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Black Alumni Network

Black Alumni Affinity Network Banner 2019.


The Cal State LA Black Alumni Network was founded in 2018 to grow, sustain, and promote a thriving community of black students at Cal State LA, a premier comprehensive public university in Los Angeles. It is the energy, hard work, and passion of our students that inspires us to support and mentor our future alumni. As alumni, we value supporting students in higher education to continue with their personal and professional development. The Black Alumni Network exists to establish formal provisions to create opportunities that elevate our community through increased visibility, constructive programming, charitable initiatives, and fostered connections.

We are proud of your success and thank you for your support.

Network Leadership

Headshot of Sesley Lewis, class of 2017 and 2020.

Sesley Lewis ('17, '20), Chair
Basic Needs Director, Pasadena City College

Sesley Lewis has worked within the field of education for nearly eight years. She discovered her passion for education in student affairs during her undergraduate career as a student assistant in the Division of Student Life at Cal State LA. As a student, she often helped students experiencing basic needs insecurities and championed the efforts, development, creation, and implementation of the Basic Needs Initiative campus-wide. This included the formation and opening of the Cal State LA food pantry, CalFresh Outreach program, Emergency Housing program, and many other programs related to Basic Needs. She also served as co-advisor for the Black Student Union and Halisi Steppers, mentoring both undergraduate and graduate students. Click here to learn more about Sesley.


Headshot of Erick West, Class of 2016 and 2018Erick West ('16, '18), Co-Chair
Ph.D. Candidate, Higher Education Leadership Policy Studies, Howard University

Erick West is a professional scholar, social justice advocate, and former college athlete. Currently, as a Ph.D. candidate at Howard University, Mr. West is passionate about promoting equity and ethnic representation within the higher education system. With aspirations to become a University President, his research at Howard focuses on holistic education for student-athletes. He is an active member of AERA where he has done presentations about his work on Black male teachers and teacher prep programs. During his academic career at Cal State LA, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree, he was an active member of the Black Student Union, Housing and Residence Life, and Men’s Track and Field. Click here to learn more about Erick.



Be sure to join the Network so you can stay up-to-date on all our events!


Black Alumni Network Mixer - February 16, 2023
Black Alumni Network Mixer
Thursday, February 16, 2023
6:00 - 7:30 p.m.

Alumni Networks Conference 2021: People, Purpose, & Passion - Save the Date - 5/6/21

People, Purpose, & Passion: A Virtual Professional Development and Networking Conference
Building Pathways for Black Alumni, Students, and Our Community in Higher Education
Presented by Sesley Lewis (17, '20) and Erick West ('16, '18)
Thursday, May 6, 2021
6:30-7:30 p.m. (PDT)
Black Alumni Network Community Check-In on August 25, 2020 at 6:30 pm via Zoom/IGTV.
Black Alumni Network Community Check-In (Virtual)
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
6:30-7:30 p.m.

Black Alumni Network Brunch 2019
Black Alumni Affinity Network Inaugural Brunch
Saturday, June 1, 2019
11 a.m. to  2 p.m.

Connect With Us

Have an idea for a networking mixer, workshop, or seminar? Learn more about the network and how to get involved by emailing us at [email protected].

Facebook link to Black Alumni Network LinkedIn icon to Black Alumni Affinity Network group.Facebook link to Black Alumni Network

Join the Network