FERNDALE - In a community conversation discussing the legal changes same-sex couples will face as a result of marriage equality, Miller Canfield highlighted how, compared to other states, Michigan is far behind in preparing for legal changes resulting from the U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Jennifer LaTosch and Lynn Sirich, attorneys and counselors at law, presented their seminar, "Marriage Equality: New Legalities," to a group of 30 people Sept. 16 at Affirmations. LaTosch and Sirich outlined how Michigan is dragging its feet when it comes to amending documents and policies for married, or soon to be married, same-sex couples.  More...

(via PrideSource)

September 21, 2015 (Ferndale) - Affirmations, metro Detroit’s LGBTQ community center, has named Shyam Suchak as its new senior director of operations. In this role, Suchak will serve as the center’s internal leader, overseeing the center’s day-to-day operations and human resources functions including, training, development, performance evaluation and recruiting. Additionally, Suchak will guide the center’s performance management process to ensure measurement and evaluation of progress against goals for the center.

Previously, Shyam served as director of community programs, operations, and organizational development at Anne Grady Services, providing leadership to three departments with approximately 150 employees.  Shyam earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in communication from the University of Toledo and a Masters of Organizational Leadership from the Lourdes University. He has attained his Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification and is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM). 

“Shyam represents one of my most significant hires since joining the organization,” stated Affirmations executive Director, Darrious D. Hilmon. “He is not only well-qualified to take the center’s operation and HR function to the next level, he’s kind-hearted and cares deeply about others.” The center also recently announced the promotion of Lilianna Reyes to the position of youth program manager. Formerly, a program coordinator, Reyes assumes lead accountability for youth programing at the center including, the Carl Rippberger Youth Drop-In Center and new outcomes-driven, evidenced-based program offerings, XTL (Cross the Line) Youth Workforce Development Program and XTL Youth Leadership Development Program.  

“Lilianna is a force of nature, and the perfect blend of talent and passion,” stated Hilmon. “Her work developing and implementing outcomes-driven, transformational programs makes her an invaluable member of my team.”

A graduate of the University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School, Reyes has measurable experience working with marginalized populations including people of color, LGBTQ communities and HIV positive communities. She serves on the Board of The Trans Sistas of Color Project.



Affirmations will host its Fall Fling 2015 this October as a celebration of Metro Detroit's LGBT community and its allies. More than 250 guests will enjoy the "creative, chic affair" held inside Affirmations' 17,000 square foot, state of the art Allan Gilmour and Eric Jirgens Community Center. The event will feature live entertainment, guided center tours, open bar, delicious hors d'oeuvres and decadent desserts. One of Affirmations' signature fundraising events, dollars raised from Fall Fling 2015 will support implementation of Affirmations' life-transforming programs and services. Individual tickets are $75 per ticket.

Fall Fling 2015 begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10.

For more information, contact Charlotte Myers at or 248-398-7105. Tickets can be purchased at

(via PrideSource)

FERNDALE - Affirmations has hired two new staff members, filling senior staff management positions.

After a three month search, Affirmations has named Jill Proctor as Director of Marketing and Communications and Charlotte Myers as Director of Development. The two have already begun acclimating to the Affirmations atmosphere, adding their voices to the community center.

"I was particularly drawn to working at Affirmations because I care deeply about equality, justice and compassion for all people, regardless of who they are or whom they love," Proctor told BTL. "I feel strongly that the center is an invaluable resource for LGBT people in Metro Detroit and I am driven to contribute as much as I can to help it grow. My hope is that through my work, donors, center visitors and the general public will learn more about the value of Affirmations' work and be compelled to participate more in our efforts."

Proctor, who had previously led marketing for special exhibitions at the Detroit Institute of Arts, will oversee planning, coordination and execution of all marketing, communications and public relations initiatives for Affirmations. Prior to her work at the DIA, Proctor held marketing positions at CARFAX and Volkswagen Group of America and is a former volunteer for the HIV/AIDS Resource Center in Ypsilanti. She holds a B.A. in sociology from the University of Michigan.

"I have had a lifelong interest in sexual orientation and gender," said Myers. "It is what I am most passionate about, and it is my career goal to work for causes exactly like Affirmations' mission. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to devote my time and talents to this important cause."

Myers, previously a development officer at the University of Michigan's Rackham Graduate School, will be responsible for design and implementation of Affirmations' individual, corporate and foundation fund development campaigns, as well as signature fundraising events. She also serves as a board member of the Jim Toy Community Center in Ann Arbor and holds a B.A. in women's studies from the University of Michigan.

"We are absolutely thrilled to have these two incredibly talented individuals on board to help us continue to fulfill our mission of providing high-quality programs and services to Metro Detroit's LGBT community," said Darrious Hilmon, executive director at Affirmations. "Their combined experience and leadership skills are going to be huge assets to our organization as we continue to grow."

(via PrideSource)

Volunteer Spotlight

I came out alone and it was rough so I wanted to make sure no one else was alone.  I'm a big advocate for LGBTQ rights.  Watching this organization grow from a blueprint to what it is today has been amazing.

Upcoming Events

28 Nov 2015

28 Nov 2015

28 Nov 2015

28 Nov 2015

Partner Spotlight



One of the leading finacial services providers in the country helps bring career development skills to 15 underserved youth with generous support of the Affirmations Youth Workforce Development Program.