New York associate Katie Viggiani was a member of the winning team at OutNEXT's social justice hackathon, held in New York City on July 22.
OutNEXT is a leadership summit sponsored by Out Leadership, a global advisory firm dedicated to driving LGBT equality and creating business opportunities for emerging leaders. This is the second year that the organization has held the leadership summit, which includes career development programs, networking, and the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues across industries.
For the hackathon, Out Leadership selected four broad areas within the LGBT movement as focal points: homeless youth, global equality, HIV/AIDS, and transgender inclusion. Nonprofit organizations working in each of these areas identified a specific challenge that participants, working in teams, identified possible solutions. Winning teams received a $10,000 grant to pilot their proposals, as well as the opportunity to attend Out Leadership summits in Europe and Asia.
Katie's winning team project focused on support for homeless LGBT youth. The idea, dubbed #safespace, is a digital toolbox and marketing campaign aimed at connecting youth with LGBT-friendly housing and counseling resources via partnerships with public libraries, schools, community centers, businesses, and search engines. In the coming months, Katie, her teammates, and Out Leadership will meet for a strategy session to help plan the team's grant allocation and other next steps.