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Wiki Category: Reference Articles

Committing to Community for the Long Term: Do We Have What It Takes?

(Adapted from the November 21, 1998 keynote address at the FIC’s Art of Community weekend conference, Willits, California) Two years ago, i made a personal covenant with a place and a group of people with whom I thought I would be involved for the rest of my life. At the very end of the 1996More…

The Desire for Diversity: A Cohousing Perspective

What is meant by “diversity” can include a wide range of traits, including age, income, family structure, occupation, sexual orientation, ethnicity or race. Most cohousing communities have succeeded in attracting diversity of age, income, family structure, and occupation. Ethnic and racial diversity continues to elude these communities, even in locations where the general population isMore…

Mental Illness in Community: What Can We Offer?

A story- I was in college in Connecticut when I met Delancey: a strong, big-boned, graceful woman, with a proud and open carriage. When she left school to find work as an apprentice on an organic farm in Maine, I was inspired by her example. A semester later, I moved to Twin Oaks community inMore…

Children in Community: Fairyland or Fairy Tale?

Come away, O human child! To the waters and the wild With a faery, hand in hand, For the world’s more full of weeping than You can understand —William Butler Yeats Several years ago, i set off on a journey to learn what has been tried, what works, and what does not work with respectMore…

Communities and Old Age: Opportunities and Challenges for People over 50

Being part of an intentional community in old age is a way to challenge the isolation and social exclusion that many older people experience in our youth-oriented western societies. Living in an intentional community is a way to maintain personal autonomy as well as add an active, vibrant, companionable dimension to one’s later life. WhileMore…

Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

The publishers of this directory recognize that a segment of the communities movement is concerned about multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), and so asked Susan Molloy to write this short informational piece about it. In addition, please see the extensive resource list on the following page. Multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) affect some individuals who are unableMore…

All for One and One for All: Balancing Personal Needs With the Needs of Community

In late 1981, a few months after I joined the Kerista community, I announced that my new-found art forms of song writing and documentary film making were so engaging and rewarding that I intended to cut back from a 30-hour work week to a 25-hour work week. After all, a utopian experiment certainly had roomMore…

Once More With Feeling: Conflict as an Opportunity for Harnessing Emotional Energy

While the dream of community is living in harmony, the essential challenge of community is learning how to disagree constructively. No matter how careful we are about selecting community members who are aligned with common values, there will inevitably be disagreement, hopefully accompanied by occasional strong feelings (who wants to live in a community whereMore…

An Introduction to Financial Development of Communities

Although this article was initially written for cohousers intending to interact with mainstream financial institutions,1 it has been revised so that much of the information applies across the board to any intentional community group seeking loan money. Nonetheless, if many long-standing intentional communities had to depend on commercial lending institutions, there might be fewer communitiesMore…

Permaculture: A Brief Introduction

People often think that permaculture is about gardening or farming. Indeed, healthy and sustainable food production systems are very important, but that is only one part of the complex whole of sustainable communities. In fact, the term ‘permaculture’ is a contraction of the words ‘permanent agriculture’ and ‘permanent culture.’ This sheds light on the factMore…

Legal Structures for Intentional Communities in the United States

Many of us involved in intentional communities have an aversion to legal procedures, government regulation, and taxes. It is often the ugly side of the American fetish for private property, lawsuits, and the corporate form that inspires us to create grassroots democracy and trust-based intentional communities in the first place. However, forming an intentional communityMore…

Decision Making in Practice: Leadership Decisions and Majority-Rule Democracy

Ideally, the process used for decision making in an intentional community is based on the values of the group. To that end, a number of values-defining questions need to be asked, when settling on which process to use. Does everyone who will be affected by a decision need to be involved in the decision-making process?More…

Consensus Basics

The consensus process is a powerful tool for bringing groups together to move forward with inspired and effective decisions. Like many tools, consensus requires a particular set of skills. Groups who try to use consensus without learning those skills often end up frustrated, when what’s really needed is more training, knowledge, and practice. Cooperation isMore…

Six Ingredients for Forming Communities (That Help Reduce Conflict Down the Road)

“I found the land!” jack exclaimed over the phone. As the originator of Skydance Farm, a small forming community in northern Colorado, he had been searching for just the right community land for years, long before he and a circle of acquaintances had begun meeting weekly to create community. He was so sure it wasMore…

Recruiting Queer Communards! Homophobia, Sexuality, and Community Living

Throughout this article the author makes use of expressions and stereotypes which have been used to describe homosexuals in a derogatory way: ‘queer,’ ‘fag,’ ‘dyke,’ ‘twisted,’ ‘freak,’ etc. Though the publishers of this directory are not altogether comfortable with these terms, the author chooses them consciously, believing that playing with stereotypes without shame subverts theirMore…

Lesbian Intentional Community: “Yer not from around here, are ya?”

I am one urban dyke transplanted to the wilds of Kentucky who has received the honor of writing about the movement of which I am a part. There is no “typical” representative of us, so I write from my experience and knowledge, having lived in a rural lesbian community for over ten years. In thisMore…

Life in a Resistance Community

Editor’s Note: There are people all over the world, in and out of community, who work within ‘the system’ for political change. They keep up with issues important to them and write letters to the editors of their local papers; they attend city council, town planner, or county commissioner meetings; they work on political campaignsMore…

What You Should Know About Christian Communities

And all that believed were together, and had all things in common É – Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2, verse 44, New Testament, King James Version Thus is described the first intentional Christian community, which existed around 2,000 years ago. It is perhaps the best known community quote for the many thousands who haveMore…

Spiritual Community of Many Faiths: The Challenge Is to Love

Lama Foundation? What, like in Dalai Lama?” “New Mexico? Do they only speak Spanish there?” “A whole year? What will you do there anyway?” “What will your kids (ages 20 and 22) do?” “Isn’t this just opting out of life?” Questions, questions, questions! I carried on packing. I couldn’t answer them anyway. A lone AussieMore…

Spiritual Communities: There’s More to Them Than Meets the Third Eye

Publisher’s note: This directory has a trio of articles about spiritual communities: one on groups that exist to rigorously follow a specific spiritual discipline by Mariana Caplan; one on eclectic spirituality by Stevie Abbott-Richards of the Lama Foundation; and one by Joe V. Peterson outlining what’s offered by Christian communities. They all explore different sensesMore…

L’Arche International Federation: Communities for the Mentally Handicapped

There is a facet of the intentional communities movement that serves people with mental or physical disabilities. Two international networks of such communities are the Camphill communities and the L’Arche International Federation. There are also communities for the disabled that are not part of a specific network, such as Innisfree community in Virginia. (See resourcesMore…

The Kibbutz Movement

Kibbutz is an intentional community. The pioneers of kibbutz came to pre-state Israel from eastern Europe at the height of the socialist ideal, to create communities where each would give according to his or her ability and take according to his or her need. The small groups of settlers to the malaria- and famine-stricken PalestineMore…

The Student Co-op Movement

The student housing cooperative movement serves more than 10,000 students across Canada and the United States. Student housing co-ops provide an alternative to living in dormitories, apartments, or fraternities and sororities, usually on a nonprofit, least-cost basis. They range in size from single houses with fewer than 10 members to multi-house systems with over aMore…

“My Other Car Isn’t Mine Either:” Bumper Sticker for an Income-Sharing Community

Income-sharing communities have one of the longest and richest histories that we know of in the communities movement. From tribal life, to the early days of convents and monasteries, to Oneida community in the 1800s, our roots are deep. Current income-sharing groups may vary widely in their lifestyles and values, but all share a centralMore…

Cohousing

by Don Lindermann Cohousing, a type of community that took root in North America in the 1990s, represents a new attempt to bridge the gap between two concepts: home as private sanctuary from the outside world versus home as a place rooted in a comforting web of relationships in a place-based community. Both concepts haveMore…

What Is Ecovillage?

Ecovillage is a vision. ecovillage is a goal. ecovillage is an ideal. Around the world, many people are starting to use the term ‘ecovillage’ to describe their communities, projects, and other endeavors. What do people mean by ‘ecovillage’? What do these projects share in common, and how are they diverse? First, ecovillage is a vision,More…

An Introduction to the Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC)

Formed as a regional network in 1948, the Fellowship for Intentional Commu-nity (FIC) shifted to a continent-wide focus in 1986. We began holding semiannual organizational meetings in 1987, and set about identifying the intentional community movement’s needs and selecting projects to meet those needs. The Fellowship’s work is based on four common values: cooperation, nonviolence,More…

Red Carpets and Slammed Doors: Visiting Community

Hoping to visit a community? The good news is that most communities welcome visitors, and a majority of those are open to new members. The bad news? Because so many community seekers are wanting to visit, many communities are facing visitor overload and are feeling burned out from the seemingly never-ending flow of strangers. TheMore…

“Cults” and Intentional Communities

A fair number of people today believe that our society is swarming with dangerous “cults,” religious (and sometimes political or social) organizations that are terribly destructive to their members and a real danger to society at large. For better or worse, intentional communities are often drawn into the “cult” controversy. Communities, after all, in manyMore…

Making Magic: Ecological Community in an Urban Neighborhood

A handful of twenty-somethings with dreams of a back-to-the-land ecological community rented a post office box in Palo Alto, California in 1972. We called ourselves Magic. Like many of our peers in that era, we envisioned carving a little niche of sanity into what we considered an increasingly insane society. We wanted sustained, loving friendships.More…

We happily link to the following organizations, all of whom share our strong commitment to promoting community and a more cooperative world:
Cohousing The Federation of Egalitarian Communities - Communes Coop Community Cooperative Sustainable Intentional North American Students of Cooperation Global Ecovillage Network