US Reporter


Dr. John Gaines to be Keynote Speaker at UW Tacoma’s Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast

The University of Washington Tacoma (UW Tacoma) recently announced the return of the Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast after a two-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The annual event, which brings together students, faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the larger community, is being organized and hosted by the university’s Black Student Union (BSU). This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. John Gaines, who will speak on the theme of “Your Voice is Heard: activism, even in small ways, makes a difference.”

Dr. Gaines, who grew up in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood, knows firsthand the power of activism and overcoming adversity. At the age of seven, his mother passed away from a stroke due to her struggles with drug addiction. Dr. Gaines also dealt with depression and learning disabilities as a child. Despite these challenges, he persevered and went on to earn a Doctor of Business Administration degree from California Intercontinental University. In 2012, he founded Push for Dreams, a nonprofit organization that supports, trains, and equips educators and professionals with service-leadership skills and culturally responsive teaching.

In addition to the keynote address, the Unity Breakfast will also feature the presentation of Dream Awards, which recognize individuals and organizations for their work promoting equity, justice, and civil rights. The BSU has received support from various campus units, including the Center for Equity & Inclusion, the Center for Student Involvement, the Office of Community Partnerships, and the Division of Student Affairs.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast will take place on Monday, January 16, 2023, from 8:00 AM to 10:30 AM at the University YMCA Student Center. The event is open to the public, with advance tickets priced at $15 per person ($20 at the door). Following the Unity Breakfast, attendees are encouraged to participate in the City of Tacoma’s 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration, which will be held at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center at 11 AM and will be broadcast live on TV Tacoma and Facebook. Overall, the event is an opportunity to come together and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. while also learning from the inspiring story of Dr. John Gaines.

From Homeless to an Inspiration: How Ryan Stream Defied Odds

Ryan Stream has traveled across the world, entertaining and inspiring audiences from all walks of life. He is best known for his profound messages and innovative how-to steps to “conquer your colosseum” and create a winning personal and professional life. As a powerhouse speaker, he empowers his audiences using powerful messages based on his personal life experiences. Furthermore, he also sparks inspiration through his original music, delivering powerful narratives on hope and confidence through his songs, along with playing the piano lying down, blindfolded, and even backward.

Ryan Stream is versatile in terms of his music style. His music ranges from country to rap and everything in between. With his unique performances, the artist has been featured across major platforms, including MTV,, Business Insider, Yahoo Finance,, and Influencive Magazine. He is also the recipient of the Verizon Wireless Service Award and two Music Awards for his awe-inspiring songs and equally-captivating music videos. The artist has made his music available across music streaming sites across the globe, available to his ever-growing fanbase. 

Contrary to his current life in the spotlight, Ryan Stream lived a humble life growing up. He slept in homeless shelters and jumped from one foster family to another. It was definitely a challenging time in his life as he was separated from his brothers in the foster care system. Eventually, they were miraculously reunited by the Stream family, which changed the course of their life forever.

Furthermore, Ryan Stream still struggled through phases of alcohol abuse, drug addiction, and the consequences of his poor decision-making. Going through grief after the death of his biological mother, who lost her life to suicide when he was in the ninth grade, Ryan struggled to find his direction. On a mission to take control over his life again, Ryan Stream enlisted and joined the military, which was the best decision of his life, the turning point that changed his path. Joining the military taught him perseverance, grit, and determination and shaped him to be the inspiration he is today.

Using his many experiences in life, he uses his talent in leadership, public speaking, and music to amplify stories of leadership, discipline, accountability, resilience, mental and physical strength, teamwork, pride, communication, and service.

Asked what motivated him to become a motivational speaker, Ryan Stream shared that he knows how impactful their words can be after attending an inspiring talk himself when he was younger. “After I got adopted in elementary school, I saw a motivational speaker and realized how this works helped me. I decided right then that I wanted to be just like him. I am now traveling the world sharing my brand and story,” the visionary said. 

“One of the hardest life lessons you’ll ever learn is to let go. To let go of that relationship, those who have hurt you in the past, let it go. Letting go of that guilt and anger that you may feel. Forgiving yourself for anything you may have done in the past. You have to let it go,” Ryan Stream said. “The real power comes when you feel peace.”

Whether through motivational speaking or his music, Ryan Stream is committed to changing lives and helping people get through the darkest phases in their lives. He has uplifted countless individuals through his travels across the globe and aims to stop at nothing to ensure that everyone knows they are not alone in their journey to finding healing, peace, and overcoming their limitations. Make sure to check him out along with his music videos on YouTube! His gear can be found at