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Black History Cultural Youth Experience


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Derek Haskell (Middle) PRESSLINE Entertainment

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Community Children enjoying the Black History Youth Experience held at St. Andrews Park


By Elzena Rankins
Sentinel Intern

Derek Haskell continues to rebuild the community with his second community event

On Saturday, February 28 at St. Andrews Park the community came together in efforts to help each other. Derek Haskell and his team at PRESSLINE Entertainment put together their second community event, "Black History Cultural Youth Experience."

"The event was in effort to empower today's youth to build their future through design and critical thinking," said Haskell. And although the weather was not favorable that day a lot of people showed up in efforts to help out. Keeping the crowd live and upbeat was DJ Danny Brown playing all the greatest hits and when the music wasn't enough there was a lot of free coffee to go around donated by Starbucks and employee Daniel Alvarado who is working with Haskell on another project bringing Black and Brown together.

Different organizations throughout the city had tables setup up ranging from Paine College, Life coach and minister Robin Allen with the A.M.E church in which she insisted that young adults develop a life plan, representatives Lance and Katrina with Financial Destination Inc, Jesse Hood with reinforcing Ironworkers 416, Occupational Therapist; Dereka Nimmers with Operation N.O and the Hip Hop Generation Audacity of Hope reality T.V show, Makeup artist Angela Johnson, Art Director Patrick Johnson and the Census Bureau in which they gave out free nick-nacs and informed people how important it was to fill out the Census information in order to put money back into the community.

Jason and Roger representatives of the Census stated that the community is undercounted by far and it very important that they are filled out in order for the community to receive money.

All were there for the same reason; giving back to their community. "We aim to expose youth to occupations, which are not dominantly exposed in their community through providing meaningful relationship connections between our urban youth members and corporate America," said Haskell.

Haskell is also the founder of Operations N.O, which is a project that he created and is still working on in effort to help rebuild New Orleans. "The event is another episode in the effort to serve people locally and remind the world that New Orleans/Katrina is parallel to all of the devastation that affects our inner city community that still needs intervention," said Haskell.

Haskell and his team at PRESSLINE Entertainment goal is to help rebuild New Orleans through exposing the youth while at the same time "addressing the deficit of L.A Unified district in reading, writing and math by integrating the concerns through community involvement and resources that inform people of know-how and what to do.

The event was a hit. It was if it was one big ole family coming together to help each other out. Paine College representatives were in attendance encouraging students the important of school. Paine College is also the first HBC on board with the project in which they will take underprivileged children on campus tours during the summer.

Makeup artist and educator, Angela Johnson had her own booth in which she was doing everyone's makeup while at the same time informing them the right way to wear and apply makeup. When asked her position in the event, Angela replied that her goal was to inform the children of their endless opportunities as well as encourage them to be entrepreneurs as she did.

Also in attendance to make the event a bang, was Art Director, Patrick Johnson in which he instructed the children on how to paint using their primary and secondary colors.

Participant, Precious was thrilled to be in attendance, "I came for my brother's game and walked in and was happy to be here, she said as she painted.

Derek Haskell and his team at PRESSLINE Entertainment seek to educate, motivate, and encourage today's youth to engage self-determination and entrepreneurship before they enter the "working world." Haskell and his team are seizing this opportunity to expose urban youth to occupations, which are not often seen in their community by providing a chance for young people to meet and greet successful urban professionals from the public and private sectors.

The event was very successful as everyone came together in order to make a difference. Key members of the community such as LAFD and Odest T. Riley Jr. who is running for the Mayor Of Inglewood showed up in which they supported Haskell and the cause. And although it rained the entire time the energy in the room stayed at an high, everyone was very helpful, energized and happy. "I love what Derek does, he reminds me of me when I was young said art director Johnson, in regards to bring the community together in order to help each other.

Returning helper, Danna Kiel was very happy to be in attendance as she helped with various task throughout day. "I think the main thing is that if we continue to consistently expose our youth they will grow, but the key word is consistently."

"My goal is to help the community rebuild the community through the help of the community, We need all the help we can get in order to make it work, even if you want to volunteer or donate food or money to help fund the events," said Haskell, who funds the projects and events out of his own pocket.

For more information contact Derek Haskell at 323-596-5177 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Category: News




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