Affinity Grows: With Movement-Building Initiative Support, Grantee Partner Expand Programming

Published on Dec 6, 2011

Two years ago, Affinity was a Black lesbian organization that provided community services and social events, but by taking part in Astraea’s Movement-Building Initiative, it has become so much more.  Affinity is now dedicated to working with a multi-racial, multi-gendered constituency to do social justice work through organizing, services, political education, and strategic partnering with other groups.

USA- Illinois- Chicago

After having to move out of their longtime home in a church last year, Affinity found a new temporary space and began working with allies to shore up resources for a permanent community center. “Affinity is the only LGBTI group in Chicago that focuses on communities of color and is large enough to have an Executive Director,” Kim Hunt, Affinity’s Executive Director, told Astraea in May. “By not having its own space right now, it means a lot of other organizations don’t have a space.”

Recognizing that moving to the next step required deep investment, Astraea offered Affinity an additional matching grant opportunity of up to $15,000 towards their new home. In just two months, Affinity was able to raise $45,000 to move ahead on securing a new space in conjunction with Amigas Latinas—a sister organization serving the Latina lesbian and bisexual community in Chicago.

Astraea’s U.S. Movement-Building Initiative was started in 2006 to provide large grants over multiple years to organizations led by queer and transgender people of color that use community organizing to fight for racial, economic and gender justice. What has it meant to be a part of this Initiative—now in its sixth year?

“Affinity would not be where it is today if it were not part of this amazing group of grantees, both in terms of the financial investment that Astraea has made and the influence and great admiration that we have for our colleague grantees across the country,” says Kim Hunt. “Affinity thanks you for believing in us.”