The Agenda

(+)vantage is thematically divided into four sections. The themes we will be focusing on are Nutrition, Opportunity, Empathy and Self-Expression.

I. Nourishment: Hors D'vours and Entertainment

Currently, Garden of Eating is catering some appetizers, drinks and hors d'vours but cultural clubs of Oxy are welcome to cook cultural desserts/ appetizers/ maybe even an entrée to represent how homelessness is a cross-racial, international issue. 

Why?: This portion is to showcase how blessed college students are (especially at Occidental!) to be, in the very least, physically and intellectually nourished. For many living on the streets, malnourishment, hunger, susceptibility to mental and physical disease are the norm and the support we may easily take for granted is not accessible to 4 to 6 million Americans, and hundreds of millions more around the globe. 

Also, there will be student performers and club performances during this portion of the event as well as the chance to have photos taken! 


II. Opportunity: Fashion (Identity) Show

A fashion show that showcases models (Oxy students) wearing clothes donated by local brands/boutiques. However, this is less about the clothes we wear, as it is about the identity we all uniquely have. That whether you are homeless or housed, wherever walk of life we come from, we are all deeply, simply human. 

Why?: Too engrained within our psyche is judging how much someone owns or lacks (morally and materialistically) by appearances.


III. Empathy: Experience Auction

This an auction where (+)vantage will offer experiences, from movie tickets to concert venues, for a group of people to enjoy together. The crowd will bid based on a willingness to have an experience with people they might not necessarily know. The first step to reaching out is getting out of our comfort zone; and we can start right here with our own peers through this auction in a fun, exciting way. 

Why?: For empathy to overflow outside the bubble of Occidental, that compassion must start within our own campus. And this portion is to highlight that need by encouraging it. 

This will be absolutely fun and ALL the money that is raised from the auction will be added to the proceeds that will support Nearshot. 


IV. Self-Expression: Go-Pro Confession

Several Go-pros will be passed down the line for everyone to say a word or phrase of a stigma they were labeled/judged by into the camera.

Why?: The theme of self-expression captures the epicenter and desire of Nearshot, the organization that all the funds of (+)vantage will be donated to. Furthermore, this moment of vulnerability will be a moment of recognition how lucky students are to have this sort of emotional and physical space to share. 

The Speakers

We are incredibly lucky and beyond excited to present to you our two speakers for this event: 

Kevin Adler: Kevin Adler is not only an alumnus of Occidental College ('07), but also the spark that got (+)vantage started. The founder of Nearshot, Kevin also started the HomelessPOV campaign in memory of his Uncle Mark, who suffered from schizophrenia and spent 30 years on-and-off the streets. Nearshot is a "media + interaction company based in San Francisco creating an alternative to Reality TV that is compelling and socially good: immersive storytelling" . (+)Vantage strongly believes that his campaign to integrate technology and media to humanize people is a dynamic way of digging to the root of how society views homeless people. A hundred percent of all donations and proceeds to (+)Vantage will be donated to Nearshot and Kevin Adler's vision. We are truly honored to have him fly from San Francisco to speak to our campus about his inspiring work -and we also believe that by listening for ourselves from our own Occidental alum, we can stop putting ourselves into a box and see how much grit, education and passion can accomplish. 

 Michael Gaulden: Our second speaker is an individual that is working with Kevin Adler’s campaign as a Storytelling Fellow. (+)vantage had been looking for an individual similar in age to college students who had experienced (or was in the process of overcoming) homelessness who could speak into the unheard stories of resilience and of being homelessness that we do not hear enough. (+)vantage was so lucky that Kevin Adler introduced Michael to us to which he accepted our invitation as a speaker. Michael is a 22-year old UCLA graduate who was homeless from age 7 to 17 until he saved up enough money from his job as a custodian at his high school to pay for an apartment for his family.  Currently, Michael is the Director of Business and Community Relations for Reality Changers, a college prep organization with a focus on building first generation college students. An in-demand public speaker and author, Michael is working on publishing his memoir that chronicles growing up homeless for ten years in the inner-city.