Officials from Cal State San Bernardino and the Cooperative Economic Empowerment Movement (CEEM) met at the university on Jan. 27 to talk about increasing enrollment and retaining African American students.

The session was a follow-up to a joint meeting held in December where members of the university and cooperative discussed ways to build a stronger partnership to “further transform lives – particularly African American lives – here in the Inland Empire,” said CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales in his welcoming remarks.

“Today we are going to dig deeper into specific data and CSUSB programs. We want to hear from the members of CEEM regarding ideas to enhance the African American experience at CSUSB, while improving enrollment and retention,” Morales said. “We strongly believe that this partnership between CEEM and CSUSB can help support and advance the IE’s African American community.”

The meeting also featured a welcoming speech from CEEM board member Kiana Webb, who serves as chief executive officer of Webb Family Enterprises and is the daughter of Reggie Webb, who created CEEM.

The meeting included breakout sessions on enrollment management, admissions and financial aid; academic programs; and student affairs and student services.

CEEM is an economic cooperative committed to closing the racial wealth gap through education, investments and support for African American professionals and the African American entrepreneurial ecosystem. CEEM encourages its members to support African American-owned businesses in its network increasing the turnover of dollars in our community, allowing CEEM members to rise together, according to its website. 

CEEM was created by businessman and philanthropist Reggie Webb, who has helped people from underrepresented communities become franchisees with McDonalds and wanted to do more to help African Americans achieve financial independence. After researching a worker-owner cooperative in Spain and meeting Ratibou Jacocks, a Rialto community organizer, and visiting a Westside Action Group meeting to discuss entrepreneurship in the Black community, Webb developed and outlined the vision for CEEM.