Los Angeles LGBT Center's Vanguard Awards

Justin Mikita is partner and co-founder of Hawkins Mikita, a social impact firm working to develop the intersection of celebrity influence and social good.

Justin, with his husband Jesse Tyler Ferguson, is the co-founder of Tie The Knot – a nonprofit organization that sells limited-edition bow ties with celebrity guest designers and uses the funds to advocate for LGBTQ equality worldwide. Since it’s inception in 2012, Tie The Knot has raised and donated over $500,000 to dozens of organizations around the world that are on the ground working for LGBTQ equality. In 2016, Justin created and led a Tie The Knot team for the AIDS/LifeCycle ride — the initial team of four who reached their inaugural finish line have already proudly committed to 2017’s ride.

Prior to founding Hawkins Mikita, Justin most recently served as Development Director of the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER). Out of law school, Justin worked on an intimate staff of seven to raise the funds necessary to support the Perry lawsuit, which ultimately restored marriage equality in the state of California by way of the Supreme Court. He helped to build a cohesive and robust social media strategy for AFER’s public education campaign, both by initially engaging and sustaining engagement of talent for social media amplification around progress in the marriage equality movement on a national level. He continued working with AFER in a consultant capacity through the Bostic case, which won marriage equality in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

In 2015 Justin co-founded www.ThreadExperiment.com, the first ever line of bedding created for men. While serving as the Creative Director, Thread Experiment has released four collections direct to consumers via their website. In line with his commitment for charitable work, Thread Experiment implemented a one-for-one program, which prescribes that for every full set of bedding sold Thread Experiment will make a donation of sheets to a homeless shelter. The LA Gay & Lesbian Center, along with three other worthy recipients, all received bedding in its inaugural year.

Justin is an active volunteer with numerous community-based organizations and a passionate advocate for LGBTQ issues. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Human Rights Campaign - the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization. In 2014, Out Magazine named Justin on their annual list of Tastemakers. Justin holds a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles and a J.D. from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. He is licensed to practice law in the state of California.