Thank you to everyone who joined President David M. Carlisle’s first annual President’s Breakfast on February 11, 2016.

Keynote speaker, Edward James Olmos in conversation with Rick Najera


Download the press release.


Edward James Olmos

olmos-mainEdward James Olmos is an American actor and director. Among his most memorable roles are William Adama in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, Lieutenant Martin “Marty” Castillo in Miami Vice, teacher Jaime Escalante in Stand and Deliver, patriarch Abraham Quintanilla, Jr. in the film Selena, Detective Gaff in Blade Runner, and narrator El Pachuco in both he stage and film versions of Zoot Suit. In 1988, Olmos was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for the film Stand and Deliver. He has also been a longtime pioneer for more diversified roles and images of Hispanics in the U.S. media. Outside of his work in film and on television, Edward has worked tirelessly for social justice and advocacy to underserved communities.


Rick Najera

RickNajera-203_smallRick Najera is a nationally acclaimed speaker and award-winning writer-performer-director-producer and author with credits in film, television, theatre and Broadway.

As a pioneer in entertainment and a key media influencer, Najera’s range of talent expands from screenwriting for television and feature films to directing sketch comedy and acclaimed theatrical stage performances to professional speaking at the largest and most prestigious corporations, organizations and universities in America.



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” Leading a conversation with Universities across Los Angeles on the need to increase opportunities for African Americans and Latinos in higher education is not only a symbolic way to launch our 50th anniversary celebration, it is of increasing importance. According to a recent Association of American Medical Colleges report, the number of black males applying to and attending medical school in this country has declined since 1978. As campuses across America find ways to create inclusive spaces for students of all backgrounds, CDU will continue to recruit and train diverse and committed healthcare professionals in a supportive environment” —Dr. David M. Carlisle, President of CDU

“Education is the most crucial issue in America today.  Education versus incarceration will decide our nation’s future.  Author Victor Hugo said it best, ‘He who opens a school door, closes a prison.’  Simply put, it’s all about opportunity and hope and investing in our future.  That is why I launched Latino Thought Makers, so that I can partner with influencers like my good friend Edward James Olmos to discuss important topics such as diversity in education.  We are at a critical point in the narrative of our great nation where diversity in education must be achieved.  We must work to see increased diversity in the top academic achievers, increased diversity in the faculty so that they more closely represent the students, and an increase in the diversity of ideas in higher education.  If we do these simple things, then our future leaders will be in a position to compete in a world that is rapidly changing,” — Rick Najera, nationally acclaimed speaker and award-winning writer-performer-director-producer