Affinity Executive Director Announcement

Updated: Mar 31

Affinity Community Services Executive Director Imani Rupert-Gordon to step down to become the Executive Director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights Chicago

The Board of Directors for Affinity Community Services announces the resignation of Imani Rupert-Gordon as Executive Director, as she leaves Chicago to become the Executive Director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) in San Francisco.

Rupert-Gordon has served as Executive Director for four years and leaves with significant accomplishments building on the legacy of the oldest non-profit organization in the country that provides a mission focusing solely on Black LGBTQ women. Rupert-Gordon’s last day with Affinity will be February 14th, 2020.


During Imani’s tenure at Affinity, the organization saw an increase in foundation funding, and a 400% increase in individual giving. Additionally, under Rupert-Gordon’s guidance, Affinity hosted the inaugural virtual leadership development program, the Blackprint Summit; increased the number of participants in the HIV prevention education program (COIL); and expanded the programmatic offerings to engage a broader base of younger women. “Imani will be sorely missed at Affinity and in Chicago. We are so grateful for all of her efforts on behalf of Black queer women, and we know she will continue making a difference on the national level at NCLR,” stated Anna DeShawn, Affinity Board Chair.


“I’ve gained so much from working at Affinity; it has been the most rewarding work I’ve ever done,” says Rupert-Gordon. “Being part of Affinity’s legacy has been an incredible honor.”

The Board of Directors is proud to announce the appointment of Christina Smith, PhD as the Interim Executive Director of Affinity Community Services. Chris is one of the founders of Affinity, and brings a combination of community engagement, program management, and executive leadership that will provide great continuity during the transition. As Chris stated, “It is a rare opportunity to be able to build upon work that I helped set in motion several years ago as the organization prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2020. I am very proud of all that has been accomplished and look forward to supporting the incoming leader.”


Morten Group LLC, a national consulting firm, has been retained by Affinity to lead the executive search.



About Affinity Community Services

Affinity Community Services is a social justice organization serving the needs of the Black LGBTQ community of Chicago with a particular focus on Black women.

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