New Executive Committee Takes the Lead of Affirmation
On January 1st, Melissa-Malcolm King, Francisco Ruiz, and Kate Mower began their terms as president, senior vice president, and vice president of Affirmation: LGBTQ Mormons, Families & Friends. This presidency forms Affirmation’s executive committee. The executive committee serves as the leadership of the board of directors and as the executive of the organization, overseeing its day-to-day work.
How the Executive Committee is Chosen
Every two years, voting members of Affirmation have the opportunity to elect a president. Candidates for president nominate a senior vice president and vice president. After the election, the president-elect’s nominees are ratified by the board of directors. The incoming executive committee begins its term on January 1st.
More About the New Executive Committee
Their terms of service on the executive committee may have only begun on January 1st, but Melissa-Malcolm, Francisco, and Kate have been hard at work for months preparing for a successful start to 2023. As incoming executive committee members, they’ve been participating in executive committee meetings and meeting regularly with the outgoing executive committee to ensure a smooth transfer of responsibilities and resources.
Melissa-Malcolm King, President
Melissa-Malcolm’s service in Affirmation includes serving as a member of the International Conference Planning Committee, a leader of the People of the Global Majority affinity group, President of Affirmation Midwest, and a member of the Board of Directors.
Melissa-Malcolm is a freelance writer and poet with ongoing publications with “Exponent II” and “InnerVision Magazine.” Their passions include teaching Special Education, supporting LGBTQ rights, and being a voice for the marginalized through her nonprofit project B.E. S.A.F.E., serving survivors of abuse and domestic violence. They also write for Utah State Utah University’s Department of Inclusion and Diversity Blog.
Francisco Ruiz, Senior Vice President
A current member of the Affirmation Board of Directors, Francisco Ruiz has served in various roles within the organization and has been involved with other nonprofit organizations, like NeighborWorks in Salt Lake City and the Community Development Corporation in Utah. In Affirmation, Francisco served as Senior Vice President of Affirmation Mexico, Affirmation Vice President, and as a member of the Affirmation Board of Directors. Francisco was the recipient of the 2022 Affirmation Mortensen Award.
Kate Mower, Vice President
A current member of the Affirmation Board of Directors, Kate Mower previously served as a coordinator of Affirmation Los Angeles. Currently a Ph.D. student conducting research in Romania, they’ve focused on working to organize and support Affirmation Continental Europe and other LGBTQ+ organizations fostering equity and inclusion. Kate hosts a weekly podcast entitled “Called to Queer” that further gives voice to the issues facing individuals at the intersection of being a gender minority and queer.
Gratitude for the Sevice of Outgoing Executive Committee Members
Nathan Kitchen served two terms as president of Affirmation, from 2019 through 2022. In that time, Jairo Fernando González Díaz, Laurie Lee Hall, and Rebecca Solen served as senior vice presidents and vice presidents. Under their leadership, Affirmation continued its ever-ongoing evolution to better reflect and meet the current needs of all those within the LGBTQIA+ Latter-day Saint community. Because of their dedicated service, Affirmation has a clearer mission and vision, is better organized internationally, and has the resources to continue its vital work into 2023 and beyond. Not enough can be said for their impact on Affirmation. We are grateful for their remarkable service as executive committee members.