Brave Space Alliance is the first Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ Center located on the South Side of Chicago, dedicated to creating and providing affirming, culturally competent, for-us by-us resources, programming, and services for LGBTQ individuals on the South and West sides of the city. We strive to empower, embolden, and educate each other through mutual aid, knowledge-sharing, and the creation of community-sourced resources as we build toward the liberation of all oppressed peoples.
Health and Wellness – We view health and wellness as broad concepts, reaching far beyond getting tested or focusing on medical services. Queer and trans people face unique barriers to living full, healthy lives. We break down these barriers by offering programs that focus on the needs in our community, such as food insecurity, housing insecurity, and economic justice.
Visibility and Expansion – We want Black and Brown queer and trans people to be seen, wherever and however they want to be seen. And we know our community deserves services that are accessible to them, in the neighborhoods in which they live. Brave Space is striving to expand our programming to all parts of the South and West sides; if you are located there and want to partner with us, please reach out!
Bravery and Solidarity – We step away from the language of safety, because we know that queer and trans people can never truly be safe in spaces and communities that are not of our own making. We instead emphasize bravery-- living one’s fullest, truest, and best life in the face of oppression-- and solidarity as ideals for the longevity of our communities and the best hopes for queer and trans liberation.
LaSaia Wade, Founder and Executive Director
LaSaia Wade is an open Afro-Puerto Rican indigenous Trans Woman, founder of TNTJ Tennessee Trans Journey Project, and member of Chicago Trans Gender Nonconforming Collective and the Trans Liberation Collective, and Director of Brave Space Alliance. Recently, she was honored at the Chicago LGBTQA Black History Recognitions ceremony and is the first Trans woman in Illinois History to be honored in Women's History month for the work she's doing not limited to community organizing. Her role in organizing ranges between and beyond as a central organizer for the Trans Liberation Protest Chicago, the largest march for trans rights in Midwestern history and being the Chicago chapter Mother for the House of Lauren. LaSaia graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Business Management from Murfreesboro Tennessee State University, has 10+ years of experience in organizing and advocacy work with black, indigenous, trans and gender nonconforming people around the world. She is the business owner of Mystical Bee Hive, and facilitates trainings across the U.S.
Stephanie Skora, Director of Policy and Operations
Stephanie Skora is a lesbian, trans woman, and anti-Zionist Ashkenazi Jew whose activist work centers around Palestinian solidarity organizing, queering Jewish spaces, and fighting for justice and liberation for all trans people.
She serves as a Chapter Leader with Jewish Voice for Peace – Chicago, and is a co-founder and lead organizer for the Trans Liberation Collective in Chicago.
Stephanie graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2016 with a BA in Political Science and Gender & Women’s Studies, with minors in Sociology and Queer Studies.
emem obot, Program Assistant and Organizer
emem (they/them) is an artist, community organizer and international activist from the South Side of Chicago. Their work focuses on political education and mutual aid work in Black, Brown, & Indigenous community. They focus on personal liberation through sex, dismantling gender binaries and learning from indigenous gender systems, race, class, and autonomy as individuals and a community. emem uses indigenous science and world perspective of Igbo cosmology as a foundation for the new world.
emem graduated from American University in 2018 with a BA in International Studies with a focus on the Latin American Region.