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Metta World Peace will speak at Drew fundraiser

Metta World Peace (268111)
Metta World Peace

Former Laker Metta World Peace will keynote the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science’s (CDU) Alumni Homecoming Gala on Oct. 5 at the Marina Del Rey Marriott. The event is a fundraiser that will showcase the University’s unique role as the primary healthcare training institution in South Los Angeles, Willowbrook and Watts.

World Peace, formerly Ron Artest, is currently player development coach for the South Bay Lakers in the NBA G League. He spent 17 years in the NBA with five teams, earning Defensive Player of Year, All Star and All-NBA honors in 2004. Triumph Books recently published his autobiography, “No Malice: My Life in Basketball,” co-written with Ryan Dempster. As a bonus, gala attendees will receive a copy of the book.

Highlighting his strong advocacy for mental health awareness, World Peace is expected to speak about mental health services available in underserved communities. Such awareness has been a critical part of the University’s charter mission since its inception. In 2018, the University received accreditation to bring psychiatric treatment to its service area in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.

Deborah Prothrow-Stith, MD, dean of the College of Medicine at CDU, said the gala provides an opportunity for community leaders to participate in the University’s mission.

“Funds raised from the 2018 Homecoming Gala will support the involvement of our alumni network in the life of the University, specifically our work using public health strategies to mentor youth and prevent the violence that is a serious threat to life and health in Willowbrook, where the University is located, as well as Watts, Compton and other nearby communities,” Dean Prothrow-Stith explained.

In its 52-year history, Charles R. Drew University has become renowned for its work in underserved communities. CDU graduates are leaders with a commitment to health equity and social justice. The University’s alumni includes over 2,000 graduates of its residency training programs, over 800 physicians, and over 1,000 graduates each from its physician assistant and nursing programs, and 100 alumni with a Master of Public Health degree. CDU graduates are employed in major roles in hospitals and clinics throughout Los Angeles County.

Homecoming Weekend has become an integral part of the University’s commitment to public outreach and civil discourse. On Friday October 5, the inaugural Drs. Ludlow and Ruth Creary Distinguished Lecture will feature David Satcher, MD, former U.S. Surgeon General, who previously served as Interim Dean of Drew’s Postgraduate Medical School, the predecessor institution of CDU.

Also, on Homecoming Saturday, Oct., 6, Jazz at Drew, the University’s signature concert event, will feature a stellar lineup of performers, including After 7, Jazz Funk Soul, the Pete Escovedo Orchestra and a tribute to the legendary Crusaders, featuring Ronnie Laws. Tickets are available at

For general Homecoming Weekend information, contact Kenny Torrance:, (323) 569-4991. For Homecoming Gala sponsorship and ticket information, contact Sabra Waddy:, (818) 605-7405.