Youth Leadership Reflection


Creating a Safe and Welcoming Space by Joshua Kogut

“In order for any discussion to be productive, you must create an open and relaxed atmosphere.”

-Anti-Oppression discussion guidelines

The idea of creating a “safe space” has increasingly come up in our social culture. People want to create spaces that are inclusive, welcoming, kind and accessible to everyone, because everyone deserves those kinds of spaces. I think more people have accessed spaces that do not feel good to them, and are trying to create spaces that don't mirror those experiences. This is a great thing! Before we get into the how to do that, let's get into talking about what a safe and inclusive space is.

A space and inclusive space, is a place where anyone can access, regardless of whatever identities they hold. It sounds simple, but often doesn't play out that way in the world. For example, if your space doesn't have a ramp, it automatically excludes anyone who needs a ramp to access the space. This makes a space unwelcoming and emotionally unsafe for a disabled person to access. Another example is if a trans person tries to access a space and is made to feel uncomfortable because of their gender identity. This excludes trans people who want and need to access the space.

Questions to ponder:  When have you felt unsafe or excluded in a space? What did it look, sound, and feel like? How did you know you were unwelcome? Read More

STAR Center In Action- June 2017

STAR Center In Action – June 2017

Welcome to the June edition of the STAR Center newsletter!

The STAR Center is on the road again this month with visits to USVI and New Mexico. Our trip to USVI will include an opportunity to offer training in St. Croix introducing Recovery and Wellness Recovery Action Planning and working with community leaders in St. Thomas. In New Mexico, we will be offering training on Sustainability for Peer Run Organizations and Building New Era Leadership Skills: Organizing Community Across Intersecting Social Identities at the Annual Psycho-Social Rehabilitation Association of New Mexico Conference (PSRANM). Read More

Upcoming Webinar

Webinar: An Interview with Dr. Ed Knight: Mastery Through Accomplishment In Mental Health Leadership
Wednesday, August 9, 2017 
2 pm ET

What does it really take to launch a peer run organization? How do you build up a habit of following through on your vision and your decision to make a difference in your community? How do you get people to believe it can happen? These are just some of the questions that we hope to address in our live webinar interview with Dr. Ed Knight, founder of the Mental Health Empowerment Project and a person whose story made headlines when he transformed what some people called “delusions of grandeur” into his goals and a vision for his community.

Register Now!