Affinity Community Serviceswhich focuses on Chicago's Black lesbian and bisexual women's communityhas announced that it is severing ties with a partner organization, Youth Pride Center ( YPC )
The break comes over what Affinity characterized in a press release as a "misalignment of principles." In a statement e-mailed to Windy City Times, YPC representatives announced that they are taking the organization in a new direction, incorporating greater youth leadership with a focus on problems posed by ageism and adultism.
According to YPC spokesperson Frank Walker, the new focus is "not really new to usit's our first time ever talking publically about what we believe."
The YPC e-mail said that the organization has "turned the running of the day to day operations to young people, specifically alumni of YPC, who have done all that was required of them academically to be able to come back to YPC and work with the next generation."
Youth Pride Center and its parent organization, Youth Pride Services, are Hyde Park-based organizations dedicated to the needs of queer youth; youth of color make up most of the organization's clientele. Affinity Community Services had partnered with YPC in coordinating a drop-in program for queer youth.
Affinity, which is also located in Hyde Park, will no longer collaborate with YPC and its program Youth Pride Center on the drop-in. In a press release, Affinity said that it "informed the youth of YPS/YPC that Affinity will continue to be a resource to them."
Regarding the split, Affinity Executive Director Kim Hunt told Windy City Times, "Philosophically, both organizations are very much interested in providing opportunities for young people. The difference came out in how the work was done.
"We're very excited about YPC's new model," Hunt added. "We've always been for young people leading and want them to succeed."
Frank Walker characterized the split as amiable, saying that representatives of YPC and Affinity made a joint announcement to the youth membership. "It wasn't a war, or a nasty divorce," said Walker.
The group planned to have a community discussion on adultismwhich they define as a "predisposition toward adults"Wed., Jan. 13.