SPEaC Change Program Coordinator
Monica Lapa (she/her) was born and raised in the beautiful village of Fagatogo, American Samoa. She is a graduate of Samoana High School and has earned her Associate of Arts Degree from American Samoa Community College, and a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in History & Political Studies at Chaminade University of Honolulu, Hawaii.
After working as a Guest Relations Assistant Manager for 11 years at Take A Break Travel in Las Vegas, Nevada, she left, and became a Cage Cashier at Caesar’s Palace Hotel, where she quickly got promoted as a Supervisor for the Cage and Caesars Rewards at another Caesars Entertainment property, The Rio Hotel & Casino.
She is inspired by the works of Taffy Johnson and UTOPIA Washington. While working with Caesars Entertainment, she volunteered all her time doing groundwork for the past 5 years creating safe space for Queer and Trans Pacific Islanders in Las Vegas. She served Chair for UTOPIA Las Vegas since its inception and helped UTOPIA Las Vegas in becoming a 501(c)(3) organization in 2020.
As a proud Fa’afafine with a background in guest relations and leadership, she was instrumental in empowering and bringing more resources for Queer and Trans Pacific Islanders in Las Vegas. Through community organizing and volunteering, it made her realize that her passion is about standing up for those that look like her. Her fearless personality helps her speak up for others and be a voice for those that are afraid to speak up for themselves.
Monica states, “The world is a stage, and they are watching every move we make in how we live our lives. Like the superstars that we are, we will always have a look, show a look, and give them a look. We will not be erased!”
When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.Audre Lorde