A Message from Anna DeShawn: Affinity’s New Board President

A Message from Anna DeShawn: Affinity’s New Board President

To say I’m honored to be the new Board President of Affinity Community Services is an understatement. Affinity has been a cornerstone in the Chicago LGBTQ community for nearly 22 years and she continues to thrive. Back in 2002 I was introduced to Affinity through the XPU drop-in program. This was a drop in specially for young people. I was nervous and hesitate but Renisha, Peaches, & Felicia welcomed me with open arms.

All of us have an Affinity story. Some are funny, some make us cry, but all of them remind us how important Affinity is to our lives. Affinity is the common thread that binds us together.

I wanted to take a few moments and share my Affinity story with you.

I grew up on the Southside of Chicago where I was unsure if being my authentic self would be fully accepted. As I grew up and went off to predominantly white universities I longed for a larger community that looked like me and shared similar values. Thank God for Google. I searched for black lesbians in Chicago and found Affinity.

I was away at school and every break I would tell myself all types of reasons why I couldn’t go. What if someone sees me? What if my parents find out? What if.. well eventually I stopped the what if’s and just went. The XPU drop-in was happening and I was going to go. I did and 12 years later I’m still here.

When Kim asked me to join the Board there were two questions I kept asking myself, “What if Affinity didn’t exist?” and “What am I doing to help sustain it?” The “what if” questions came back and really hit home. What if Affinity didn’t exist? What if the founders & initial supporters weren’t brave enough to demand space and visibility for Black lesbians on the Southside. What if Affinity had to close and I didn’t do my part to help sustain it. I wrote Kim back and started the process of becoming a Board member. I’m still here and if you’re reading this you are here with us.

You are Affinity. I am Affinity. We are Affinity and we need you to be an active participant in the sustainment of the organization. We need your time, talent, and treasures. Make the decision to give today. Your continued support is what makes us great!

I’m Anna DeShawn and #IAmAffinity.
President, Board of Directors

p.s. Feel free to leave me a comment or email me directly at anna.deshawn at affinity95 dot org. I’d love to hear from you.

Affinity’s 1st Casino Night Fundraiser

Affinity’s 1st Casino Night Fundraiser

Join Affinity Community Services for our first ever Casino Night Fundraiser!

Black Gold has something for everyone! We’ll have a raffle and a silent auction, a live DJ and dancing, and the casino game winner, will take home the FIRST EVER, Affinity Community Services Black Gold Trophy!

VIP includes access to VIP reception from 7:00-8:00PM, unlimited drinks, passed hors d’oeuvres, and plenty of funny money to play the casino games.

General admission includes 3 drink tickets, passed hors d’oeuvres, and some funny money to play the casino games.

Reduced admission includes 1 drink ticket, passed hors d’oeuvres, and little funny money to play the casino games.

See you there!

Affinity Board President Announcement

Affinity Board President Announcement

Hello!

I hope this correspondence finds you well. I am writing to share some fantastic news about upcoming changes in Affinity’s leadership. During my six years on the Board of Directors, Affinity has grown tremendously. There are so many amazing accomplishments that I can’t list them all, however, I would like to highlight three of my proudest moments:

  • In August  Affinity moved into our new space & hired our second executive director.
  • Affinity had the opportunity to participate in the Department of Justice’s investigation of the Chicago Police Department. Our participation provided an analysis on the treatment of LGBTQ women of color by the Chicago Police Department.
  • Affinity’s Proud Parents have held our annual Proud Family Picnic for the past two years.

It has always been my goal to serve my community, and it has been an incredible honor for me to serve on Board of Affinity since 2011, and as board president since 2013. The love affair between Affinity and I came at a time when we needed each other most! When I needed community, Affinity was there; and when she needed an ambassador to propel her to the next level, I was there. I promised her that when the time came for our relationship to end, I would leave her stronger than when we united!

Well, my friends, the time has come for Affinity and I to part ways. I have made the decision to step down as Board President effective October 31, 2017. Although I am stepping down, I will always be in integral part of Affinity and will continue to support her in any way possible!  The Board and staff are well prepared for my transition and Anna DeShawn, who has been working closely with me for the past couple of years, is more than capable of stepping into the role of Board President and moving Affinity onward and upward!  

Thank you so much for your contribution to Affinity, and I hope that you continue to support with your time, talent and treasure! I made a video for you as well for a more personal goodbye. Don’t consider this goodbye for good; consider this goodbye for now!!!

Pride Events 2017

Pride Events 2017

Affinity Pride Calendar

EVENT

ORGANIZATION LOCATION TIME/DATE

Proud Parents Family Friendly Picnic

Affinity Community Services 8300 S. Western Sunday,
June 11; 10am

Trailblazers Potluck

Affinity Community Services 2850 S. Wabash Ave. #108

Wednesday,
June 14; 5:30PM

The WOMB @Affinity

Affinity Community Services 2850 S. Wabash Ave. #108

Thursday,
June 15; 7:00PM

Artemis Singers Concert

Artemis Singers Concert & Dance
w/e. nina
5650 S Woodlawn

Saturday,
June 17; 7:00PM

CAN TV—Pride Episode Affinity Community Services Cantv.org;
Check TV listing

Friday,
June 23; 6:30PM

48th Annual Pride Parade City of Chicago Lakeview

Sunday;
June 25th, 12:00PM

Chicago Pride Calendar

Out in the Field: Slushies and Science
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

PRIDE Day at Brookfield Zoo
Brookfield Zoo
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
9:30 AM – 6:00 PM

Trans Community Ice Cream Social
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
5:30 PM – 8:30 PM

30 Queer Plays in 60 Straight Minutes benefiting YEPP
Thursday, June 22, 2017
7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Frat Night: Pride Edition
Thursday, June 22, 2017
9:00 PM

Back Lot Bash 2017
Parking Lot Behind Cheetah Gym, Andersonville
Friday, June 23, 2017
7:00 PM – 11:00 PM

The Queen’s Brass Ball(s): A Celebration of Pride
SPiN Chicago
Friday, June 23, 2017
9:00 PM

Gaywatch – Searching for Pride
Fri, June 23, 2017 10:30 PM through Sat, June 24, 2017 12:00 AM

Urbano Blatino Pride Party
Friday, June 23, 2017
11:00 PM

30 Queer Plays in 60 Straight Minutes
Friday, June 23, 2017
11:30 PM

Proud to Run 2017 10k Run & 5k Run/Walk
600 W Montrose Harbor Dr
Saturday, June 24, 2017
7:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Back Lot Bash 2017
Parking Lot Behind Cheetah Gym, Andersonville
Saturday, June 24, 2017
12:00 PM

Chicago DYKE MARCH 2017!
Piotrowski Park: Little Village, Chicago
Saturday, June 24, 2017
2:00 PM – 6:00 PM

June Queer Contra: Pride
2nd Unitarian Church
Saturday, June 24, 2017
6:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Gaywatch – Searching for Pride
Saturday, June 24, 2017
10:00 PM

Neverland Pride at Metro: DJ PAULO
Sat, June 24, 2017 11:00 PM through Sun, June 25, 2017 5:00 AM

You Only Live Once More: Pride Spectacular (2nd Annual)
The Frontier
Saturday, June 24, 2017
11:00 PM

30 Queer Plays in 60 Straight Minutes
Saturday, June 24, 2017
11:30 PM

48th Annual Chicago Pride Parade
Uptown and Lakeview Neighborhoods
Sunday, June 25, 2017
12:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Back Lot Bash 2017
Parking Lot Behind Cheetah Gym, Andersonville
Sunday, June 25, 2017
12:00 PM

30 Queer Plays in 60 Straight Minutes
Sunday, June 25, 2017
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Yee-Haw! 90s Country Music Night!
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
8:00 PM

Frat Night: Pride Recovery Edition
Thursday, June 29, 2017
9:00 PM

2017 Chicago Black Gay Pride
Various locations, CHicago
Friday, June 30, 2017
10:00 PM – 2:00 AM

June Queer Contra: Pride
2nd Unitarian Church
Saturday, July 29, 2017
6:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Transgender Day of Visibility

Transgender Day of Visibility
Today is Transgender Day of Visibility, a day when we celebrate the lives and accomplishments of transgender, and gender non-conforming individuals across the world. While we cannot underestimate the violence and discrimination that transgender and gender non-conforming people face, today is a day to celebrate the remarkable accomplishments and resiliency of a community that is oftentimes ignored and devalued.
Last month, The Trump administration took steps to lessen this visibility when they lifted protections that allowed students to use the restrooms corresponding to their gender identity, disproportionality hurting transgender youth. Last week, the Trump administration deleted the LGBT category in the largest national survey that measures the effectiveness of all elder services, and has proposed cuts to the 2020 census, no longer including sexual orientation and gender identity as a category. Because funding is linked to policy, and policy is linked to data, by removing these protections, and eliminating the opportunity to collect data, the Trump administration is taking steps to erase the LGBT community.
While it is imperative that we resist, let’s take some time today to celebrate how transgender individuals persist.
Here are some things you can do to celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility:
* Attend a Transgender Day of Visibility event in your area. If you’re in Chicago, check out the Trans Activist Showcase at the Center on Halsted tonight at 6:00.
* Donate to your favorite Trans-led organization. Some of our favorites are: TransTech, Transformative Justice Law Project, and Chicago BTGNC
* Follow transgender activists on social media. Here are some we follow: Kat Blaque, Laverne Cox, Precious Brady-Davis, Tiq Milan, Janet Mock, Jen Richards and Angelica Ross.
Educate yourself! Here are some resources:
* Check out this film, Major! that chronicles the life of Miss Major
* Visit the website for the National Center for Transgender Equality
* Check out this podcast, One from the Vault, a podcast on trans history
Happy Transgender Day of Visibility. We see you. We are you. We love you.
For more information about Affinity, visit us at affinity95.org.

A Statement from Affinity: We are at a Crossroads

A Statement from Affinity: We are at a Crossroads
Dear Affinity Community,
We are at a crossroads, and are unsure of what lies ahead.
This is a devastating time. Many of us have spent the last few days reflecting on the world we live in. The world is a different place today than it was earlier this week, and that is a difficult dialectic to experience.
There are people that will remind you that this is not a new feeling. And indeed, it’s not. Some have seen worse. Some have felt worse. But that is not much solace for individuals in the here and now. Systemic racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism and xenophobia isn’t less painful because we’ve prepared for it, or because we’ve experienced it before.
But it is more familiar. And there is power in that. In times like these, when we are at a crossroads, we can take solace that Affinity was born because our needs, and those of our families and communities were not represented in the larger narrative. So we built our own. An intersectional one. The feelings that are resonating through our communities now are the reasons that Affinity still exists today over 20 years later.  Resilience is woven into the fabric that has made us who we are. We are not saying that we see you during this devastating time. Affinity is saying that we ARE you during this devastating time. And you can call on us.
More than ever before, it is important that we work in coalition with one another, as individuals and as organizations. We need to support groups doing the work that needs to be done in this world. We need to give what we can. Our time, our money, our expertise. We need to join the boards of organizations that mean something to us. We need to be active on the boards that we are on. We need to support our friends, families, communities and networks to do the same and contribute to their communities. We need to mentor. We need to listen. This work is not cheap. It’s not easy. There are no short cuts. And it cannot be done alone.
But luckily, it’s not being done alone. Even this short time has been punctuated by moments of resistance that fuel our resilience. We’ve seen protests and healing spaces. Op-eds and letters to our communities. We’ve seen a renewed dedication to social justice efforts. Let’s work together to create more of these moments – both large and small. They matter.
Thank you for being in community with us. We are all better, when we are all better.
In love and solidarity,
Imani Rupert-Gordon

Executive Director

Affinity Community Services
business imformative articles new imformative business opportunities finance imformative deposit money imformative making art loan imformative deposits make imformative your home good income imformative outcome issue medicine imformative drugs marken imformative money trends self imformative roof repairing market imformative online secure imformative skin tools wedding imformative jewellery newspaper imformative for magazine geo imformative places business imformative design Car imformative and Jips production imformative business ladies imformative cosmetics sector sport imformative and fat burn vat imformative insurance price fitness imformative program furniture imformative at home which imformative insurance firms new imformative devoloping technology healthy imformative nutrition dress imformative up company imformative income insurance imformative and life dream imformative home create imformative new business individual imformative loan form cooking imformative ingredients which imformative firms is good choosing imformative most efficient business comment imformative on goods technology imformative business secret imformative of business company imformative redirects credits imformative in business guide imformative for business cheap imformative insurance tips selling imformative abroad protein imformative diets improve imformative your home security imformative importance
Facebook