Who We Are

African Student Programs is a family, and like a family, we want you to succeed academically, professionally and personally. We can help you achieve your UCR goals, connect with peers, celebrate and share cultural traditions, open doors to internships and jobs, and grow as a true leader and scholar extraordinaire. You are an important part of our family and we can’t wait to see what you achieve.


  • Encourage students to assist faculty members in their research, network with other students and alumni, and get involved in campus and community programs.
  • Assist students in locating internships, fellowships and jobs.
  • Refer students to critical UCR support services such as the Career Center, the Academic Resource Center and the Counseling Center.
  • Provide students with the history, culture and traditions unique to the African and African-American experience.
  • Offer opportunities for students’ leadership development.


ASP timeline

Our Mission

Born from the historic struggles against oppression in all forms, African Student Programs was created in 1972 to sustain a socially just and inclusive campus community. At a time when students of African descent experienced a lack of support due to low numbers in population, African Student Programs served as a safe haven for students to congregate, discuss, plan and share as a community. As people of the African Diaspora, we honor our multiple identities and cultures and advocate for their inclusion in defining the values of the university.

Recognizing the connection between individual academic success, social responsibility and community success, we promote multiple opportunities for students and the University of California, Riverside to engage in continuing growth as a learning community.

Our purpose is to promote academic excellence by providing opportunities for students in their development as role models, leaders, scholars and professionals.

In the context of the campus and student populations we were created to serve, we carry out our mission by providing the following:

  • Academic enrichment and development
  • Student leadership development
  • Non-academic advising, counseling, and crisis intervention
  • Educational and cultural programming
  • The African Student Programs Mentorship Program
  • Assessment and enrichment of campus climate
  • Community outreach and involvement
  • Collaborative programming with student clubs and organizations, academic departments, faculty and alumni
ASP fun

Our Proud History 

The Beginning

In 1968, an estimated 60 students led by Charles Jenkins founded the Black Student Union at UCR. Soon after, in 1969, the group helped originate the Black Studies Department. The major was dissolved in 1970 and categorized as an interdisciplinary study instead. The newly formed Black Student Union remained active though and, along with those involved in the former Black Studies department, remained committed to giving value to the Black student experience.

An Evolution

Throughout the ‘70s, many old Highlander articles referenced organizations such as “Black Students United” and “Black Student Activities,” but it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact date when what we think of as African Student Programs became “official.” In general, 1972 is the agreed-upon date. It was during this time period that the former Black Studies Department emerged as a natural gathering space for students of African descent, as well as a distinct resource for additional student services and support. The space was a place for Black students to call their own, much like the African Student Programs office is today.


In 1979, Black Student Activities, under the guidance of Kathryn Jones, became Black Student Programs and was recognized as an official entity. In the fall of 1998, African American undergraduate enrollment surpassed the 500 mark with 505 students enrolled. That same year, student leaders organized to change the department name from Black Student Programs to African Student Programs. In fall of 2003, enrollment of African American students at UCR surpassed the 1,000 mark with 1,013 students enrolled. Currently, UCR has the largest number of students who identify as African American within the UC system. Currently, African American undergraduate enrollment is 1,265 students.

A Valuable Legacy

What began as a revolution is now an institution. Not only do more Black students come to UCR than any other UC school, our students of African descent have a reputation of graduating at higher rates than any other ethnicity on campus. We are also the only UC campus with a physical office devoted to African student programs and services. Today, as people of the African Diaspora, we continue to honor our multiple identities and cultures and advocate for their inclusion in defining the values of UCR. We are proud of our past and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

We invite you to learn more about our rich history by exploring our Interactive Timeline!


UCR alumni

Large Group of Students 

Our Village: a Directory of Community Partners

"It takes teamwork to make the dream work" – Brian Bingham

A village of community resources surrounds you, from alumni-owned businesses to supportive resources and service organizations.


Bre Dance Studio

3641 9th Street, Riverside, CA 92501

This dance studio features jazz, ballet, hip-hop, tap and modern classes. Many former students have earned scholarships to prestigious dance schools and have gone on to become professional dancers. Talented alumnus Clifford Breland (Bre) founded the studio with Ronald K. Nelson in 1988 and is the studio’s artistic director.

The Frazier Group

3739 6th Street, Riverside, CA 92501

This real estate group specializes in properties in Riverside and Orange counties and is comprised of valued UC Riverside alumni and friends.

Inland Empire African American Chamber of Commerce (IEAACC)

The Inland Empire African American Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to promote the economic and professional development of African American-owned businesses, thus enhancing the quality of life in our community. Founded in 1989, the Inland Empire African American Chamber of Commerce is a voice in the Inland Empire, providing advocacy to the businesses, professionals and families located in the communities it serves.

Michael Ferrera Custom Clothing

323-362-6322 or 877-901-8159

Creative designer and alumnus Michael Ferrera owns this fine tailoring clothing company. The company creates customized men’s business suits, dress shirts, golf pants, blazers, and accessories such as high quality men’s neckwear.

UCR Black Alumni Association

Connect with more alumni and their businesses via this helpful organization.

Email: ucraaba@gmail.com


Abundant Living Family Church

10900 Civic Center Dr., Rancho Cucamonga, CA, 91730

Cross Word Christian Church

14950 Riverside Dr., Riverside, CA, 92518

Park Avenue Missionary Baptist

1910 Martin Luther King Blvd., Riverside, CA, 92507

St. George’s Episcopal Church

950 Spruce St., Riverside, CA, 92507

Living Way
Pastor Harold K. Webber
12125 DAY STREET - U101Moreno Valley, CA. 92557
(located in the Canyon Springs Plaza Lower Level)
Phone: (951) 781-8800
Fax: (951) 781-8811
Faith Temple
Pastor Beatrice M. Sims
Riverside Faith Temple Ministries
2355 Pennsylvania Avenue
Riverside, California 92507
Telephone: (951) 788-0170
Fax: (951) 788-4045
Email: rftc@riversidefaithtemple.org

2nd Baptist
T. Ellsworth Gantt, II, Senior Pastor
Second Baptist Church 2911 Ninth Street
Riverside, CA 92507
Phone: (951) 684-7532
Fax: (951) 684-1564
Email: secbaptist@earthlink.net

Kansas Ave. 7th Day Adventist
Pastor Bill Howe
4491 Kansa Avenue Riverside, CA 92507 Phone: 951-682-9810 Fax: 951-682-4861
Email: Kansas.secretary@yahoo.com
Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church
Stephen Pierson
4009 Locust St.
Riverside, Ca 92501
Phone: 951-686-9406
Mt. Rubidoux SDA Church
5320 Victoria Avenue
Riverside, CA 92506
Email: info@mtrubidouxsda.org
Phone: (951) 276-8374
Fax: 951-274-2514
Amos Temple C. M. E.
Dr. D. J. Wesley, Pastor
17925 Iris Ave.
Riverside Ca. 92508
Fax: 951-798-8414
Email: amostemple@sbcglobal.net
Vine Life
Pastor, Dr. Robert L. Wilks, Jr.
17421 Van Buren Boulevard
Riverside, Ca. 92504
Phone: 951-789-8514
Fax: 951-780-1981
Email: brose@vinelifeonline.org
Life Church of God In Christ
Bishop Ron M. Gibson 3349 Rubidoux Blvd.
Riverside, CA 92509
Phone: 951.684.5433

Email: info@lifechurchriverside.org

New Joy Baptist Church
Pastor Reverend Paul S. Munford, M. Div 5694 Jurupa Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504
Phone: (951) 779-0088

Fax: (951) 781-7602
Email: newjoybaptist@att.net

Castle Rock Reverend
Jon Scott Harris
2900 Adams Street, Unit A4
Riverside, CA 92504
Phone: 1-909-991-7931
Email: castlerockministries@gmail.com
Victory Outreach
Pastor David & Sonia Castro
1760 Chicago Ave.
Riverside, Ca. 92507
Phone: 951-684-7771
Email: info@voriverside.com

Riverside Branch: 951-324-9603
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization.
Riverside Branch: 951-616-0885
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference works to promote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s philosophy of nonviolent progressive social change.
951-780-7730 or 951-682-6581
This organization meets twice monthly and provides a forum for discussing and responding to community issues that affect Riverside, especially the African American community.

Inland Empire Young Black Scholars


Young Black Scholars is a comprehensive college preparatory program for African American and other minority high school students. The program brings together some of the best and brightest future leaders to participate in more than 40 workshops, programs, seminars, and conferences throughout the academic school year.

Riverside City College


This nearby community college offers a wide range of classes.

Stratton Community Center


The Stratton Community Center is home to the SOAR elementary school tutoring program, an African Americans United in Science outreach program.

Street Positive


Street Positive introduces effective new formats to connect teens and parents to important issues. Approaches involve community outreach campaigns, live and media broadcast forums, focus groups, lecturers and speaking engagements on fatherhood, mentorship, at-risk youth, incarceration, economic transformations and education.

The Du Bois Institute


The W.E.B. DuBois Scholars Institute was founded to develop leaders and scholars committed to eliminating poverty and racism, as well as to inspire hope among underrepresented minority communities. The Institute cultivates scholarships, and leadership and community service opportunities for high-achieving minority youth.

Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search


UCR's TRiO is home to the Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search programs. Upward Bound assists low-income and first-generation students in pursuing their educational goals. Likewise, the Educational Talent Search assists individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education.

University STEM Academy

Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search


UCR's TRiO is home to the Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search programs. Upward Bound assists low-income and first-generation students in pursuing their educational goals. Likewise, the Educational Talent Search assists individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education.

Umoja Community 

The Council of African American Parents is a nonprofit parent-and-community-driven organization committed to enhancing the educational opportunities of students through academics, social activities and cultural awareness. CAAP especially provides support to the students and families of Chino Hills, Diamond Bar, Pomona, Walnut and surrounding communities.
310-807-3350 or 877-367-8858

The Institute for Black Parenting is the first licensed private, full-service adoption, foster care and family preservation agency that has served the African American community in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties since 1988.


Riverside Community Health Foundation

J.W. Vines Medical Foundation


The J.W Vines Foundation Inc. is a critical link in the effort to increase the number and diversity of health care professionals in the Inland Empire. The foundation works with the James Wesley Vines Jr. MD Medical Society, a 501 c 6, the Inland affiliate of the National Medical Association. The Vines Medical Society is a cadre of African American physicians practicing in the Inland Empire who provide their time, talent and treasury in the form of human power, contributions and support to the foundation. The Vines foundation has a working relationship with UCR’s African Americans United in Science that includes internships and awards.

Healthy Heritage Movement, Inc
Healthy Heritage Movement, Inc. was founded in 2007 by Phyllis Y. Clark in Southern California. It is a national organization created to provide quality resources to the African American community. Our organization addresses the health and well being and health disparities of the ethnic group. We are devoted to decrease the high rates of incidents and mortality for the five chronic diseases.

  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity

Often these diseases are preventable, and frequently manageable through early detection, improved diet, exercise, and treatment therapy.
The Healthy Heritage Movement, Inc. will invest and facilitate culturally competent resources, advocacy trainings, and programs that promote prevention, early intervention and education to improve the health of African Americans and offset the economic burden of a chronic disease. We serve as the premier provider of knowledge and tools, to end the behavior that contributes to high-risk, life-threatening health conditions that plague African-Americans. The Healthy Heritage is a movement that celebrates the diverse cultural richness of African Americans and deliver the resources to empower the community to live well and thrive.


Back to the Grind

3575 University Ave., Riverside, CA 92501

With its warm atmosphere and hot coffee, Back to the Grind is an ideal community gathering place for study sessions, poetry readings and live music.

Mr. Charles Bibbs


Riverside artist Charles Bibbs is world-renowned for his vibrant art. His work is described on his website as conveying “a deep sense of spirituality, majesty, dignity, strength and grace…in a combination of realistic and larger-than-life interpretations of contemporary subjects that are ethnically rooted.”

Riverside African American Historical Society, Inc.

Tuskegee Airmen, Inland Empire Chapter


The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American military aviators in the United States armed forces. Despite facing challenges of racial discrimination, they trained and flew with significant distinction.

We The People Cultural Arts Group

Post Office Box 56101 Riverside, CA 92517

We The People is a nonprofit public benefit program focusing on traditional world drum, dance and visual art practices in order to present educational dance shows for public and private multicultural events. It offers drum classes, dance classes, workshops, lecture presentations, festivals, summer youth programs, educational programs and events such as their Annual Drum, Mask and Dance Festival.

The Richard T. Fields Bar Association (RTFBA)

The Richard T. Fields Bar Association (RTFBA) was founded in 2010. The mission of RTFBA is to represent the interest of African American Attorneys in the Inland Empire (IE). Moreover, in addition to representing the interest of African American attorneys, RTFBA promotes pipeline initiatives to increase the number of youth of color in the IE to pursue careers in the legal profession and to promote justice for communities of color in the IE.

Contact The Richard T. Fields Bar Association