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Brave Space Alliance Ousted Founder, CEO After Financial Mismanagement, Board Says

An investigation found evidence of money from the Black- and transgender-led LGBTQ organization going into unknown accounts and other "questionable spending." Board members reported the findings to the Illinois Attorney General's Office.

A former wellness center in South Shore where Brave Space Alliance plans to relocate its programs.
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CHICAGO — The Brave Space Alliance, Chicago’s first Black- and transgender-led LGBTQ organization, has reported its former CEO to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office for alleged financial mismanagement.

The organization’s board of directors announced Monday it sent a report to the attorney general office’s Charitable Trust Bureau outlining the findings of a months-long investigation into the group’s finances, according to a statement posted on social media.

An independent forensic accountant conducted the investigation, which found evidence former CEO LaSaia Wade allowed Brave Space Alliance funds to be sent to unknown bank accounts and other “questionable spending,” the statement read.

Wade, who founded the Brave Space Alliance in 2017, was suspended from the organization earlier this year and fired by the board in October, according to the board’s statement. Jae Rice, formerly the communications director, was named interim CEO while a search for a permanent replacement is ongoing.

Brave Space Alliance’s board of directors also hired an external accounting firm to review and enhance the organization’s finances, including regularly scheduled reviews, the statement read.

“We are also committed to keeping the BSA staff fully employed,” said board chair Channyn Lynne Parker. “We are very disappointed that this happened. We are working hard to make sure BSA survives and thrives.”

Wade, Rice and board members declined to comment. Other board members include Tracy Baim, Kim L. Hunt, Lilly Wachowski and Michelle Zacarias.

Brave Space Alliance has roots as an abolitionist organization, so the board said it supports a restorative justice model in this case, “to the extent that BSA has any control of the outcome.”

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