ORAM BOARD INTERVIEWS: Nicki Hangsleben
1. How did you begin your involvement with the LGBTIQ community?
I’ve been part of the LGBTQIA+ community since the early 90s when my mom started dating women. I was fortunate to grow up in a queer community, and when I came out a few years later, I already had a network of support. When I was at a pride rally at the capital in 2005, I heard loud and clear how important it is for us to be out and proud in our communities. That this is how people see we are humans like everyone else. That this is how we affect change, I took that to heart and have worked to be out wherever I go. I’ve seen the difference that’s made over the past two decades and am grateful to live in a state (Minnesota) that is progressive and works hard to support and celebrate our LGBTQIA+ community.
2. What motivated you to become a board member at ORAM?
I first met Steve (ORAM's Executive Director) when I was working at Land O’Lakes Venture37 and immediately saw his passion for this work. As a person passionate about uplifting the lives of the LGBTQIA+ community and International Development, I knew I wanted to get involved. I have extensive experience working in proposal development, financial management and strategic partnerships, and have worked with farmers, agribusinesses, and governments across the globe. I saw this as an opportunity to marry my passion for LGBTQIA+ advocacy and International Development, and I believe I can use my skills to help grow this organization and its impact.
3. What are you most looking forward to from being on ORAM's Board of Directors?
I'm looking forward to digging into the organization's strategic plan and seeing where I can best plug in. I'm excited to work with the team to develop additional partnerships. And, with a background in accounting and finance, I always love digging into a good budget!
4. What part of ORAM’s work do you feel most connected to?
The current anti-Trans and anti-LGBTQIA+ political climate and the growing attacks on our community cause such a deep concern for me. I’ve seen the impact ORAM is having in the lives of LGBTQIA+ refugees across the globe and am impressed by their ambition. I’m grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this fantastic work!