Become a Board Member                        AFFINITY Staff                               About Us


Anna DeShawn, President,

a member of the board since 2013, is a 34 year old Chicago-born social entrepreneur. Anna graduated from Drake University in 2005 with a degree in radio/television production. She went on to study corporate communications at Ithaca College and graduated with her masters in 2007. Media has always been Anna’s passion so she turned her passion into a reality when she founded E3 Radio, LLC. E3 Radio is an online radio network that produces authentically-edgy media to affect real change. Anna and the QCREW host a weekly show for Queer People of Color (QPOC) around the country every Thursday at 8pm CT. Past Guests include Lena Waithe, Affinity Community Services, C.C. Carter, Coquie Hughes, Hanifah Walidah, KIN4LIFE, Mary Morton and many others. Anna DeShawn is determined to ride media into its next era by utilizing online radio streams to tell the stories that need to be heard.

Email: anna.deshawn at affinity95 dot org



Jasmine “Jas” Thurmond, Treasurer

a member of the board since November 2014, is a native Chicagoan. J as graduated from Concordia University in 2014 with a M.A. in Educational Leadership, and she is pursuing a M.A. at Chicago State University in English Language and Literature. Jas is passionate about social justice, especially within education. She believes that all children are entitled to and should receive an academically rigorous and culturally relevant education that will effectively prepare them for college or a career. Because of this passion, Jas continues to serve as an English/Reading Instructor, as well as in various other Educational Leadership roles.

Jas has facilitated and participated in a myriad of activities in Chicago’s LGBT community, including co-hosting G-Spot Radio Show, a weekly live talk radio show, where she interviewed guests such as Leela James, Marwan, Dr. Jackie Anderson, Natalie “The Floacist” Stewart, Laurinda D. Brown, and others. Jas was a founding board member of Chicago State University’s first Gay-Straight Alliance, Helping Others Regarding Orientation (H.E.R.O.); in addition, she received The Windy City Times’ 30 under 30 Award in 2008. Jas has worked with other non-profit organizations, as well, such as the K.L.E.O. Center, International Federation of Black Prides, and Betty Shabazz International Charter Schools to write and secure private, state, and federal grants. She looks forward to using her position on Affinity’s Board of Directors to affect change and provide assistance to all.

Email: jas.thurmond at affinity95 dot org



LaToya Bailey, Board Member,

In 2014, LaToya became a board member of Affinity Community Services in 2014- she wanted to serve and connect with her community on a deeper level. She feels that it is important to give back what was once received. LaToya bring many years of experience in working with nonprofits through planning and organizing events, marketing and promoting events, setting long term goals and visions for the improvement of the organization, fundraising, and presenting ideas.

LaToya is first and foremost, an educator, an engineer, and an entrepreneur. She was born and raised on the southside of Chicago, and graduated from the University of Illinois-Chicago, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering.  Currently she works as an Electrical Engineer with a manufacturing company in Romeoville and is responsible for control system design, control panel engineering, PLC and HMI programming, and site start-up support of integrated packaging equipment for the consumer products industry. LaToya had also joined the E3Radio team as the Technical Expert of all the radio communication and technology needs and provides technical support of the issues reported.

LaToya believes that its important our community stay relevant in the technology/STEM space. She would like to create a safe space for queer black woman in tech to come together to network and share ideas. She loves to travel, dance, and play sports. She believes in uplifting people and in self-help.

Email: LaToya.Bailey at affinity95 dot org


Aisha Davis, Board Member,

joined the Board in October of 2017. Aisha N. Davis, Esq., is a fellow at Loevy & Loevy and was born in Washington, DC and raised in Maryland. After attending Washington & Lee University in Lexington, VA, she went on to Columbia Law School and the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies for her JD and LLM, respectively. As an avid student of intersectionality, Aisha has worked on civil rights issues throughout her legal career, including work with Amnesty International, the Human Rights Foundation, Columbia Law School’s Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies, the African American Policy Forum, and Lambda Legal. Since her move to Chicago, Aisha has continued this mission through her work with Affinity Community Services, the Pride Action Tank, and as a board member of the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance.

Email: aisha.davis at affinity95 dot org


Jessica Peters, Board Member,

joined the Board in October of 2017. Jessica Peters, is a nonprofit and political development consultant with a background in equipping marginalized populations and activating individuals to fight for their happiness. Jessica has over 15 years of experience working with businesses, corporations, grass-root organizations, and community leaders to drive impact for the LGBTQ+ collective.  Prior to moving to Chicago, Jessica was passionately devoted to changing the world in Kansas City, where she grew up. Jessica maintains her optimistic outlook on life through reading a book every week or two and spending time outside every time it rains. She believes that by finding and living for one’s happiness, space is created for authenticity to prosper and equality to be achievable.

Email: jessica.peters at affinity95 dot org



Malissa Rainey, Board Member,

works as a Team Leader in the Housing Department of the largest Mental Health agency in the state of Illinois.  Prior to joining her current employer, Malissa worked as a Team Leader administering the Housing Choice Voucher program in the City of Chicago.  Before starting a career in Property Management, Malissa worked as a Community Organizer and Leadership Trainer in the Chicago land area. Malissa is passionate about people and enjoys working in public service.  Malissa graduated from Chicago State University and majored in Political Science. She is also the recipient of the Nancy Jefferson’s Community Leadership award, Elena Friedman inspiration award and a former Employee of the year for CHAC.

Email: malissa.rainey at affinity95 dot org