The Reno-Tahoe Young Professionals Network is thrilled to have the opportunity to highlight
OUR Center, a local nonprofit working to establish and maintain a safe, empowering, and supportive center in northern Nevada that addresses advocacy, education, and services for the LGBTQ community.

      1. Can you tell us about the work your organization does and the program or programs you run?
        • Build a foundation to sustain a community center, where people of all ages and backgrounds can come together for support, education, and social activities;
        • Connect community members, organizations, and resources to encourage advocacy, cultural development, and personal well-being, and;
        • Strengthen the network of support to increase innovative programs and services.
          Our Programs focus on LGBTQ youth and seniors, in addition to general support groups for the wider community and substance abuse.
      2. How did this organization come about? / Why was it founded?
        • OUR Center was created when it was noticed that the LGBTQA community was in need of a place that provided programs, services, and resources for the community. In addition to having a physical meeting space, we host Northern Nevada Pride annually, which is a celebration of the diversity and promotes acceptance of the LGBTQ community in our region.
      3. Who has this organization grown or changed over time?
        • Our Center spent several years fundraising in order to open a physical location, which took place in 2016. In 2014, the organization started Northern Nevada Pride to serve, first and foremost, as a celebration of our community. This event has grown to see 15,000 attendees in 2019.
      4. Share your story, why is this cause so important to you?
        • LGBTQ community centers have come to be a staple for cities and regions throughout the world. Many individuals are faced with staunch opposition to expressing or living openly as their true gender identity or sexual orientation. These challenges can be faces at any age, as people from youth to seniors struggle to connect with others and find resources. LGBTQ individuals often suffer from significantly disproportionate levels of mental health issues, substance abuse, homelessness, isolation, and suicide. Having a community center and LGBTQ focused groups can help to decrease these issues within the local community.
      5. What has surprised you most about working with this cause/nonprofit?
        • The amazing support from our allies has been transformational for our organization, community, and programs. Our supporters often identify as heterosexual or cis gender. This has been encouraging for us and crucial to advocating for equal rights and promoting acceptance.
      6. What can the local community or YPN members do to help your nonprofit?
        • Continuing to support LGBTQ rights and ensure that equitable treatment is provided for all is critical. In addition, the local community can be supported through voting and advocating for equal rights, such as with this year’s ballot question 2 in support of ensuring marriage equality regardless of gender in Nevada.
      7. Tell us about your events/fundraisers.
        • Our largest event is Northern Nevada Pride, which takes place on the fourth weekend of July of every year. This event is open to all, and serves as a huge celebration of the diversity, acceptance, and PRIDE that LGBTQ individuals have fought for years to achieve. With over 15,000 attendees, 200 vendors/participants, and over 60 entertainers, this event is truly worth attending.
      8. Tell us about volunteer opportunities with your organization.
        • As a completely volunteer-run organization, we are always looking for volunteers to staff the community center open hours, participate in support groups, and volunteer for events and fundraisers. Interested individuals can reach out to to get involved.
      9. How can we stay in touch and up-to-date on your organization?