The Board of Directors at Affinity Community Services ( "Affinity") is pleased to announce the appointment of McKensie Mack as its new Executive Director. McKensie is currently the Managing Director at Praxis Group and the Founding Partner of MMG, both of which are consultancies dedicated to building affirming cultures of repair, healing, and accountability. McKensie follows Imani Rupert-Gordon as Executive Director who stepped down after 4 years in February.
For over 14 years, McKensie (they, them, theirs) has been an educator and organizer who has taught in the U.S., France, Mexico, Germany, South Africa, and Peru on identity, social justice, conflict management, and relational repair. As a trilingual, award-winning digital organizer, entrepreneur, anti-oppression educator, and researcher, they have worked at the intersections of racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, and gender equity for over a decade. Anna DeShawn-Rainey, Affinity Board President stated, "As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Affinity, we are excited about McKensie's leadership and their depth of experience across a spectrum of issues and look forward to working with them, as the role of Affinity is even more critical than ever before. Affinity is evolving to meet the needs of our community and we are confident McKensie will help us lead the way." Originally from the Southside of Chicago's Roseland and Chatham neighborhoods, they received their Bachelors from the University of Chicago in Linguistics and are currently pursuing a Masters degree in Social Anthropology. "I am excited to be joining one of the first Black LGBTQ+ organizations in the nation, working for Black LGBTQ+ people and communities on Chicago's Southside as it enters this new phase in the life of its 25-year legacy. In the face of COVID-19 and global protests against systemic racism, this is a pinnacle moment for us all, especially for us in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights for Black people. As a Black, queer, nonbinary person I am honored to be leading this organization into the next phase of its evolution. I express gratitude to all those who came before me and laid the groundwork for this organization, this community, and this legacy, including Dr. Chris Smith, Imani Rupert-Gordon, Kim Hunt, and countless others who have paved the way for this work to be done" stated McKensie. Before being appointed as Executive Director of Affinity Community Services, McKensie served as the inaugural Executive Director of Art+Feminism, a nonprofit organization that tackles gender inequity on Wikipedia, the sixth most visited website in the world. McKensie's past work has included such organizations as the American Library Association, the Wikimedia Foundation, Broadway Youth Center, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Joyn, Enrich Chicago, and Equity in the Center. The Board of Directors is extremely thankful to co-founder, Dr. Christina Smith, who graciously returned to Affinity to serve as Interim Executive Director during this transition. Her leadership and support has been invaluable and helped maintain organizational operations during the last several months at a critical moment. Morten Group., LLC a national consulting firm based in Chicago, conducted the search and provided transition assistance.
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