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Who is Affinity and What is the Scholars Program?

The Scholars Program is a leadership development experience for queer and transgender young women of African descent between the ages of 18 and 24. Up to four candidates receive a 10 month opportunity for training in social justice, non-profit management, and community organizing. Scholars also work on individual research projects and coordinate an annual youth summit while receiving mentorship from LGBTQ women of color and allied community leaders. 

Affinity 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.

The Scholars Program was previously funded through a multi-year grant that has ended. Our goal for the Scholars Campaign is to raise enough funds to operate the first six months of the program while we continue to secure new foundation funding. Because of our belief in community and personal power, supporting “now leaders,” and sharing knowledge, suspending the Scholars program is not an option — for Affinity or justice movements!

There will be no 2012-2013 Scholar Program if our fundraising goal is not met.

What We Need & What You Get

To operate the Scholars Program for 6 months, we need to raise $25,000!

Your contribution will help pay for:

  • Transit cards three days per week at $2.25 per card/Scholar
  • Meal allowances at $21 each week/Scholar
  • Monthly stipends of $400/Scholar
  • Conference and travel fees at approximately $500/Scholar
  • Administrative costs such as staffing and training materials

We have some awesome appreciation gifts for your donation, inlcuding a custom-made care, VIP seating at Burning Bowl 2013, and naming rights for the Scholars Program!

If we don’t reach the entire goal of $25,000 in one month, we keep none of the money :(

What the Scholars Program Has Done

Affinity has graduated 11 young woman from the Scholars Program in three cohorts. These Scholar Alum have told us the program because it created a safe space for development, a community of friends and sisters, opportunities to travel to important gatherings, and exposure to leaders and events they otherwise would have not been able to participate in.

Affinity Scholars have gone on to:

Paticipate in Graduate Degree programs at University of Washington, UPenn, Loyola University, and North Park University.

Accept travel-abroad programs, a full-time position at Affinity, and a board member seat at Affinity

Create and produced the Midwest’s first Transgender and Gender Non-conforming Pride which was held in Chicago

Start an arts collective

Continue their studies and job pursuits

3rd cohort of Scholars Graduate

Other Ways You Can Help Us Reach Our Goal

  • Get the word out and make some noise about the Scholars Program and our campaign.
  • Use the Indiegogo share tools!
  • Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


(via fuckyeahhardfemme)

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