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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Affinity's Scholars Campaign to receive $10K from anonymous donor
From a news release
2012-08-31

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An individual donor and tremendous friend to Affinity Community Services, who wishes to remain anonymous, called the organization on Thursday, August 30, with exciting news that he/she would make a $10,000 donation, if Affinity succeeded in meeting its $25,000 goal for the Scholars Campaign drive on Indiegogo.com . This amount plus the anonymous $10K gift would total $35K raised for the Scholars Program.

The Scholars Campaign drive launched on August 10 and runs through September 10. The three-year grant that funded the Scholars Program ended this summer. In preparation for this, however, Affinity has been seeking alternative foundation funding for the past two years. We have promising foundation leads to help continue funding the program but will not know the outcome until early 2013.

The Scholar finalists for this potential incoming cohort are on standby waiting to know whether or not the program will continue this Fall. Several Scholar alums have shared the significance of this program in their lives and development as young leaders. 2010 Scholar Alum D. Jamari White, who is now a board member at Affinity, states, "The Scholars Program changed my life. I have so many skills and experiences that have contributed to my continued commitment to LGBTQ issues, to racial justice, to social justice, that I would have never attained had I not been a part of this program."

The Affinity Scholars Program, launched in 2009, is a service-learning program for Black women, ages 18-24, who self-identify as lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer. They receive training in community organizing, organizational development, non-profit management, and leadership development. Scholars participate in board meetings and also play a key role in creating and executing some of the organization's key programs. In addition, they organize an annual, city-wide youth summit and present their research projects at the end of the program. Thanks to foundation and individual support, this year's Scholar graduates attended advocacy and leadership development trainings throughout Chicago, and an Emerging Black LGBTQ Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. on Capital Hill.

So can we raise $25,000 to provide educational and leadership opportunities, stipends, trainings, bus passes, support, food, and a safe space for youth? Can we spread the word to our friends, families, and co-workers and encourage them to contribute to the campaign? YES WE CAN!!!

Please partner with Affinity by making a donation at www.indiegogo.com/ACSScholars by September 10, and spreading the word.

For questions, please e-mail executivedirector@affinity95.org, or call 773-450-2444.

Affinity is a social justice organization founded in 1995 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.


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