Founded in 1873, the Walter F. George School of Law is the professional law school of Mercer University. As one of the oldest law schools in the United States, students created its first LGBTQ+ organization on campus - OUTLaw. This LGBTQIA student alliance is changing the narrative in the South to promote diversity and inclusiveness.
Movement builder and Indigenous human rights leader, Alray Nelson, will be honored by Mercer Univeristy on Friday, November 15, 2019, in Macon, Georgia. He will provide a lecture in the L. Woods Courtroom that will cover the LGBTQ+ organizing work on the Navajo Nation that has been promoting equality and the protection of tribal sovereignty.
“The work we do is for our young people. Our Diné LGBTQ+ leaders are working to combat the violence towards our transgender community, bringing awareness to the increasing suicide rate, and holding tribal leaders accountable,” said Nelson from his New Mexico home. “Our elders told us that we were sacred. The creation story says we have sacred roles to fulfill. Our history acknowledges us. Being Diné and LGBTQ+ means your a leader and a warrior. That’s what we are fighting for - the right to exist and to live a good life for the people.”
The Diné Pride Board of Directors appointed Alray as executive director to lead the largest Indigenous Pride celebration in the country. He previously was the Board Chairman of the Equality New Mexico Foundation, an honoree of the prestigious Rainbow Champion Award, and served as the Native American Vote Organizer for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development named him a Top 40 Native American Leader Under 40.