Affinity Community Services
MISSION: Affinity Community Services is a social justice organization that works with and on behalf of Black LGBTQ communities, queer youth, and allies to identify emergent needs, create safe spaces, develop leaders, and bridge communities through collective analysis and action for social justice, freedom, and human rights.
VISION: Affinity Community Services envisions a society where being your authentic self is not a liability and differences are fully embraced.
ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY: Affinity Community Services (Affinity) is a social justice organization that focuses on health and wellness, leadership development, and community building. Our core constituents are Black lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women and LGBTQ youth of African descent in the Chicago metropolitan area; however, much of our work addresses needs and issues related to the broader LGBTQ and Black communities.More than 15 years ago, Affinity was born out of the desire of out Black lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals to bring visibility to their presence on the south side. Through the efforts of an ad hoc committee and supporters, the group successfully petitioned to march in the Bud Biliken Parade, a south side institution and, at the time, the largest parade in the U.S. After that accomplishment, members of the committee thought there should be an organization to continue social justice work on behalf of Black LGBTQ communities. Affinity Community Services was born as a result of their hard work as well as the courage and sustained efforts of other groups before them.