Buy Your Tickets for Black Gold 2019 Here!

Buy Your Tickets for Black Gold 2019 Here!

Join Affinity Community Services for our Casino Night Fundraiser!

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

VIP admission includes access to the VIP reception from 7:00-8:00PM, passed hors d’oeuvres, and plenty of funny money to play the casino games. You must purchase a VIP ticket to attend the VIP reception.

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

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

See you there!

Affinity is Hiring!

Affinity is Hiring!

TITLE:              Program Coordinator
STATUS:          Part-time, 20 hours/week

Affinity Community Services is a social justice organization serving the needs of the Black LGBTQ community of Chicago with a particular focus on Black LGBTQ women.

POSITION OVERVIEW

The program coordinator is responsible for supporting the implementation and success of ACS programming and initiatives.

With guidance from the executive director, the program coordinator will implement programs, guide initiatives, maintain social media accounts and support community outreach initiatives. This position will provide other duties as assigned.

This position reports directly to the executive director.

PRIMARY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Program Development

  • Support creation, development, implementation, and evaluation of all programming at ACS.
  • Responsible for day to day management of programs with support of the executive director.
  • Assist in the development and implementation of ACS’s public policy agenda to advocate for changes in institutional policies/practices and legislative reforms to support Black LGBTQ+ women.
  • Create brochures, programs, flyers, online events, and resource guides associated with ACS.  

Administration

  • Contribute to the creation and execution of strategic and operational plans.
  • Contribute to the development of agency wide policy and procedures.
  • Prepare program reports for executive director and ACS Board of Directors.
  • Help to develop strategic partnerships with people, organizations and businesses that share ACS mission, goals and values.
  • Revise and maintain employee handbook in partnership with executive director.
  • Contribute to the development, implementation, and assessment of ACS’s volunteer program at ACS.
  • Develop a resource guide supporting Black LGBTQ+ older adults.
  • Serve as a contact for ACS peer leaders.
  • Assist in training and technical assistance as needed.
  • Assist in producing special events including not limited to Burning Bowl, Black Equal Pay Day, Black Gold, Old School Dance, LGBTQ+ Care Fair, Senior Luncheon and Pride events.
  • Supervise interns/volunteers as appropriate.
  • Provide event support when necessary, including basic volunteer duties.

Public Relations

  • Assist in the implementation of marketing strategy, including production of all agency marketing collateral (print to online) and special communications such as press releases, newsletters, and public statements.
  • Develop a social media strategy with the assistance of the executive director and marketing committee.
  • Manage and maintain all social media accounts.
  • Produce a monthly newsletter to connect to constituents.
  • Assist in communication to ACS donors.
  • Maintain high level of individual and agency visibility through in-person community engagement.

QUALIFICATIONS

This position requires a diverse set of skills. The ideal candidate will have expertise in leadership development, project management, community building, event planning, and social media strategy. These skills may be obtained through formal educational background, work experience, lived experience, or a combination of developing these skills.

In addition, the ideal candidate will have:

  • Professional experience working with Black LGBTQ+ women, Black people, people of color, and LGBTQ+ community.
  • Knowledge of social determinants of health that impact Black LGBTQ+ women.
  • Ability to develop structural-level interventions and evidence-based/informed programming, and evaluation.
  • Comprehensive understanding of intersections of identity, feminist and womanist theory.  
  • Commitment to racial justice, LGBTQ+ equality, health equity social justice and intersections of identity.
  • Ability to work effectively independently and in groups.
  • Ability to develop and maintain relationships with nonprofit, community, and business leaders.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, and positive attitude.
  • Strong writing skills and proficiency with Microsoft Suite.
  • Ambitious and desire to grow as professional community leader.

SALARY/EMPLOYMENT

$20/hour based on a 15-20 hour work week.  Employment at ACS doesn’t constitute a contract of employment. ACS may exercise its employment-at-will rights at any time.

HOW TO APPLY

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis (although we encourage candidates to submit their materials as soon as possible). To apply, send the following in one email to Imani Rupert-Gordon at Imani@affinity95.org:

  • Resume listing relevant experience
  • Cover letter describing how your skills and experience align with this position
  • List of 3 professional references

A Statement on Racism in the LGBTQ+ Community

A Statement on Racism in the LGBTQ+ Community

This past week we were all reminded why the work we do at Affinity is vital to our community.

When I explain Affinity’s purpose which is to serve the entire LGBTQ+ community by prioritizing the perspective of Black LGBTQ+ women, people ask me why? If the goal is to serve everyone, why would we prioritize the perspective of Black women? The reason we do it is because when you center the lives of people that experience oppression at multiple levels, absolutely everyone stands to benefit from that.

The events of this week remind us of the importance of doing the work this way, and why everyone serving the LGBTQ+ community must be intersectional in mission. The unfortunate reality is that oppression exists even within marginalized communities. LGBTQ+ people still experience racism, and sexism, and all of the oppression related to identity that non-LGBTQ+ people experience.

Racism is not just about language. Racism is often most damaging when it is difficult to name, but easy to recognize. It’s coded language. It’s like a dog whistle. Not everyone can hear it, but the sound is piercing for those of us that do.

And for those that aren’t sure, please consider this. Would anyone put a ban on pop music if Justin Bieber were playing during an incident? Of course not. It would be ridiculous. Then so is too is instituting a ban on rap music. Rap music does not cause violence, and the absence of it does not make us safer.

But taking a stance to not play rap music is a dog whistle, and that is violent. That is racially motivated. And we understand the intention, and the sentiment.

The movement for justice of LGBTQ+ people is not inherently anti-racist. We have to work to be anti-racist. In our movement, there has to be room for growth, and to learn from our mistakes so that we will make better decisions tomorrow than we did today. But let us remember, the price of this education isn’t free, and too often it comes at the expense and on the backs of those that already experience oppression. Racism is racism, even if the person didn’t mean to be racist and even after they learned to do better. And having space for growth doesn’t mean that we will ignore that. We can’t.

And lastly, protests and holding people and businesses accountable for their actions is a consequence, not a punishment. Protests have historical roots that help impacted communities heal and help us all exist together in this world. They make us all better, and Affinity is proud to be a partner in making our community more inclusive to everyone.

We are all better when we are all better, and I look forward to being better with all of you.

In Solidarity,

Imani Rupert-Gordon

Executive Director, Affinity Community Services

Living Room Chats at Affinity: A Podcast for Brave Conversations and Bold Voices

Living Room Chats at Affinity: A Podcast for Brave Conversations and Bold Voices

Living Room Chats is a new monthly podcast hosted by Kelly Suzanne Saulsberry. You can tune-in on Affinity’s Facebook page every third Wednesday at 7pm CT.

“Living Room Chats” will feature conversations with dynamic individuals from a variety of perspectives, backgrounds, and walks of life. Some of the topics we’ll dive into include political advocacy, culture, identity, and spirituality.

Each of us has a story. Each of us has questions we ask ourselves and others. Each of us has things we aspire to, issues and principles we are for or against, and existential questions we ponder. Each of us has identities that shape how we perceive each other and ourselves.

In this time of divisive and vitriolic rhetoric, hyper curated networks on social media, and a heightened sensitivity that makes some of us afraid to say anything, there is a real need for brave conversations and bold voices that push us beyond talking points and stereotypes, and empower us instead to think critically, feel deeply, and speak candidly about our thoughts, experiences, and lives.

This is the mission of Living Room Chats at Affinity. We are excited about bringing these conversations from our living room into yours, and hope that this podcast will inspire you to have brave and bold conversations of your own with people in your lives.

Bodhi Gives to Affinity

Bodhi Gives to Affinity

In the wake of Jussie Smollett and the events that followed Affinity has been highlighted as a resource. A trusted community partner doing the work. Bodhi Spiritual Center was one of the places that reached out and wanted to do something. They decided to give $1,000 to Affinity. We are grateful for their commitment to social justice and equity. 

Our Board President, Anna DeShawn, visited Bodhi to accept this gift and to spread the good news that is Affinity. Click the video and fast forward to 1:12:50 to hear what Anna had to say. 

Thank you from Anna DeShawn

We Want to Hear From You