Scholar Class – 2012 - 2013
Noël Gordon was born in the heart of Brooklyn, New York and lived there until a few months after the September 11th attacks. His family eventually relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he soon began to excel in school and extracurricular activities. During his senior year of high school, Noel was chosen as one of two Nevada state delegates to the United States Senate Youth Program. Noël also served as Student Body 2nd Vice President and earned the title of Nevada State Champion in Public Forum Debate. Yet even while accomplishing all of this, Noël was haunted by the idea that he was going to Hell because of his sexual orientation—a message he constantly received from his family, his church and even some of his peers.
Thankfully Noël was able to move past these messages of fear. He is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he majored in Political Science and minored in Moral and Political Philosophy, as well as LGBTQ and Sexuality Studies. During his time at Michigan, Noël launched several grass roots initiatives to improve campus climate in general and for LGBTQ people of color in particular. In 2012, Noël was recognized as an “Emerging LGBT Leader” by Vice President Joe Biden and the White House Office of Public Engagement.
Noël is currently Foundation Project Manager at the Human Rights Campaign. In this role, Noël develops strategic plans and partnerships that extend the reach and capacity of HRC Foundation programs. Specifically, he leverages programmatic resources to advance key priority initiatives, such as transgender equity, HIV/AIDS awareness, and racial and ethnic diversity. Prior to this, Noël served as HRC Foundation Coordinator, providing administrative and programmatic support to a team of 35 full-time staffers and an $8 million budget.