Members of the Brave Space Alliance staff at the center, 1515 E. 52nd Place. Left to right, back row: Jacoby Johnson, Taylor Floyd, Courtney McKinney, Kendra Malone, LaSaia Wade, Niya Rechice and Carbon Ratchford; front row: Jae Rice, Moses Viveros, Brittney Thomas and Tatyana Chante

LaSaia Wade, who founded the South Side LGBTQ center Brave Space Alliance, 1515 E. 52nd Place, in 2017, is out as the nonprofit's CEO.

“We are grateful for the time and energy LaSaia dedicated toward making the organization what it is today," said board chair Channyn Lynne Parker, director of strategic partnerships at Howard Brown Health, in a statement. "She will always be known as the founder of this vital community organization.”

Communications Director Jae Rice is serving as the organization's interim CEO.

Brave Space Alliance has experienced continued growth providing resources, programming and services in health, housing, food and capital assistance for LGBTQ South and West Siders, with a full board of directors and a growing staff. 

It has acquired a property in South Shore at 7141 S. Jeffery Blvd. and will have an expanded footprint in the neighborhood with short-term housing. The capital and building plans are underway on the new headquarters with a possible opening in 2024.

In March of this year, the nonprofit's leadership also recognized the Brave Space Alliance Workers Union. As of Aug. 5, however, bargaining had been paused following the announcement that then-CEO Wade was to begin a 60-day leave of absence. 

Writing on Facebook on Oct. 3, Wade said she has taken a new position and that the leadership change was a mutual decision.

"In my time with BSA we grew our budget 20-times greater, more than doubled our program offerings, increased our profile nationwide and have more than doubled our clients served and hours served, and now have doubled our staff!" she said. "It's inspiring and simply incredible. There is no doubt we've brought greater gender justice, love care and empowerment to growing leaders! This has grown out of collaboration, shared labor and loving support — thank you all for helping BSA be great! It's been an honor and a privilege."

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