Affinity Community Services is hosting their annual kick-off event, Burning Bowl 2018, on Saturday, Jan. 13, 1-4 p.m.
The event will highlight a community "burn" as a "symbolic way of leaving things that are no longer serving us so that we can move confidently into the future." This year, Affinity will celebrate the work completed in 2017, as well as set goals to build community and unity together.
This year's Burning Bowl 2018 keynote speaker will be Charlene Carruthers. Carruthers is a Black, queer feminist community organizer and writer and the founding national director of the Black Youth Project 100 ( BYP100 ).
"Charlene is a phenomenal writer, speaker, organizer, and leader. Her leadership has been a breath of fresh air," said Anna DeShawn, Affinity's board president. "Affinity is honored to share space with her."
Affinity will be honoring Phoenix Matthews with the Robbie Smith award. The Barbara "Robbie" Smith Award of Excellence is given to someone who exemplifies leadership, perseverance, strength, compassion and integrity. "Phoenix is a pillar of our community," said Imani Rupert-Gordon, executive director of Affinity Community Services. "Their dedication to researching underserved populations fills a gap, and is quite literally making our lives better, and longer."
This year also marks the return of the Drum Divas. "The Drum Divas have a long history with Affinity, and performing at Burning Bowl," said Rupert-Gordon. "We couldn't be more excited to have them back this year."
The event is Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, 1-4 p.m. and is free and open to everyone. This year it is located at Morgan Park UMC at 11030 S. Longwood Drive, Chicago. Children are welcome, and childcare is provided. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org .