Amber Hikes replaces Nellie Fitzpatrick in Office of LGBT Affairs
A new face has been named to the Office of LGBT Affairs.
Mayor Kenney’s administration has confirmed that the Office of LGBT Affairs will get a new face with Amber Hikes appointment.
After two years, Nellie Fitzpatrick has stepped down and confirmed to Philly Voice that she will be returning to law stating, "It was not my decision, but I was very happy to move on," she says.
"My tenure with the office has come to its natural conclusion, and I am excited to return to the practice of law, which was always my intent, and to continue serving the LGBT community through new ventures."
“Mayor Kenney and I are committed to serving the needs of Philadelphia’s LGBT community,” said Nolan Atkinson, Chief Diversity Officer for the city, who oversees the Office of LGBT Affairs.
“Nellie’s work to institutionalize this Office by pushing forward legislation to change the city’s charter helps make this possible, and we appreciate her laying the foundation for the focused community work that Amber will be doing moving forward."
With a long history of work in the LGBT community, from her participation on the board of the William Way LGBT Community Center from 2011 to 2015 to working as an organizer of the Philadelphia Dyke March from 2007 to 2015, Hikes will be building
“My diverse experiences in the vibrant Philadelphia LGBTQ community first as a student, then as a professional, then as a business owner and finally as a community leader, afford me the unique opportunities to view LGBTQ community work in this city from multiple vantage points,” said Hikes in a statement released by Kenney today.
“I'm eager to serve my community during this pivotal time by increasing the accessibility of the Office, listening to community members and implementing initiatives to serve LGBTQ Philadelphians more efficiently and effectively,” she went on.
Additionally, Hikes organized seasonal community service events and fundraisers benefiting LGBTQ organizations such as GALAEI, William Way Community Center, Attic Youth Center, and ACLU-PA in addition to Co-Founding as series of parties called Stimulus.
“The lessons I learned in these organizations about representation, privilege, equality, and equity have shaped every step of my life,” said Hikes.
Her appointment is set to counteract the community scrutiny of poorly handled racism and reports of discrimination in the gayborhood that resulted in two city hearings.
Helen Fitzpatrick is no longer serving as Executive Director, effective today.