Our gala is in exactly 5 weeks! We cannot wait for all of you to join us in celebrating another successful year for UBB! We are also super excited to have UBB alumni students, Oloth Insyxiengmay and Marvin Chapman, as this year's featured speakers! Both of them have been heavily involved as UBB students, studying hard while participating in countless student groups and programs. Now, both are released and continue to give back to their communities, while pursuing their higher educational dreams.
Read on to learn more about Oloth and Marvin!
The son of a single, first-generation immigrant mother from Laos, Oloth grew up in Tacoma and at the age of 15 was sentenced to 74 years in prison for a gang-related crime. He served 24 years. During his incarceration, Oloth help form the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Awareness Group (APICAG) at Clallam Bay Corrections Center into an organization that tackles social issues and is one of the founding members of BPC/ TEACH. He also created an API Cultural Series with UBB. Oloth says of his work, “By educating our communities about their positionality in society and the systems of their suffering, we helped transform and politicize our peers into agents for social change.”
He persistently advocates for educational opportunities for incarcerated individuals because of his belief that everyone should have equal access to the liberating power of higher education. After incarceration, Oloth has continued his advocacy work as a community organizer involved with reentry, deportation, education, and the No New Youth Jail movement. He is currently completing his AA degree through Seattle Central College and will be transferring to UW Seattle in the Fall to pursue his BA in the Comparative History Of Ideas (CHID) program.
During his incarceration, Marvin became a consummate advocate for educational opportunities and worked to develop a prison culture that valued and promoted learning. He came to understand the power of being in community with others who modeled positive ways of being and who shared his drive for success. As a member of UBB’s Prison Advisory Committee while at MSU, Marvin lobbied the Department of Corrections and the UBB Board of Directors to turn MSU into a destination site for those in Western Washington prisons who were working towards their AA degrees.
Marvin has carried his desire to assist others in their academic growth back into the community where he works as an Assistant in Seattle Central College’s office of Re-Entry Support Programs helping formerly justice involved students navigate SCC’s administration process and campus. He has also become a M.U.S.T (Mentoring Urban Students & Teens) mentor, partnering with at risk youth. Of his experience, Marvin says, “I like working with and mentoring young people. I want to show them that they have options, that they can make things happen. I want them to think critically about the world and not let fear or ignorance keep them from exploring or limiting what they see as possible.”
Marvin is currently working towards his AS at SCC. He plans on transferring to a 4-year school to pursue his interest in computer science.
We still have some seats left at our gala! If you still haven't registered, you have until Thursday, September 27 (in exactly two weeks!) to purchase your tickets! Trust us, you don't want to miss out on Oloth's and Marvin's inspirational stories, and you will want to hear them up close and personal!
You also don't want to miss out on all of the other fun activities at our annual gala, including our silent and live auction (featuring stunning and creative art made by our talented students!), a lovely wine wall, a fantastic raffle and paddle raise, and of course, a delectable Dessert Dash, featuring dazzling desserts donated by local bakeries and cafes in the Greater Seattle area. Herban Feast is catering a delicious dinner, as well as beer, wine, and nonalcoholic beverages.
If you don't want to miss out on a wonderful evening dedicated to our students, make sure to register by Thursday, September 27! Remember, all proceeds from our gala will go directly to support our students. We cannot wait to see you all there!