LGBTQI+ safe space at BCC looks to make positive impact on and off campus

A college in the Bronx is shedding light on why safe spaces are impactful on and off campus. The LGBTQI+ Resource Room at Bronx Community College is changing lives one experience at a time.
Emalinda McSpadden, the associate professor of psychology and the coordinator of the Resource Room, says the space has been around since fall of 2018. It provides support and services that range from support groups and all kinds of opportunities like study halls.
McSpadden says opportunities are created through safe space trainings and a mentorship program where faculty and staff, who are queer, can team up with students and have ongoing conversations about professional futures and career goals.
Bobby Rivera says they found refuge in the space after losing their sister to gun violence in 2019. They say she was their very first mentor, impacting the work they would like to continue and even starting a full-time role with queer youth experiencing homelessness.
The space also created virtual opportunities during the pandemic that will continue to be available for those who can't attend in person on campus.
Those who visit the center tell News 12 they have cultivated relationships that will last a lifetime and will continue to bring important conversations to the forefront in the community.