lgbt

Amber Hikes, a Penn graduate and and former director of Upward Bound at Penn, will serve as the new executive director for the Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affairs. 

Last week, the Philadelphia Mayor's Office of Communications released a statement announcing Hikes as the new leader of the city's office of LGBT affairs. Hikes, a Philadelphia native, will assume the position on March 6.

Hikes announced her new position on Facebook. 

Hikes, who completed her master's degree in social work at Penn in 2008, co-founded Stimulus Productions, a "digital magazine" aiming to create a "more radical and intentional nightlife space" for the women of Philadelphia. She also served as the director of Penn's division of Upward Bound — a college preparatory program helping low-income and first generation students successfully pursue higher education — for nearly five years. In spring 2015, she was named as one of Femme & Fortune's "30 Over 30, Philadelphia's Most Inspiring Women." 

In June 2015, she announced that she had accepted a job as the director of Upward Bound at California State University, Long Beach and would be leaving Philadelphia. Her announcement was shared by Phillesbian.com.

In her new role, she will replace Nellie Fitzpatrick, who left the position in the wake of criticism of her allegedly inadequate response to claims of racism in the Gayborhood. 

"Part of what I’d like to do in this office is have a lot more transparency. We’re going to bring more people to the table," Hikes said in an interview with Generocity. 

"I want this community to feel again that this office is there for them, and part of that is opening up these conversations and having more forums where folks feel themselves represented and are very literally contributing to the process," she added. 

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