Brave Space Alliance transgender mural depicts advocacy leaders of Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Brave Space Alliance is unveiling a mural that is dedicated to its trans advocacy leaders of Chicago.

On the walls of Brave Space Alliance, the first Black-led and trans-led LGBTQ center on the South Side of Chicago, a mural dedicated to the leaders of the trans community of Chicago is displayed.

"We have people like our associate executive director Stephanie Skora. We have LaSaia Wade, Ash Stephens, and a few other people who have made a wonderful impact on the LGBTQ community here in
Chicago," said Jae Rice, director of communications at Brave Space Alliance.

Rice said the organization offers the LGBTQ community a variety of programs as well as employment opportunities. He said they've helped and served thousands in need since the organization's start in 2019.

The artist behind the mural, Saul Palos Rodriguez, said the project took three months to complete. He said he wanted to portray messages of inclusivity in his piece.

"Chicago is a salad bowl and not a melting pot and that's why I wanted to keep giving out that message that we're all individual pieces of the ingredient and we're not just copies of everything," said Rodriguez.

The mural was commissioned by the Brave Space Alliance not only to commemorate the leaders of trans advocacy in Chicago but also as a statement for trans visibility in the city.

The Human Rights Campaign reported at least 44 violent deaths of transgender or gender non-conforming individuals in 2020. Rice said this is why centers like Brave Space Alliance are vital.

"Our main goal here at Brave Space Alliance is making sure that trans folks have the tools they need not only to survive but to thrive," said Rice.

The organization will be hosting an unveiling of the mural as well as a dedication ceremony Friday evening at their 1515 E. 52nd Pl location.
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