There are a lot of challenges in the City of Chicago and nationally that face us as a community which means there is a lot of work to be done! Through an intersectional lens, civic engagement is the vehicle that drives Affinity’s social justice work on behalf of Black LGBTQ communities. Our work enables us to bridge communities through action for social justice, freedom and human rights. As Board President, it is my duty to ensure that Affinity’s voice, the voice of her people is always at the table speaking out against injustices and speaking up for equality. In a special address to Chicago’s City Council today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel publicly apologized for the police shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald and criticized not only what he called decades of city police corruption but also the “shoot first and ask questions later” gun epidemic in the United States. “I am the mayor,” Emanuel said. “As I said the other day, I own it. I take responsibility for what happened because it happened on my watch. …If we are going to fix it I want you to understand it’s my responsibility.” I agree with Mayor Emanuel when he said, “We have a trust problem, it’s time to change the narrative.”
People, we have the power to change the narrative! Reciprocal relationships between legislators have to be cultivated and sustained to affect change. As Senator Jacqueline Collins told me after the Mayor’s special address, “Your community needs to come together in a unified front to voice all of your concerns, not solely those pertaining to LGBT.” For many LGBTQ people, the win for marriage equality was the end, but for me as a woman of color, that was merely one of many fights that have yet to be won! My color does not supersede, my womanhood or my place on the LGBT continuum, all of my identities are equally important and when one is under attack, I must rise up, speak out and take a stand! I again implore you to stand with me and Affinity in solidarity not only for those whose lives were commandeered to gun violence, but for your life and a seat at the table.
“If You’re Not at the Table, You’re on the Menu!”
They were! You are! I am! We are Affinity!!!!
Ebonie S. Davis
Board President, Affinity Community Services