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Brave Spaces 2024

This free leadership development program is designed to support future community leaders of all ages.

Participants will learn deeply about current Cambridge topics and gain the tools needed to participate effectively in local civic life. 


The Locally-Led Brave Spaces training program will consist of a series of 6 sessions led by local facilitators focusing on areas of interest to the community. These sessions aim to build leadership capacity through education, skills sharing, planning and facilitation and direct practice in civic participation.


Discussions will be led by local practitioners, either professional or with lived experience in the content they are discussing. 

Sessions will be held on the last Tuesday of each month, starting in March 2024, and ending in September 2024. Sessions will run from 6:30 - 8pm. Food, parking, child care and translation will be provided as needed for all sessions. 

Application Process

We are looking for people who are enthusiastic about finding a stronger voice in the community and willing to commit to the sessions listed below. As this is a program for new leaders, there are no requirement for skills or experience. We encourage people from all backgrounds to apply, especially people who do not currently feel confident about participating in local government. 


The application process only consists of a simple form, and we will accept as many applicants as possible. First priority for spaces will go to HRI residents, followed by other Cambridgeport residents, and then to the general Cambridge community. 

If you have questions, please email

Applications are due March 11, 2024. 

Session Overview


April 2, 2024 at 6:30pm

Harm Reduction in Public Safety

Facilitated by Michelle Scott and Fernandes Francois, Department of Cambridge Community Safety 

Meet and greet the staff of this newly created department. Discussion of how their team uses harm reduction and trauma informed approaches when dealing with conflict resolution and public safety issues.  


April 30, 2024 at 6:30pm

Trauma Informed Concepts & Conflict Resolution

Facilitated by Jenn Shakespeare, Transition House

In this session we will unpack the basics of what is trauma, how does it manifest in our day to day? We will explore some techniques for self care and share resources for ongoing supportive resources. 


May 28, 2024 at 6:30pm

Tenants’ Rights

Facilitated by Maura Pensak, Cambridge Housing Liaison 

In this session we will review general tenants’ rights, explore ways to effectively self-advocate, and review local supportive services. We will discuss examples of some common questions and concerns raised by tenants.   


NEW DATE: Weds, June 26, 2024 at 6:30pm

Affordable Housing/Zoning 101


In this session we will explore questions such as: What is zoning and why does it matter?  How does zoning impact they way a city grows? What is the affordable housing overlay? What is affordable housing? 

We will also review the social history of zoning in Boston and review local examples in Boston and Cambridge’s history where zoning has played a significant role in neighborhood development. 


July 30, 2024 at 6:30pm

Cambridge Civic Process

In this session we will unpack the local civic process. How does local government function and how can YOU get involved? We will review the local civic calendar and discuss public meetings, public comment and other practical ways to participate in the local civic process. 


September 24, 2024 at 6:30pm

Preparing for Next Steps


The content of this session is to be determined based on participant needs and interests. 

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