UC San Diego News Center


Improving the Pipeline for Academic Success Center of UC San Diego’s Black History Month Celebration

Author, educator and CNN contributor Steve Perry keynote speaker for 15th annual signature fundraiser on Feb. 25

UC San Diego will recognize significant figures in African-American education with events from January through March that honor this year’s Black History Month celebration, themed Crisis in Black Education: UC San Diego Improving the Pipeline for Academic Success. The month of activities will culminate with the Black History Month Scholarship Brunch from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 25 in the campus’s Price Center West Ballrooms with keynote speaker Steve Perry. Perry is an education contributor for CNN and MSNBC and a best-selling author who has dedicated his career to increasing opportunities for those from underserved communities to earn college degrees.

Perry is founder and principal of what U.S. News and World Report has cited as one of the top schools in the country, Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, Conn. Capital Preparatory has sent 100 percent of its predominantly low-income, minority, first-generation high school graduates to four-year colleges. The Black History Month signature scholarship brunch raises funds for student scholarships and recognizes student achievements.

“This year’s celebration of Black History Month recognizes the rich contributions African-Americans have made to U.S. history,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “The events also bring attention to the important role education plays in providing upward social mobility for diverse communities around the world. We are committed to improving college access and affordability – through initiatives such as the Black Academic Excellence Initiative – and creating an inclusive environment that is welcoming to all.”

Becky Petitt, UC San Diego’s Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, added: “UC San Diego continues to increase its outreach efforts to high schools and community colleges throughout the state to deliver the message to students and families of all backgrounds that a UC San Diego education is accessible. These efforts have resulted in attracting and enrolling a diverse student body that continues to grow.”

For fall 2016, UC San Diego admitted its most diverse class with 24 percent coming from historically underrepresented groups. At the freshman level, the largest increase of 58 percent came from Mexican-American students, which was followed by Black students at 38 percent and Latino students at 28 percent. For transfers, the largest increase of 46 percent came from Black students followed by Native Americans at 31 percent, Latinos at 30 percent and Mexican-Americans at 27 percent.

In addition, the diversity of UC San Diego’s applicants for fall 2017 continued to increase with 35 percent of California resident freshmen coming from historically underrepresented populations, up 10.6 percent compared to last year. The largest increase came from African-American applicants (up 12 percent), followed by Latino and Mexican-Americans students (up 11 percent).


Steve Perry

As a noted innovator in education, Perry also appears regularly on CNN and MSNBC, and is an Essence Magazine columnist as well as host of the No. 1 docudrama for TVONE, “Save My Son.”

His best-selling books include “Push Has Come to Shove: Getting Our Kids the Education They Deserve—Even If It Means Picking a Fight” and “Man Up! Nobody is Coming to Save Us.”

Pamela Frugé, chair of the Black History Month Planning Committee, added that Perry’s efforts as principal of Capital Preparatory Magnet School coincide with the campus’s Preuss School UCSD. Also named a top high school by U.S. News and World Report, The Preuss School requires that all prospective students be from a low-income family and have no parent or guardian who has graduated from a four-year college. Preuss graduates are consistently accepted to four-year colleges and universities at a rate of more than 90 percent.

Event highlights of UC San Diego’s Black History Month Celebration, many of which are free and open to the public, include the following. All event details can be found at

  • Feb. 9, 3:30 to 5 p.m., The Crisis in Black Education: Lessons Learned from The Preuss School UCSD—This lecture examines the opening of The Preuss School UCSD and its ongoing contribution to diversity. Location: Social Science Building #101.
  • Feb. 16, 3:30 to 5 p.m., Film: Agents of Change Accompanied by a Round Table Discussion—This film explores student protests and change from the late 1960s to the present. The film will be followed by an African-American Studies Research Center-led panel discussion and Q&A session. Location: Social Science Building #101.
  • Feb. 22, 7 to 8 p.m., History of Life: In memory of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall—This event honors his story and Marshall College history. Location: TBD.
  • Feb. 28, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., ThurGOOD Reads: Angela Davis, An Autobiography—Originally published in 1974, The New York Times noted that for Davis, “writing was not an act of self-discovery; it was an act of political communication.” In it, Davis, a UC San Diego alumna, explores her upbringing, evolving political consciousness, and emerging politics. The event will feature discussion of the book, Davis’s activism, and how the newly opened Angela’s Space in Marshall College came to be named after Davis. Location: Angela’s Space, located on the ground level of Ocean View building in Marshall College.
  • Feb. to March., Tell Us How UC It: A Living Archive Exhibit—This collection of photographs will highlight UC San Diego’s rich history of student activism. The archival exhibit will reflect on how student-led transformative action has been with the university since the beginning, especially in moments of crisis. Location: Geisel Library, 2nd (main floor), near Seuss Room.
  • Feb. 25, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., 15th Annual UC San Diego Black History Month Scholarship Brunch—In addition to a keynote speech from Perry, the event will include recognition of student scholars, a Southern-style soul food brunch with music provided by national recording jazz harpist Mariea Antoinette, as well as a silent auction. All proceeds from the silent auction go toward student scholarships. Location: Price Center West Ballroom. Tickets to the brunch may be purchased online. For more information, call (858) 822-5248 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

All UC San Diego events related to Black History Month are coordinated by the Black History Month Planning Committee. Black History Month is a federally recognized, nationwide celebration that provides the opportunity for all Americans to reflect on the significant roles that African-Americans have played in the shaping of U.S. history.