Note to Editors:
Speaker photos and the event flyer are available here:


Contact: Isidra Person-Lynn
Communications Specialist
Desk: (323) 563-5833 |
Mobile: (213) 394-5075



Monday, January 30, 2017

Underrepresented Students in Higher Education:
“What Does Access Mean?”
Find out at CDU’s 2nd Annual President’s Breakfast on February 9th



LOS ANGELES, CA --The President and CEO of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) will host his second annual President’s Breakfast, Thursday, February 9th at the Marriott in Marina del Rey, CA. He will moderate a spirited panel of experts in higher education to tackle solutions to the question “Underrepresented Students in Higher Education: What Does Access Mean?”

While access to higher education has increased overall, students of color and low-income students experience higher student debt, time to degree levels and lower degree attainment than their peers (Center for American Progress, 2012).  “What does access mean?” requires a discussion of definition.  The discussion at the President’s Breakfast will illuminate the dimensions that constitute effective access.  

The President’s Breakfast is presented by CDU along with Torrey Pines Bank and Wells Fargo Bank as an Advocate for Higher Education Access Sponsor.

Slated to give the Keynote Speech is Valeisha Butterfield Jones, who is the Head of Black Community Engagement at Google. She’s had an 18-year career which took her to the White House on President Obama’s team, to co-found her own nonprofit, the Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network (WEEN).

On the panel is:  Michele Siqueiros, President, Campaign for College Opportunity; Steve O. Michael, PhD, Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and CDU Provost; Christopher Downing, Superintendent, LAUSD, Local District South; David Steele-Figueredo, President, Woodbury University, CDU; and Christopher Downing, Superintendent, LAUSD, Local District South.

“Education is a fundamental resource and access to higher education is a challenge for many communities. We need to do everything we can to expand access so all of our society has the ability to advance themselves,” said Dr. Carlisle. “We are proud to host this second annual President’s Breakfast so that CDU can continue to lead the discourse on such an important topic.”

Set your GPS on February 9th, 2017, 9-am to the Marina del Rey Marriott, 4100 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292 Bayview Ballroom.  Tickets may be ordered online at: or call (323) 357-3669.

For more information, visit, and follow CDU on FacebookTwitter (@cdrewu), and Instagram (@charlesrdrewu).



CDU is a private, non-profit student centered minority-serving medical and health sciences University that is committed to cultivating diverse health professional leaders who are dedicated to social justice and health equity for underserved populations through outstanding education, research, clinical service, and community engagement. 

Located in the Watts-Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles, CDU has graduated more than 550 medical doctors, 2,700 post-graduate physicians, more than 1,200 physician assistants, 800 nurses and over a thousand other health professionals. CDU is a leader in health disparities research with a focus on education, training, treatment and care in cancer, diabetes, cardio metabolic, and HIV/AIDS.


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