Brave Spaces Are Preferred

Arao & Clemens “seek to cultivate brave spaces rather than safe spaces for group learning about a broad range of diversity and social justice issues” (Arao & Clemens, 2013, p.141).  I agree with this approach because the term brave spaces “clarifies that these environments are challenging and that students are expected to participate within them” (Ali, 2017, p.8). Thus, I think discussions in brave spaces are more likely to be productive than those in safe spaces.

On a related note, I found out that the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) recommends brave spaces for class discussions. “Administrators, faculty, and staff can replace use of the term safe space, as it pertains to class-based dialogues, with that of brave space. By using the term brave space, faculty are able to distinguish an inclusive classroom discussion from programming on campus that commonly provides respite space for traditionally marginalized communities” (Ali, 2017, p.8).

Ali, D. (2017). Safe Spaces and Brave Spaces: Historical Context and Recommendations for Student Affairs Professionals. NASPA Policy and Practice Series, 2, 1-13. Retrieved from

Arao, B. & Clemens, K. (2013). From Safe Spaces to Brave Spaces: A New Way to Frame Dialogue Around Diversity and Social Justice. In L. M. Landreman (Ed), The art of effective facilitation: Reflections from social justice educators (First ed.), (pp.135-150). Sterling, Virginia; Washington, DC;: Stylus Publishing, LLC.