ABOUT US

Who We Are

Becca Laroi:
Assistant Principal
Ashland High School
Black/African American Student Success Advocate

Becca is first and foremost, the proud mother of three beautiful children. She grew up in the Rogue Valley and as a Kenyan American, is very excited to be a change agent around diversity equity and inclusion work. Becca spent time as a high school teacher at South Medford High school. She currently serves as the administrator for equity and inclusion for the Ashland School district, as well as the Assistant Principal at Ashland High School. Becca served on district equity, diversity, and inclusion work groups, as well as helped facilitate parent meetings in southern Oregon for the Black and African American student success grant (BASS). Becca is proud of the work and relationships she has fostered in helping facilitate, and educate around diversity equity and inclusion.

 

D.L. Richardson:Equity Specialist
Medford School District

D.L. Richardson is an Oregon-based educator with 25 plus years of experience in teaching, diversity training, and public speaking. D.L. has taught communication courses at the university and high school levels, including everything from Public Speaking to Media and Civil Rights History, as well as Journalism and Public Relations.

He currently serves on the Oregon Cares Fund for Black Relief and Resiliency, The Oregon African American/Black Student Success Advisory Committee, The Governor’s (Oregon) Healthy Schools Re-opening Council, and the Oregon Racial Justice Council’s Education Recovery Committee.

 He works as an Equity Specialist with the Medford (Oregon) School District, as well as, the community-based organization Black Southern Oregon Alliance (BlacksouthernOregonalliance.com).

Marvin Woodard:
Equity Coordinator for Racial Justice, Southern Oregon University

The oldest of eight children from Lake Charles, LA, Marvin has spent the last 27 years in the Pacific Northwest. He is a graduate of Oregon Institute of Technology with a BS in Manufacturing Engineering Technology. Marvin’s professional career spans 21 years as an administrator in higher education. He currently serves as the Multicultural Resource Center Coordinator and Diversity Scholarship Administrator at Southern Oregon University where he has been helping students for the past 18 years through a variety of leadership roles. As a member of the SOU Social Justice & Service team, Marvin has dedicated a large amount of his effort to helping others find their place in the work of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

 
 
Carl Thomas

Carl Thomas:

Carl Thomas has 25 years’ experience in public higher education, working for Southern Oregon University, Oregon State University, Eastern Oregon University, and the Oregon Institute of Technology. Carl has spent most of his career as an administrator in university admissions with a passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion. With multiple connections throughout the United States, he assists students with their college aspirations to attend the Oregon Institute of Technology and with their interests to attend other institutions nationwide.

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Advisory Board

Vance Beach Bio Pic

Vance Beach:
SOU Alumni President since 2014, Community Activist

Vance moved to Oregon in 2007 to attend SOU. It was at SOU where he got his BS in Communications. After graduating from SOU with his undergraduate degree, Vance began to develop himself through a Leadership Development Program while simultaneously earning a Masters in Business Management. After much success in his journey, his career as a Global Sales Executive and with his children beginning school, Vance has devoted himself toward supporting and uplifting the community. In 2016, he created and hosted the 1st Black History month event for the Medford School District. Vance is a supporting member of the Black and African American student success grant (BASS) and is a member of the School Improvement Program (SIP) for Roosevelt Elementary. Vance also continues to be a member of the Southern Oregon MLK planning committee and an active member of the Multicultural board.

Channing Thomas:

 

McKenna Gilbert

McKenna Gilbert:

McKenna was born and raised in Springfield Oregon, but currently resides in Corvallis. She is a Public Health major at Oregon State University, and will be graduating this Spring of 2021. She has participated in volunteering and was eventually part of the staff in the Multicultural Center at Southern Oregon University where she recognized her love for this work. McKenna has also enjoyed working at the Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis for a just over a year which led her to develop a passion for working with youth, particularly ones of color. Her career goals include working with these youth of color who struggle with mental health, are of low socioeconomic status, and have low access to healthcare.

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2021 Southern Oregon Black Youth Summer Institute

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