Rivianna Hyatt has been a part of the True Colors Fund universe since 2015. In the years since then, she’s been a 40 of the 40 honoree, a True Colors Fellow, and a founding member of the National Youth Forum on Homelessness. Now, we’re excited to announce that Rivi has joined our team as a full time Program Officer – working out of our New York City office.
Rivianna’s dedication to this work runs deep. Over the years, she’s made a name for herself as a dedicated advocate and been at the forefront of groundbreaking national work to end youth homelessness. We’re honored to have her on our team and can’t wait to see what brilliance she brings to her new role.
I don’t want to spoil it all, so I’ll let Rivi tell the story herself…
Tell us a bit about your life and work prior to joining the True Colors Fund. Whatcha been up to?
Before joining the the True Colors Fund team full-time, I was a founding member of the National Youth Forum on Homelessness. That work consisted of many things, including helping communities across the country to deepen their youth collaboration efforts. I’ve also consulted with Future Labs, worked at the LA LGBT Center, and served on the steering committee of A Way Home America. Besides that, I got up to all kinds of artistic pursuits – mostly involving directing theatre and a lot of cutting and folding paper. Prior to moving to New York, I lived up and down California – Sacramento, San Francisco, Oakland, and LA. Phew! I’m a real west coast boi.
Why the True Colors Fund?
The True Colors Fund brought me into this work in the first place! In 2015, I was put on the True Colors Fund’s 40 of the 40 list. From there, I was in the first cohort of the True Colors Fellowship program. It connected me to other young people who grew up in similar circumstances that I did, and they were some of the smartest and best people I had ever met. The whole experience really changed my life. The communities that the True Colors Fund focuses on are the communities that I belong to, so it has always made sense to me that this was where I was supposed to be.
What sort of work will you be up to in your new position – and what are you most excited about?
A lot of it will be a continuation of what I’ve been doing: attempting to illustrate that in order to make a dent in the issue of homelessness in this country, we must look to the communities most affected by the issue. Now I just get to do it in a fuller way, including facilitating the National Youth Forum on Homelessness! I’m very excited to work with them to continuing deepening the role that young people with lived experience play in the movement to end homelessness.
What do you geek out about?
Beautifully shot socio-political documentaries about food. Genderqueer drag. Color and lines. Housing models. Taking pop music very seriously. I’m also contractually obligated to watch every single queer film that gets released. More than anything, I’m obsessed with my friends.
Applications for the 2019 True Colors Fellowship program are now open! The True Colors Fellowship offers up to five young people ages 18-24 the unique opportunity to execute a six-month project that contributes to a more inclusive world in which lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, queer, and questioning young people are included and affirmed in their identities. Throughout the experience, True Colors Fellows make lasting professional connections, gain hands-on organizing experience, and build their leadership skills.
Applications are open to LGBTQ-identified young people ages 18-24 with lived experiences of housing instability and/or homelessness. Apply or nominate a young person today!