Diversity Series hosts speaker on race and justice during Black History Month

Yakima Valley College’s 2023-2024 Diversity Series, in conjunction with the Associated Students of Yakima Valley College (ASYVC), will host Omari Amili, author of “Transforming Society’s Failure,” “Skin Deep” and “In Search of Role Models,” for talks this February in Grandview and Yakima. Amili will share his personal journey from a disadvantaged background and miseducation in the Pacific Northwest to finding a sense of belonging and success in college.

In addition to sharing his story, Amili will discuss what college campuses can do to create a sense of belonging for non-traditional students from backgrounds that, based on societal norms, could cause them to feel like an outsider. Areas of focus for this talk include adverse childhood experiences, incarceration, re-entry, imposter syndrome, diversity, equity, inclusion and more.

February 20, 2024
Grandview Campus
10:30 a.m. 
Student Activity Center

February 21, 2024
Yakima Campus
12:00 p.m.
Parker Room, Deccio Higher Education Center, Building #8

Both talks include lunch and are free and open to the public.

Amili is a father of 6 from Seattle, Wash. Born into a family dominated by poverty and addiction, he found himself suffering from trauma and chronic instability throughout his childhood. As a young adult he was sent to prison on 30 felony convictions related to a bank fraud scheme. Upon his release from prison at 23 years old, Amili began a postsecondary education journey through which he climbed from earning his GED to a master’s degree from the University of Washington. He now works in the juvenile justice field in addition to being an educator and renowned author and speaker.

Amili’s story has been told throughout the state of Washington as a member of the Humanities Washington speaker’s bureau and his first book, “Transforming Society’s Failure,” is available at every youth, men’s and women’s correctional facility in the state.

Since 2005 Yakima Valley College has partnered with several area organizations to host events and lectures through its annual Diversity Series. The events provide YVC the opportunity to bring diverse perspectives to everyday topics and push the boundaries of the term beyond race, gender, social class and sexuality.

For more information contact Instructor Mark Fuzie at mfuzie@yvcc.edu.

Press Release Contacts:
Dustin Wunderlich / 509.574.6870 / dwunderlich@yvcc.edu
Stefanie Menard / 509.574.4646 / smenard@yvcc.edu