Over the summer of 2020, I hosted two incredible Moxie Scholars from UNC Chapel Hill for their internship. They came to our organization to create An Educator’s Guide to Supporting 2SLGBTQIA+ Students (which the eventually did create!), but as we started work on that project, we found ourselves getting hung up in the challenges of whether to use a “brave space” or a “safe space” framework. We wanted a space in which students who were unfamiliar with queer issues or terminology could ask genuine questions, and in which 2SLGBTQIA+ students (many of whom also hold other marginalized identities) could expect a reasonable amount of accountability and not have to expend additional emotional labor. The two students, Shareen El Naga and Montia Daniels, had recently read Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown, and proposed a third option: Emergent Space. Together, we took the principles of Emergent Strategy and created a third-option based upon it. If you’ve ever felt like “safe space” was too bubble-wrapped but that “brave space” felt too risky, this booklet is for you.
supervisor, project manager, co-author