Meet this HRC Atlanta volunteer for the scoop on this year’s gala, and find out how he manages to fit several worthy non-profits into an impressively busy schedule.
By Mike Fleming
The gay men of Atlanta play an integral part in our city’s rich cultural, corporate and philanthropic history. From public relations strategy to the intricate planning of this month’s HRC Atlanta Dinner and Silent Auction, 26-year-old Andrew Moon plays a part in all of those aspects of the city and more.
Originally from Commerce, Georgia, with a bachelor’s degree from UGA, Moon has been in Atlanta for five years now in a respected public relations firm that keeps him busy morning to night. We chatted with him about the 30th HRC Gala Dinner & Silent Auction coming on April 22, life in the big city, and what it means to give back to LGBT and other worthy causes.
I’m a Strategist with Edelman Atlanta’s digital group. I look across an organization’s target audiences – customers, employees, etc. – and help them identify which marketing channels (e.g., website, social media) are most appropriate. It’s challenging, but such an amazing opportunity to work with brilliant people around the world.
What associations are you most proud of outside of work?
I’m fortunate enough that Edelman recognizes that business and purpose can – and should – live together. This gives me flexibility, and other people within Edelman, to support a few non-profits around town like CHRIS 180 and the Georgia Center for Non-Profits. I also serve as the Communications Chair on the Human Rights Campaign Atlanta Steering Committee.
What’s makes this year’s HRC Atlanta Gala special?
I think most in our community are looking for a silver lining in today’s chaos. I actually started to feel a bit hopeless, but a quote from Meryl Streep, who was recently honored at the HRC New York Gala, put it well: “Because he will have woken us up to how fragile freedom really is.”
Following the marriage equality ruling, people lost sight of the other important battles to end workplace discrimination, achieve fair housing and ensure transgender individuals are recognized as equal. Our event, as it always has, helps advance these battles on a local, state, national and even global scale.
When you’re not working or volunteering, what do you do for fun?
I’m a true a cappella nerd. I started in the UGA Accidentals, and we competed in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, the same competition featured in the movie Pitch Perfect. Since moving to Atlanta, I’ve had the opportunity to sing with a few groups such as The Graduates.
If you could change one thing about gay Atlanta, what would it be?
I’ve never felt more connected to our community than in the aftermath of the Pulse shooting last year. In the face of incredible tragedy, people from all walks of life stood in solidarity to celebrate the lives lost and begin the healing process – together.
If I’d change anything, it would be to have our community realize that we have an immense opportunity to drive change when we unify – not just in times of crisis – around a common cause.
If you were to die tomorrow, what would you want your legacy to be?
That I left things in a better place than I found them.