qnotes‘ April 13, 2013, print edition cover story, “Out for Change: Young LGBT Professionals Making a Difference,” profiled 18 young leaders. Each day we’ve been publishing more in-depth profiles of each so you can get to know them better. Today, we feature Amos Cooper, Jr., of the LGBT Center of Raleigh.

Amos Cooper, Jr.

Age: 34
Occupation: Banking

Hometown: Raleigh, N.C.

Currently: AVP Relationship Manager at Square 1 Bank for six years. Outside events committee for the LGBT Center of Raleigh’s Out! Raleigh. Previously worked for Bank of America and volunteered as a community liaison for the LGBT Center of Raleigh.

Alma Mater: North Carolina Central University

Would you describe yourself chiefly as an activist, advocate, student, entrepreneur, professional or something else? Why?
I would describe myself as an advocate for the community.  Living here most of my life I have felt there were several things missing from the community.  Being able to partner with the LGBT Center has allowed me to bring to light some much needed refreshing changes to the community as well as providing the center with additional support in their programs and endeavors.

Which LGBT/progressive causes are you most passionate about?

What inspired you to become involved in the LGBT/progressive community?
As mentioned before I knew there was much more that could be offered to the LGBT community.  Outside of my work with the center I also created various events and fundraisers to bring more awareness and togetherness to the community.

How does your passion for LGBT/progressive issues play a role in your work or education? Are there any intersections between your professional/educational career and LGBT/progressive causes or organizations?
Thankfully I work for a very liberal company that does offer domestic partner benefits.  We are a growing startup and I hope one day that we have a diversity committee that I can be a part of.

What do you believe is the most important issue currently facing the LGBT/progressive community in North Carolina? In the nation/world?
That’s easy:  EQUALITY!

How has your experience as a member of the LGBT community shaped your experiences in work or in school?
It has made me more observant and mindful of all the inequalities that face many groups not just the LGBT community.  It has also made me be more aware of the organizations and companies that support and promote LGBT equality and I am very appreciative of them.  It certainly means so much to be employed by a company that celebrates diversity!

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.