Tanya's blog

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

Youth Leadership Spotlight- Anisha Imhoff- Kerr

The STAR Center features young people every month from across the country who are making a difference in their communities and demonstrating extraordinary leadership that you need to know about! Help us make sure young people in your community are recognized and valued by nominating someone today!

This month the STAR Center recognizes Anisha Imhoff-Kerr from Silver Spring, MD. Check out her story

STAR Center In Action- April 2017

The STAR Center was in Oklahoma last month and I had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with leaders from peer and family run organizations and coalitions serving communities across Oklahoma. In collaboration with the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, we convened a lively full day meeting regarding the level of influence, funding and sustainability of peer and family run organizations in Oklahoma. I had the opportunity to visit with individual leaders and organizations to get to know each other even better, consider opportunities for more specific technical assistance and for collaboration regarding the development of a formal statewide network representing people with lived experience. 

We are scheduled to return in July to continue the process and meet those who weren’t available for this round of meetings and visits.

A group picture of the StarCENTER with Peer family run organizations in Oklahoma

Pictured above are: (front row, left to right) Matthew Parker, Geri Mullendore, Pamela Toohey, Jill Amos, Donna Woods Bauer, Katherine Carson, (back row, left to right) Michael Horton, Rev. James Greenwood, Staci Willis, George Crooks, Natasha West, Jeff Tallent, Erin Bushong, Max Parker, Chacku Mathai, Heath Hayes

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