A group of Emerson College Los Angeles students gathered on October 11 to volunteer for the 22nd annual Models of Pride conference.
“Models of Pride is an all-inclusive conference to allow people to gain knowledge, build experience, and also just experience community in a safe way,” said Jennifer Jeffries, volunteer coordinator for the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
Attendees at the one-day Models of Pride conference, which was held at the University of Southern California, were able to attend more than 100 workshops on topics such as activism and socialism, ally building, arts and empowerment, coming out, education and careers, gender, health and healing, race and ethnicity, sexualities, and spirituality and faith. More than 1,200 attended the conference, which also featured a resource fair, performances, and a dinner and dance party.
Volunteers at the conference helped to set up the event, checked in guests,
served lunch, and supported various needs of the staff. Among the volunteers was Brad Cryan '15, a Writing for Film and Television major.
“When I was in high school in Connecticut, I actually went to a pretty similar conference that made a difference to me,” said Cryan, “so it was kind of cool to go in as a volunteer.”
Cryan was stationed at the check-in desk and volunteered for eight hours. He said that he enjoyed seeing young people at the conference exploring the queer community because he had once been in their position.
“It’s something that I probably wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t been required to do it,” said Cryan. “I’m glad that I was because since I just moved here, it’s great to start getting involved in the community. I made a couple of friends. I feel like I’m starting to put down roots.”
Cryan said he is definitely looking forward to volunteering with the Los Angeles LGBT Center in the future, a sentiment that is music to Jeffries’ ears.
“Every batch of students that has come from Emerson and helped with one of our events has been awesome,” said Jeffries. “If individuals are interested in ongoing opportunities, we have events every month.”