About CDU

October 2015

October 2015

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Taste of Soul 10th Anniversary a Win-Win for Sponsor CDU

The Taste of Soul, a mega event that takes over Crenshaw Boulevard one Saturday each October, was founded 10 years ago by Danny Bakewell Sr., the publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper.  Now in its 10th year, the Taste of Soul is presented by the Sentinel and benefits the South L.A. non-profit organizations Mothers in Action and the Brotherhood Crusade. The Taste of Soul Los Angeles is a free family-friendly event hosted in partnership with the City of Los Angeles, Radio Free 102.3 KJLH, and 94.7 The Wave. It takes place in the 8th and 10th council districts represented by Councilmembers Marqueece Dawson and Herb Wesson Jr.

Charles R. Drew University of  Medicine and Science (CDU) has sponsored the event from year one.  CDU Professor Cynthia Davis saw the gathering as an asset to community outreach, testing and research efforts.  She was right, because the event has grown from 25,000 the first year to 350,000 in its 9th and 10th years and attracted top acts and businesses and restaurants.

CDU usually exhibits in two locations.  CDU’s HIV Mobile Testing and Outreach project attracts people of all ages for free HIV tests and has used face painting and other crowd pleasers to attract community participants.  Professor Davis’ familiar face gives her the trust she needs to help the community stem the tide of HIV/AIDS.

We also look forward to the event for recruitment.  CDU’s goal is to increase its student population to 1,000 by 2018.  There are many college graduates who attend this festival but also there are many who are not quite satisfied with their chosen fields, so CDU staffers educate them about what programs are available and when to apply.  Our team distributes marketing materials and flyers about the Fall Preview, which was scheduled for the following week. We’d like to thank all volunteers including   MMDSON Faculty Laverne Montgomery, Tirsit Abiy, Vanessa Marmon, Ariel Ferns, Norma Murchison, Tyler DAvis, Momaka Omeze and Michael Nkwuaku.
Special thanks to LaKeisha Everage who did a lot of prep work, Jovan Owens and the OSA Team Edna Yohannes, Jasmine, Hill, William Paz-Leiva, James and Alejandra Novoa-Vargas and Tonya King and April Miller and the team that assisted Prof. Cynthia Davis at the HIV Mobile Testing Unit.

CDU l eadership was out en force from President and CEO Dr. David M. Carlisle, who the day prior appeared on air with 94.7 The Wave with host Pat Prescott, and the night prior attended the Taste of Soul VIP reception.  He not only appeared on both stages to salute the crowd for KJLH and The WAVE radio stations, but he also walked the event and spent time at the CDU booth with passers by including Assemblymember Mike Gipson. Angela Minniefield, VP Strategic Advancement, Executive Vice President Dr. Steve Michael, Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing Dean Sheldon Fields whose team was also across town serving at Care Harbor and Professor LaVerne Montgomery, MMDSON faculty.

Director of Admissions Amin Maghsoodi confirmed responses from the Taste of Soul in his metric system which measures where the responses are coming from for the Fall Preview scheduled Saturday, Oct. 24,  following the Taste of Soul. 

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