Using business to fight for human rights

December 1, 2017
Nick Alm.

There’s confidence in Nick Alm’s stride and in his voice.

The 21-year-old, who’s about to graduate from the University of Minnesota, knows his destination: “My life is going to be dedicated to LGBT issues,” he says.

Alm is the cofounder and executive director of Mossier, a nonprofit that boosts LGBT rights around the globe through economic empowerment while also creating an intergenerational movement in Minnesota.

Mossier, which launched earlier this year, is short for the Mossier Social Action and Innovation Center. It supports LGBT-owned businesses in Kenya, Uganda, and the Dominican Republic. It’s also providing paid internships to University of Minnesota students—11 so far.

The nonprofit takes its name from the late Kevin J. Mossier, the founder of the groundbreaking gay travel company RSVP Vacations and whose foundation provided the seed funding for the nonprofit.

Mossier emerged from Alm’s internship with Conlego, a Minneapolis consulting firm that specializes in the social impact sphere. Charlie Rounds, a retired business executive and LGBT rights activist, approached Conlego for help assisting small businesses in Kenya and Uganda.

“So I Skyped Kenya and Uganda for three months,” Alm recalls. “After the summer was up, we decided we could really create an organization that was an umbrella for these projects.” Mossier was born.

Alm says Rounds’ and his relationship represents a core part of Mossier’s mission: connecting LGBT activists across generations. It’s a daunting challenge—one he embraces.

“People talk about dream jobs,” he says. “This is kind of a dream job.”