The Black Student Center promotes the success of Black Students through the principle
of Ujamaa (pronounced "OO-juh-muh"), a term in the East African language of Kiswahili,
meaning the process of working together as an extended family to build and maintain a cohesive
Through the framework of the Social Change Model of Leadership, we provide a safe and brave space for students to learn about themselves, to engage with their peers, and to share their unique voices with the greater CSUSM and San Marcos Communities. We invite any and all students and members of the community to visit the center and to join us for our events and programs. Come and be part of the celebration! We look forward to engaging and learning with you.
John W. Rawlins III, M.A.
John W. Rawlins III (pronouns: He/Him/His) is a Student Affairs professional with more than 13 years of experience as an administrator and advocate for students, more specifically students of color. John is a native of the Washington, DC Metropolitan area and earned his B.S. from Cornell University and his M.A. from The Johns Hopkins University.
John comes to CSUSM from the Corporate Headquarters of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for Black Men, where he served as the first Director of Leadership Development and Training. In this Student Affairs-based role, he was responsible for the creation of leadership development opportunities for collegiate members, as well as risk management strategy, education, and training for the over 750 active chapters and 100,000 living members of the Fraternity.
John's passion to support students of color began during his undergraduate career, where he served in many leadership roles in student organizations and campus advisory boards. John would begin a celebrated career at Ithaca College (Ithaca, NY) and continue at The Johns Hopkins University before joining the CSUSM family.
John holds memberships with NASPA, ASCAP, and is a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He serves as the President of the Cornell Black Alumni Association and was elected by Cornell University's Board of Trustees to a four-year term on the Cornell University Council. John is also an established and noted recording artist in the Gospel music industry and has performed on national and international stages alike. He has been honored to share the stage and sing with major names in music such as Jazz great Wynton Marsalis and Gospel legend Kirk Franklin.