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Allen County Drug and Alcohol Consortium to open affirming space for LGBTQ+ youth in Fort Wayne

The new center, located on West Berry Street, is also taking donations for materials to stock their queer library, which will serve as an open resource in light of many LGBTQ+ books and media being banned from schools and libraries across the country.
BRAVE Alliance
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bravefortwayne.org
The new center, located on West Berry Street, is also taking donations for materials to stock their queer library, which will serve as an open resource in light of many LGBTQ+ books and media being banned from schools and libraries across the country.

On Friday, the Allen County Drug and Alcohol Consortium will officially open the BRAVE Alliance, an LGBTQIA+ center for youth and young adults in Fort Wayne.

The BRAVE Alliance – which stands for building radically affirming and validating environments – is a drop-in center that offers a multitude of resources including counseling, activities and mutual aid groups.

President of the Drug and Alcohol Consortium MaryClare Clark said they know the need for an affirming space for LGBTQIA+ youth through research the consortium does into drug and alcohol prevention.

“The services are essentially building protective factors to keep youths from engaging long term in substance use," she said. "So, using substances as a way to cope instead of mental health practices and wellness.”

The center will have groups specific to different age ranges that include education, support, and other types of wellness like art therapy and yoga. The center will also have a Queer Library, which will be free to use and accepting donations.

Clark says the library is an important resource to encounter queer affirming and inclusive literature for people of all ages, especially amid national conversations of book burning and censorship.

The center’s ribbon cutting will be held at 534 West Berry St. at 5 PM on Friday, April 14.

Ella Abbott is a multimedia reporter for 89.1 WBOI. She is a strong believer in the ways audio storytelling can engage an audience and create a sensory experience.