News from Cedars Sinai

Taste of Soul: A Record-Breaking Community Celebration

In a vibrant display of unity and community spirit, Cedars-Sinai joined Charles R. Drew University, Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital and other local organizations as sponsors of the Los Angeles Sentinel’s 18th annual Taste of Soul festival.

Christina Harris, MDAs the day unfolded on Crenshaw Boulevard in Los Angeles, organizers said the event, on Oct. 21 this year, attracted a record-breaking 500,000-plus attendees, making it the largest one-day ‘free’ street festival on the West Coast.

Founded in 2006 by civil rights activist and executive publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel, Danny Bakewell Sr., the Taste of Soul festival is a celebration of Black culture in Los Angeles.

Taste of Soul is more than just an event; it stands as a testament to the community's strength, resilience, and unwavering commitment to the wellbeing of all,” said Christina Harris, MD, Cedars-Sinai’s vice president and chief health equity officer.

The festival brings together food, entertainment and community resources, while spotlighting local businesses, home-grown entertainers and the community’s economic growth.  

Desiree Lopez receiving her flu vaccination at the 2023 Taste of Soul Festival.Cedars-Sinai's Community Connect Program and its Community Health Improvement Program were on-site to provide Angelenos with a variety of health services that included flu vaccines and community health navigation tools to help local residents get access to free and reduced-price community resources for medical care, transportation, caregiving, mental health services and more.

“I was able to get my flu shot today and I’m so happy because it saved me a trip,” said festival-goer Desiree Lopez. “I delivered all four of my children at Cedars-Sinai and underwent cancer treatments there. I quite literally trust them with my life.”

In addition to healthcare resources, the event featured food and consumer goods vendors, voter registration and job opportunities in addition to live performances dedicated to gospel, R&B, jazz and dance.   

Read more on the Cedars-Sinai Blog: At Cedars-Sinai, a Dedicated Focus on Black Birth Equity