Non-profit

Brave Space Alliance

Website:

www.bravespacealliance.org

Location:

Chicago, IL

Formation:

2017

Type:

Advocacy and networking organization

Executive Director:

LaSaia Wade

Brave Space Alliance is a Chicago-based organization that engages in transgender-issue advocacy and manages a range of social and activist-training programs. The organization’s fiscal sponsor is the Chicago-based Center on Halstead, an LGBT-oriented advocacy and community organization.

Background

Brave Space Alliance was founded in the South Side of Chicago, Illinois in 2017 by LaSaia Wade, the organization’s executive director; Stephanie Skora, the organization’s associate executive director; and Xavier MaatRa. Its mission is to facilitate advocacy for and offer organizing services to transgender individuals, particularly those who are racial minorities. [1]

Programs

The organization offers a variety of social service programs mainly oriented towards transgender individuals in Chicago, including a Crisis Pantry Delivery Program, which provides food to Chicago residents; an eight month long Mutual Aid Program, which consists of a suite of subprograms and workshops intended to cultivate local transgender-issues activists; the Employment Justice Program, which aims to connect transgender individuals with union friendly employers; a “Makeup Room,” which offers locals, particularly sex workers, free makeup products and hosts classes on their application; and Lucy Hicks Anderson Housing, a transitional housing program slated to launch in 2023, named in honor of activist Lucy Hicks Anderson, who is primarily notable for operating a brothel in Oxnard, California during the 1940s. [2][3]

Activities

According to Brave Space Alliance’s 2020 annual report, the organization supported a total of 36 protests or rallies in the Chicago area during the year. Largely, these events were associated with developments in the national Black Lives Matter movement and in support of local policy issues such as defunding the Chicago police department and prohibiting local landlords from evicting tenants. [4]

On June 4, 2021, ABC7 Chicago reported that the organization is planning on collecting data from over 30,000 transgender individuals in order to improve the allocative efficiency of funding efforts directed at the transgender community. [5]

Funding

Brave Space Alliance accepts donations through the Center on Halstead (formerly known as Horizons Community Services), an LGBT-oriented advocacy and community organizing group based in Chicago. [6]

In 2020, the organization received a grant worth “six figures” from the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation in response to developments associated with the Black Live Matter movement. [7]

According to the organization’s annual reports, groups which have provided significant support to Brave Space Alliance include center-left organizations such as the Collective Future Fund, The Chicago Community Trust, The Field Foundation of Illinois, AIDS United, The Albertsons Companies Foundation, Destination Tomorrow Inc, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, the Starbucks Foundation, Solidaire Network, Ms Foundation For Women Inc, the Nature Conservancy, Crossroads Fund, Groundswell Fund, and the Emergent Fund. [8]

People

LaSaia Wade is the cofounder and executive director of Brave Space Alliance. Additionally, Wade is the founder of the Tennessee Trans Journey Project, as well as a member of the Chicago TransGender Nonconforming Collective, and Trans Liberation Collective. [9]

Stephanie Skora is the cofounder and associate executive director of Brave Space Alliance. Skora is the author of the Girl, I Guess Progressive Voter Guide, which covered the 2020-cycle local and state-level elections in Illinois. Skora also sits on the board of the Midwest Institute for Gender and Sexuality; is the Chicago-chapter Leader of Jewish Voice for Peace, a left-wing nominally Jewish group that opposes U.S. assistance to the state of Israel; and is a co-founder and lead organizer for the Trans Liberation Collective. [10]

References

  1. Brave Space Alliance 2020 Annual Report: History.” Brave Space Alliance. Accessed June 23, 2021. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5abc2fea710699dd7ac5b276/t/60cd16f253a217264424ffba/1624053504256/BSA_2020+Annual+Report+FINAL.pdf ^
  2. Brave Space Alliance 2020 Annual Report.” Brave Space Alliance. Accessed June 23, 2021. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5abc2fea710699dd7ac5b276/t/60cd16f253a217264424ffba/1624053504256/BSA_2020+Annual+Report+FINAL.pdf ^
  3. “Lucy Hicks Anderson Housing Program.” Brave Space Alliance. Accessed June 23, 2021. https://www.bravespacealliance.org/lucy-hicks-housing-program ^
  4. Brave Space Alliance 2020 Annual Report.” Brave Space Alliance. Accessed June 23, 2021. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5abc2fea710699dd7ac5b276/t/60cd16f253a217264424ffba/1624053504256/BSA_2020+Annual+Report+FINAL.pdf ^
  5. “Jones, Will.” “South Side LGBTQ+ center to launch largest transgender survey in country.” ABC7. June 4, 2021. Accessed June 23, 2021.   https://abc7chicago.com/lgbtq-brave-space-alliance-south-side-chicago-transgender-survey/10745512/ ^
  6. “Donate.” Brave Space Alliance. Accessed June 23, 2021. https://www.bravespacealliance.org/donate ^
  7. “BLACK LIVES MATTER 2020 IMPACT REPORT.” Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. 2021. Accessed June 23, 2021.  https://blacklivesmatter.com/2020-impact-report/. ^
  8. “Brave Space Alliance 2020 Annual Report: Finances.” Brave Space Alliance. Accessed June 23, 2021. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5abc2fea710699dd7ac5b276/t/60cd16f253a217264424ffba/1624053504256/BSA_2020+Annual+Report+FINAL.pdf ^
  9. “LaSaia Wade.” Brave Space Alliance. Accessed June 23, 2021. https://www.bravespacealliance.org/lasaia-wade ^
  10. “Stephanie Skora.” Brave Space Alliance. Accessed June 23, 2021. https://www.bravespacealliance.org/stephanie-skora ^
  See an error? Let us know!

Brave Space Alliance


Chicago, IL