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The Pride Action Tank (PAT), a new, results-driven group that addresses challenges facing individuals and groups within LGBTQ communities through a collaborative process of inquiry, advocacy and action, is launching this month as a project of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC).
Kim L. Hunt, former executive director of Affinity Community Services, will be PAT’s executive director. Tracy Baim, founder of PAT, will be the president of its advisory board.
The work of PAT focuses on six overlapping issue areas: housing, health, safety, financial security, youth and aging.
“I am very excited to build on this movement moment by leading this new and innovative initiative, focused on research, policy and action in the LGBTQ and intersecting communities,” said Hunt.
John Peller, president/CEO of AFC, said the new project will “enhance the coalition-oriented work that AFC has been known for since our founding 30 years ago. We believe PAT will be a contributor to the dialogue and work needed to help the LGBTQ community focus on core areas of need."
PAT will bring together and support the work of subject matter experts as well as people directly impacted by challenges facing the LGBTQ community to envision and realize practical and longer-term policy solutions. Moreover, PAT will fuel collaborations among organizations, departments, experts, policy-makers and community members in order to fill in gaps and ensure better supports for all people in LGBTQ communities.
The mission of PAT is to "improve the health, safety and progress of individuals and groups within the LGBTQ community by inspiring, supporting and leading collaborative action that improves policy, service, access and community dynamics in the core areas of housing, health, safety, financial security, youth and aging.”
Since the Windy City Times summit on youth homelessness in 2014, Baim has been attending meetings and developing partnerships with a wide range of individuals and agencies, especially in the area of youth homelessness and housing. These activities provided the framework to launch projects from the summit, including one on youth storage, an upcoming tiny homes summit, and a November 20 “sleepout” to benefit 18 area nonprofits serving youth experiencing homelessness. Details on these projects will be released soon.
“Our community has come together for major events and issues in the past,” Baim said. “Whether around the March on Washington, the Gay Games, the March on Springfield and the critical work that continues around HIV awareness and services. We can do great things and solve big problems by working in partnerships. We want PAT to help facilitate these kinds of solutions for issues that affect LGBTQ people, but that can lift all boats, including on youth homelessness and affordable housing alternatives.”