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2018 Person of the Year: Rob Moolman

He’s only been in Utah for about nine months, but Rob Moolman has already made an impact — for the better — on Utah’s LGBT community. He was named the executive director of the Utah Pride Center as the new building opened in April 2018. Since then, a consensus of people says that his welcoming, open and “let’s try it” attitude have made the Center a usable space to enjoy. By the expansion of programs being developed and the number of people walking into the building, it appears his methods are working.

The Center struggled for many years to provide a welcoming space that people found relevant. Financial woes after the move to the Fourth South building shook the organization to its foundation.

Mike Aguilar, past chair of Utah Pride’s board of directors, welcomed Moolman’s excitement about a bright future in the new Pride Center location on the eve of announcing his new role.

“In social justice activism, there can be plateaus and downhill experiences in your quest for the highest peak. We are now hiking fast to the highest peak,” he said.

A South African native who grew up during Apartheid, Moolman said the social change that happened there changed him dramatically.

“Being exposed to the revolution was one of the things that shaped me into who I am. We, as a country, had to face up to what we did. It made me question what oppression looks like and whether it can be overt and covert,” he said.

“Moolman really has changed the game for the Pride Center and has set it on course to become a foundational institution for the community and to ensure its legacy continues and it becomes once again sustainable,” said active community member Les Roka. “He had the toughest task and has risen impressively to the challenge. And, he is bringing together voices that perhaps had not been so prominent.”

For the progress and the hope he has given our community center, Moolman is our Person of the Year. Q

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