Nearly 350,000 people attend Taste of Soul, the largest one-day street festival in Los Angeles every year. This year, two dozen youth ambassadors from the nonprofit Brotherhood Crusade will attend the event, which takes place on October 21, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., on historic Crenshaw Boulevard between Barack Obama Boulevard and Stocker Avenue. These youth ambassadors have been training with George Weaver of the Brotherhood Crusade to shake hands, help people feel welcome, and create a meaningful personal connection.

“Taste of Soul is that celebration of life,” said George Weaver in an interview with CBS Los Angeles, “That understanding of who we are, that ability to share with the world the incredible talents that we have.”

“That’s a big responsibility,” said Amarachi Ugwoegbulem, a 17-year-old youth ambassador, also in an interview with CBS. She will be attending Taste of Soul for the first time. It is a big step for her. Having moved from Nigeria at ten and feeling that her home in Los Angeles was often unsafe, she told CBS that she was not always very outgoing. Her experience with the Brotherhood Crusade let her open up and prepared her to shake tens of thousands of hands at Taste of Soul. “I’m excited to meet the people,” said Amarachi.

This is the importance of Weaver’s work with the Brotherhood Crusade and Taste of Soul. George Weaver has worked with thousands of youths. “One of the things that they’re learning themselves,” Weaver explained in the CBS interview, “Is that they continue to learn about social justice and racial equity.” He says they learn to ask themselves, “What does that mean? And how do I become a change agent?”

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Taste of Soul is famous for its music and food. It features live performances of dance, gospel, R&B, and Jazz, other genres and local musicians, and food of local, ethnic, and international flavors. In addition to these cultural touchstones, Taste of Soul is also a site for community outreach for health testing, education and job recruitment, voter registration, and featured Black-owned businesses and products. Celebrities will also be in attendance, including Queen Latifah and Cedric the Entertainer, with famed actress and comedian Tiffany Haddish serving as a celebrity co-chair of the event.

However, George Weaver is convinced that the presence of the youth ambassadors is the best way to demonstrate the core message of Taste of Soul. On their last day of training, Weaver led the youth ambassadors in playing educational games, such as a Jeopardy-style quiz with questions about Taste of Soul. It is one way they prepared to teach the people attending the event about its history and importance. “What better way to share that,” said Weaver, “Than for young people from the community to be the ambassadors of Taste of Soul?”