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Space to Speak on Fostering Community and Safe Spaces

Founded in February of 2019, Space to Speak is a community of "Generation Z students fighting rape culture by sharing [their] stories, empowering each other, and shaping the curriculum for the next generation." We spoke with one of their Co-founders, Maya Siegel about the importance of spaces such as Space to Speak (wordplay intended, sorry).

Maya Siegel is an advocate, a writer, organizer, and a full-time student. She dedicates her platform to uplifting others in her corner, including but not limited to the work she does for Space to Speak.

Aspirants: Why did you and Co-founder Alex Hooten feel the need to bring something like Space to Speak into the world?

Maya: We wanted a resource specifically for young survivors of sexual violence. We wanted to help young survivors feel less alone.

Aspirants: As a writer, advocate, and a full time student, how do you balance it all?

Maya: I’ve found that knowing myself and prioritizing self-care is very important. This is everything from knowing my boundaries to remembering and living my values. Also, I have an amazing support system of friends and family that help me maintain a healthy work-life balance. 

Aspirants: Why do you feel it’s important for young people to be involved with organizations like Space to Speak?

Maya: On the most basic level, it is important to support your peers. If joining an organization is what support looks like for you, then definitely keep fighting alongside your friends and fellow community members. On a larger scale, it’s important to fight for the values you care about because there will be those that oppose them. Young people have the power to challenge societal norms and reshape culture, and we are more successful doing so as a collective community.

Aspirants: One of the current objectives is to "include men in the conversation"—how is Space to Speak advocating for men who are survivors specifically?

Maya: We’re reshaping the way sex-ed curriculum is taught and developing consent curriculum that follows this new path. Sex-ed curriculum is far less successful if men are automatically blamed for being sexual predators and rapists. We need to include everyone in conversations about consent and let people know, especially at a young age, that we’re all responsible for making sure we have consent.

Aspirants: What is Space to Speak up to now?

Maya: We are currently working to finalize details for our first event in Boulder, CO and are in the beginning stages of our first research project!

Aspirants: Anything exciting for the future?

Maya: Yes! We are very excited about our upcoming partnerships with Safe Squad and Cat Calls of NYC as well as the consent curriculum and research we are curating.

Maya's Social Media:

Instagram: Maya.siegel

Twitter: mayacsiegel

Space to Speak on Social Media

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/spacetospeakorg/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/spacetospeakorg

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thespacetospeak/

Website: https://spacetospeak.org/

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