Programs and Services

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.

Core Programs

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.


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.