The Accelerating Excellence In Translational Science (AXIS)Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science


Community Engagement is a crucial part of CDU’s translational research activities, and a unique program called the “Community Faculty” was implemented to increase research capacity through the collaborative integration of local expertise. The community faculty are made up of local organizers and leaders who are well tuned to the issues faced by their communities. Community Faculty members receive a faculty appointment at the university and are responsible for advancing a research agenda. They are not traditional academics, yet they possess an expertise crucial to the mission and success of the university. They also act as intermediaries between academic researchers and community members. Often, it is up to them to communicate a research project to their community in lay language, and allay participant fears regarding the conduct of research. The community faculty secure a stake in the research enterprise for the community.


Janette Robinson Flint 
Executive Director, Black Women for Wellness 
Location: 4340 11th Ave Leimert Park, CA 90008 
Phone: (323)-290-5955 
Fax: (323)-290-1542 

As a founding member of Black Women for Wellness, Janette currently holds the executive director position. Janette stays attuned with women's health issues through work with Black Women for Wellness and as a consultant designing and developing women's programs with various community based organizations in California. Ms. Robinson Flint is the Southern California contact person of the California Women's Agenda, a network of grassroots agencies and individuals started after the 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing China, to bring the Platform of Action to the women and girls of California. The Women's Lens Agenda also hosts a conference which focuses on how women can have a greater voice in the setting and implementation of international policy.

Some of Us Are Brave - coalition of African American radio programs - currently airing programs on Pacifica Radio - Saturday at 11:00 AM on 90.7 FM Los Angeles

UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles) African American Studies Community Advisory Committee - Ralph Bunche Center

Currently living in Los Angeles, she is an advocate and activist for Black women's health, loves to travel, read and involve women in our own empowerment process.


Reverend Kupaji M. Jaliwa 
Healthy African American Families II 
Location: 4305 Degnan Blvd. Ste 105 Los Angeles, CA 90008 
Phone: (323)-251-8969 
Fax: (323)-292-6121 

Reverend Kupaji Jaliwa is an ordained minister who has a Master’s in Divinity with a specialization in pastoral counseling and family care. She has devoted herself as an advocate for the community. Reverend Jaliwa has extensive experience working at various community-based organizations, including Imani Undios, Agape House, and the Watts Health Foundation Substance Abuse Program. She has had a long-time commitment to reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS within the African American community, and would like to translate that community experience into research. Further, Reverend Jaliwa has expertise in substance abuse counseling and an interest in mental health. Following the 1992 Civil Uprising, Reverend Jaliwa co-hosted KJLH Front Page Radio Show, which became a voice for the community to address social and political concerns. Reverend Jaliwa has conducted numerous trainings and presentations and has served on the Board of Directors of Healthy African American Families II since its inception.


Andrea Jones 
Project Specialist, Healthy African American Families II 
Location: 4305 Degnan Blvd., Ste. 105, Los Angeles, CA 90008 
Phone: (323) 292-2002 
Fax: (323)-292-6121 

Andrea Jones is Projects Specialist for Healthy African American Families II (HAAF), an independent non profit whose mission is to improve the health outcomes of the African American and Latino communities in Los Angeles County. She is currently working on the Community-Academic Collaborative for the Cancer Community Outreach Core to address the issues, needs and concerns of the South Los Angeles Community around cancer. In addition, Ms. Jones works on Community Partners in Care (CPIC), a community-based and led research project on depression funded by the National Institutes of Health. She also served as Project Coordinator for the Witness4Wellness Project (W4W), a community-based partnership for building community strength and overcoming the burden on communities of depression, particularly in communities of color. Additionally, she co-teaches (with Dr. Arlene Brown and Dr. Kenneth Wells) a class for the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar Program at UCLA. She graduated from the Leadership Development in Inter-Ethnic Relations Program (LDIRS) in June 2006.á LDIRS is sponsored by the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC), the Martin Luther King Dispute Resolution Center (MLKDRC), and the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN). In December 2006, she graduated from the Community Health Leadership & Training Program, a collaboration of Community Health Councils, SCOPE, Community Coalition, and Los Angeles Trade Tech College. Ms. Jones resides in Long Beach, CA, where she enjoys reading and spending time with her grandchildren.


Loretta Jones, M.A. 
Founder/CEO, Healthy African American Families II 
Location: 4305 Degnan Blvd., Ste. 105, Los Angeles, CA 90008 
Phone: (323)-292-2002 
Fax: (323)-292-6121 

Mrs. Jones is the founder and CEO of Healthy African American Families, Phase II (HAAF). As a "Community Gatekeeper", Loretta Jones has dedicated her entire life towards the hope and healing of community and society-at-large. Her career as a civil rights activist, health policy advocate, and social architect has spanned more than 30 years. In an effort to level the playing field for all people, Ms. Jones continues her unyielding commitment as a change agent against disparities in human health, development, and opportunity.

She was the first African American woman to be the lead author on an article published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (Jones L, Wells K, "Strategies for Academic and Clinician Engagement in Community Participatory Partnered Research." (JAMA, January 24, 2007). She served as a Commissioner for the Joint Center Health Policy Institute's Dellums Commission (2005-2006) and was a Family and Youth Stakeholder Member for the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) in 2005. She also served as a member of the Advisory Council planning the NICHD's longitudinal child health study and chaired its Social Justice committee. In 2004, Ms. Jones was honored as the first recipient of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Award for National Contribution to Minority Health Programs, Research and Surveillance - Department of Reproductive Health.

Loretta Jones currently resides in Los Angeles, California, the area she so tirelessly serves.


Charlene Lewis Meeks 
Program Manager, CIHSS, Inc. 
Location: 8929 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Suite 200 Los Angeles, CA 90045 
Phone: (661)-312-8446 

Charlene Lewis Meeks is a graduate of UCLA in English. She has extensive experience working with local, state, national and international levels of government, nonprofit community-based and faith-based organizations, and within the private sector. She was the spokesperson for the State of California on welfare reform, refugee services, and fatherhood programs. Ms. Meeks relocated to Washington, D.C. to work in the nonprofit sector as Vice President of External Affairs and Conference Management Services for the National Center for Strategic Nonprofit Planning and Community Leadership (NPCL). She coordinated Youth Development programs and Fatherhood services for the Departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Labor and coordinated two international fatherhood conferences that were designated as official White House Millennium Council Events. Ms. Meeks returned to California and joined the administrative team at the California Institute of Health & Social Services, Inc. (CIHSS) as program manager for the Parent & Family Enrichment Services Division. In this capacity, she applies her expertise in parenting education, anger management/domestic violence education, fatherhood outreach, healthy marriage services, mentoring children of prisoners and HIV/AIDS education and training for children, youth, adults and families in the Los Angeles and Lancaster communities. She is an accomplished grant writer and proposal coordinator.


Anna Lucas-Wright, M.Ed. 
Project Associate, RAND Corporation 
Location: 1700 Main St. Santa Monica, CA 90407 
Phone: (323)-294-2816 
Fax: (323)-299-3287 

Anna Lucas-Wright, better known as "Aziza" is the Development Specialist for Avalon Carver Community Center, a not-for-profit community-based stalwart organization providing a host of safety-net services to families ravaged by the effects of alcohol and other drug use since 1949. As Development Specialist, Anna is responsible for assisting in the advancement of the agency's 10-year strategic plan.

Additionally, Aziza is the Community Engagement Specialist for UCLA/RAND and Healthy African American Families' Community Partners In Care Project. In this position, Ms. Wright outreaches to, informs, recruits, and provides follow-up to desirable community partners. Aziza sits on numerous committees that guide, evaluate, and implement the project.

Aziza has over 30 years of experience providing exceptional administrative and executive functions to Human and Social Service agencies in South Los Angeles. She sits on numerous Boards and Committees. These include the Research Centers in Minority Institutions Translational Research Network (RTRN)'s External Advisory Committee which provides guidance and support to RTRN's executive committee regarding community-based research. Such research addresses the health disparities of minorities, best, safe and efficacious research practices and principles across 19 national and international Minority Schools of Medicine.


Dretona Maddox, R.N., M.S.W. 
Project Manager, Los Angeles Urban League 
Location: 3450 Mount Vernon Drive Los Angeles, CA 90008 
Phone: (909)-471-0697 

My name is Dretona Maddox and I am a Nurse Social Work Practitioner (NSWP). This means, I am a Registered Nurse with a Masters degree in Social Work (MSW). I earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from UOP and earned a Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Southern California (USC). I have extensive experience in pediatrics. My specialties include advanced training in the care of critically ill and premature newborns in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). My professional experiences include caring for medically fragile children with moderate to profound developmental disabilities, critically ill pediatrics with rare conditions, and newborns with severe prematurity, among others. Most recently, I have brought these services to my home and currently serving as a medically fragile foster parent.

In addition to my nursing career, I have gained skills through my training and experience as a MSW with a sub-subspecialty in Community, Organization, Planning, and Administration (COPA). These skills include needs assessments, program planning and implementation, capacity development, coalition building, community mapping, organizing, mobilization and group facilitation. My combined skills as a RN/MSW are enhanced by a special interest in health disparities experienced by the African American community and my training as a Public Health Nurse. In 2006, my personal experiences motivated me to start my own non-profit organization called Purposely Chosen, Inc. The mission of Purposely Chosen is to serve at-risk and homeless youth. My organization provides case management and advocacy services to displaced, runaways, and street youth by being a liaison between the youth in need and their families and/or social service agencies.


Cleo Manago 
Managing Director, AmASSI Wellness and Cultural Training Center 
Phone: (213)-923-7260 

Cleo Manago is the founder and CEO of the African, American Advocacy, Support-Services & Survival Institute (AmASSI) - a national, non-profit wellness, cultural and training center with projects in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Baltimore/DC, Johannesburg (South Africa), and Harlem in New York City. Specifically, for over 25 years, Manago has brought inventive contributions to the national discourse on HIV/AIDS and Black community health - most notably for appropriate methodologies in mental health and wellness, prevention and addressing culturally and historically relevant barriers to sexual health, stigma and responsibility, and the challenge of cultural inequity in the American criminal justice system. He is a socio-political analyst, behavioral health researcher and expert, writer and popular spokesperson on the most controversial issues facing American health today. As a member of the Charles Drew University faculty, he plans to engage topics related to his expertise through the Community Engagement/Speakers Bureau. Subjects will include : Exploring and Resolving Preventive Health and Treatment Barriers among Black males.


Charles McWells 
Chairperson, Grace United Methodist 
Location: 4112 W. Slauson Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90043 
Phone: (323)-973-9143 

A native of Los Angeles, Charles McWells is a graduate of Claremont Men’s College. In 1996, he was diagnosed with AIDS and told that he had less than two years to live. Convinced that God had other plans for him, Charles has dedicated the past ten years of his life to raising HIV/AIDS awareness within the African American community. Following stints as a program administrator for several HIV research projects at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, and Minority AIDS Project, Charles became Chairperson of Grace United Methodist Church’s HIV/AIDS Ministry in April 2009. His research focuses on training health care professionals to help patients change behaviors that put them at risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV. Mr. McWells’ community leadership activities include serving as Co-Dean of the United Methodist Church’s Strength for the Journey HIV/AIDS Retreat; Co-Host of the Division of Community Engagement of Charles R. Drew University’s “Good News Radio Magazine,” a live, weekly radio broadcast on KTYM-AM 1460; Vice President of the Black Los Angeles AIDS Coalition; Executive Committee member of the National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Coalition – Los Angeles; and Vice President of the United Methodist Men’s Ministry at Grace United Methodist Church. Mr. McWells has presented at numerous conferences and forums on topics such as HIV/AIDS Ministry as a Community-Level Intervention and Integration of HIV/AIDS, Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Spirituality.


D'Ann Morris 
Deputy Neighborhood Officer - Health, Los Angeles Urban League 
Location: 3450 Mount Vernon Drive Los Angeles, CA 90008 
Phone: (323)-545-9296 
Fax: (323)-545-9294 
Email: D'  

D'Ann Marie Morris, a native of Los Angeles, California, has over 30 years of senior management executive experience, including business administration, program and financial development, and strategic planning. Known in local communities for her innovative approach to problem solving, Ms. Morris is unequivocally committed to the elimination of health disparities in underserved communities that impact children, youth and families. Ms. Morris is currently the Deputy Neighborhood Officer - Health for the Los Angeles Urban League (LAUL). Her responsibilities include developing and maintaining partnerships and relationships with community representatives, health care agencies, government authorities, and CBO's to support the health component of the LAUL's Neighborhoods@Work Initiative. Ms. Morris received her master's degree in Public Administration/Human Resources from Pepperdine University, Los Angeles, CA, and her bachelor's degree in Public Administration from California State University, Dominquez Hills.


Norma Mtume 
Associate Director/Chief Financial Officer, Shields for Families 
Location: 11601 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90047 
Phone: (323) 578-2348 

Norma Stoker Mtume holds a Masters degree in Health Sciences with an emphasis in Substance Use Disorders and Program Administration and a Masters degree in Marital and Family Therapy with a specialization in working with African American families. She is the Co-founder and Chief Financial/Operations Officer for SHIELDS for Families, a 24 year-old nonprofit organization serving families who reside in South Los Angeles. Ms. Mtume is also the Co-founder of UMMA Community Clinic in South Los Angeles, two other social service agencies, and two additional free/community clinics. She has over 40 years of experience planning, implementing and administering programs in underserved communities in Los Angeles, Oakland, and Berkeley, California. She is a Community Instructor at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. Mrs. Mtume’s interest is in a broad-based approach to family systems medicine and the integration of primary care and behavioral health, particularly in African American and Latino communities. She is especially interested at this time in the implementation of integrated care as a result of the Affordable Care Act (Healthcare Reform) and has been acquiring skills in this area over the past five years for the purpose of developing curriculum to train medical and behavioral health professionals on topics related to integrated services. She has been a guest speaker for radio on multiple occasions, where she discussed the impact of chronic illness on the family and the community and healthcare reform and its relevance to reducing disparities in the South Los Angeles community. She has presented in classroom settings, conferences, and community forums. In 2012, Ms. Mtume received the “Maya Angelou Award” from the Coalition of Mental Health Professionals for being an inspirational leader in community healthcare and working to eliminate healthcare disparities. She was also recognized in 2012 by the California Black Women’s Health Project and received the “Women Who Dared: Our Legacy & Our Future Award” for leadership work in the field of women’s health.


Pluscedia Williams 
Community Member 
Location: 4305 Degnan Blvd., Ste 105, Los Angeles, CA 90008 
Phone: (310)-892-0654 
Fax: (562)-633-7728 

Over the years Pluscedia Williams has worked and dedicated her life to helping and working for her community and church. In the mist of working and volunteering for the church, she has dedicated her time to continue her education in various areas. She supports the school, church and community needs and assists with national programs, in addition to serving as a Community Co-Session Planner for APHA, she also serves as an Advisor for Healthy African American Families. Ms. Plus is a product of the community and speaks from her heart.


Angela Young-Brinn 
Deputy Director, JDP Foundation 
Location: 575 E. Hardy St.;Ste.205, Inglewood, CA 90301 
Phone: (562)-209-0713 

Angela Young-Brinn, a native of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, has over 20 years of executive management experience. Her background includes strategic planning, business administration, financial development, Manager/Consultant, Operational Instructor, School Principal and Interior Decorator. Ms Young-Brinn is also well-regarded for decision-making and leadership skills in the areas of program implementation, community and volunteer services and leadership development.

Angela Young-Brinn is currently the Healthy African American Families II (HAAF) Deputy Director, a non-profit community serving agency. In this role she provides administrative oversight to the collaborative activities of the Cedar Sinai Medical Center (CCHN) projects aimed to promote, among several things, healthier pregnancies, birth outcomes and interconception care in South Los Angeles, and the Clinical Translational Science Institute's (CTSI) designed agenda to eliminate barriers and enhance collaboration and growth among the basic, biomedical clinical, and population-based sciences.

Ms. Young-Brinn's current plan is to attend San Diego State during the 2010/2011 calendar year to begin the Doctoral Program in Global Health.