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Brave Space Alliance honored in Illinois State Senate
-- From a press release
2022-04-02

This article shared 723 times since Sat Apr 2, 2022
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CHICAGO, IL — April 1, 2022 — On March 31, 2022, the 13th annual International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV), Brave Space Alliance (BSA) was successful in raising awareness of the inequity of services, funding and support to people of the transgender community and the need for policy changes at the State and City levels.

In a news conference in the Capitol Building in Springfield, IL, four state legislators stood with LaSaia Wade, CEO, BSA, in support of her plea for more support and recognition of the violent deaths of Black transgender women. " BSA continues to take up arms to protect our community as we mourn and celebrate in our community…we need your help, acknowledgement, love and we need your care," Wade said. State Representative Lamont Robinson, State Senator Mike Simmons, State Senator Robert Peters and Senate Leader Kimberly Lightford, all spoke on the need and their support of the transgender community. Senator Lightford was in tears as she expressed her concern as a States person and mother of a transgender youth for the compassion and protection needed from families and others to protect the lives of transgender people. " I just want to plead to families, don't isolate your children," was among the comments Lightford made. Sen. Peters noted that services for the LGBTQ community are readily available on Chicago's Northside, but not on the South and Westsides where African Americans, who comprise the majority of HIV/AIDS diagnoses and the need for healthcare and psychosocial services are needed most for Black trans people. Rep. Robinson commemorated the lives of Taitiana Whetstone and Elise Malary, two Black transgender women found dead in two separate incidences in the Chicago area within the past month. Robinson noted that he knew and had worked with Malary, a Black trans activist, and the personal lost that transgender people are suffering. That afternoon in Senate Chambers, Senator Simmons, made a statement introducing and honoring LaSaia Wade and BSA for its services and activism for transgender visibility and well-being. Wade was recognized with a standing ovation by attending Senators — a "history-making moment" as the first Black transgender woman introduced and given such recognition.

More gave than 100 people joined the rally on Daley Plaza ( Windy City Times coverage at www.windycitytimes.com/lgbt/Brave-Space-Alliance-commemorates-Transgender-Day-of-Visibility/72806.html ) hosted by BSA where the organization issued a "report card" giving the city of Chicago a failing grade on its record of transgender rights particularly relative to funding, schools, jails, safety, housing and more. Stephanie Skora, BSA's COO and Jae Rice, BSA's Director of Communications both spoke about how it was difficult to celebrate TDOV with recent deaths and lack of equitable public health funding. " This is not a day of celebration. This is a day of reckoning," said Rice.

BRAVE SPACE ALLIANCE

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. BSA strives to empower, embolden, and educate its community through mutual aid, knowledge-sharing, and the creation of community-sourced resources as we build toward the liberation of all oppressed peoples. BSA wants Black and Brown queer and trans people to be seen, wherever and however they want to be seen. It also is a staging ground for community organizing and activism for the queer and trans community.

Further, the organization acknowledges that Black and Brown community residents deserve services that are accessible to them, in the neighborhoods in which they live. Brave Space is striving to expand its programming to all parts of the South and West sides and encourages residents and organizations located there to reach out and partner! The BSA Center is open Monday-Saturday. Visit the website and social media for additional information at www.BraveSpaceAllliance.org .


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