OUTLaws Student Organization Honored by Las Vegas Pride Festival
The Las Vegas Pride Festival recently recognized the William S. Boyd School of Law’s student LGBT organization, OUTLaws, as a Volunteer Champion. President Jack Blackmon and Vice President of Philanthropy Michiko (Mojo) Nozawa-Joffe received additional awards for their individual contributions to the 2013 festival.
In partnership with a funding program that agreed to match the organization’s volunteer hours at $10 per hour, OUTLaws successfully generated $500 for non-profit organizations providing AIDS prevention and treatment, assistance to the homeless, and other philanthropic services to Las Vegas’ LGBT community.
The Las Vegas Pride Parade and Festival are organized by the Southern Nevada Association of Pride Inc. (SNAPI). OUTLaws provided SNAPI with a variety of volunteer services throughout the weekend of events, including parade crowd control and ticket sales at the festival.
“Not only did we take pressure off SNAPI by making ourselves available for just about anything its leadership needed, but we were able to generate vital funding for underfunded community organizations in Las Vegas,” Blackmon said.
The organization’s generous contributions were honored with three out of the five annual awards given to volunteers.
“The awards OutLaws received mean what we are trying to do is appreciated, and has a positive impact on the LGBT community. The awards validate and vindicate our goals and purpose,” Blackmon said. “These awards, probably most importantly, motivate us to continue to try and find ways to have a positive impact within our community.”
Following their recent Pride Festival success, OUTLaws plan to combat homophobia through educating the community on current LGBT issues and needs.
“Because the laws for same-sex couples and LGBT people are in such a state of flux, many do not take the proper steps to protect themselves and their relationships,” Blackmon said. “We want to make sure that LGBT people know where to go for help.”
Along with a newly created LGBT section of the Nevada Bar, the organization will create informational materials to be disseminated at future events. Materials will provide information related to same-sex adoption, real estate planning, and gay and lesbian rights.