increase student success and equip Latinx and other diverse student groups with the skills necessary for high-demand careers in STEM.”
“Growing up in the ‘barrio’ of Pacoima, I was told it was too hard for people like me to go to college,” said Congressman Tony Cárdenas. “Luz [Rivas], Alex and I—all kids from ‘that side of town’—experienced people telling us that we could not do it. We all overcame that constant drumbeat of ignorance, all three of us became engineers and later elected leaders in the San Fernando Valley. Together we encouraged the California State University system, Apple and the State of California to create and build the Global HSI Equity Innovation Hub at California State University, Northridge, a Hispanic Serving Institution. The donation from Apple and the $25 million from the State of California will build off of CSUN’s existing work to nurture and inspire our next generation of Latino leaders in science and innovation. Luz, Alex and I are first-generation college graduates; we believe in supporting our youth to overcome all obstacles and achieve every single one of their dreams.”
“I am thrilled to have helped secure critical funding for the Global HSI Equity Innovation Hub in the state budget,” said Assemblywoman Luz Rivas (D-San Fernando Valley). “At its core, the Global HSI Equity Innovation Hub will provide much-needed services to our students coming from communities of color. CSU Northridge is a key economic and intellectual driver of the San Fernando Valley, and this new center gives the campus an opportunity not just to serve Californians, but to also serve as a worldwide destination for equity-driven learning. Congratulations to CSUN on this achievement and a thank you to Apple, Governor Gavin Newsom, Senator Alex Padilla and Congressman Tony Cárdenas for their work to make this project a reality.”
# # #