Solidarity Collective

Laramie, Wyoming, United States

  • Last updated: September 3, 2018 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: December 15, 2016

Mission Statement

We are an anti-capitalist and anti-oppression commune, with a strong dedication to personal growth and ecologically sound systems.

Community Description

We are a recently landed community still transitioning into the fullness of our systems. We occupy 3 acres of formerly indigenous land, apartments that are converted 1930 motel rooms moved from Laramie, and an 1878 mansion that was also moved from downtown Laramie and has a storied history in the local memory. Our immediate neighbors are cows and antelope. It is dry, windy and gorgeous here.

We operate using consensus, practice strong and matter-of-fact conflict resolution, and are moving toward income-sharing. We require that everyone in the group have a personal growth or spiritual practice that is effective at helping them grow and navigate group dynamics. While we are *not* a UU community, we took early inspiration from the Unitarian Universalist principles (adapted slightly here):

We affirm and promote:

~ The Inherent worth and dignity of every person;
~ Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
~ Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth;
~ A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
~ The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our community and in society at large;
~ The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
~ Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
~ The 8th principle (under consideration): speaks to our responsibility to practice anti-oppression and particularly anti-racism.

We have chickens, will be breaking ground on gardens in the spring of 2019, and hope to have a greenhouse by then as well (because, ya know, it’s hard to grow food around here without that). It is our intention to be as sustainable as possible, and we are dialoguing about the level of self-sufficiency we will pursue. We share meals, rides, a library, meeting and project spaces and game times. As an income sharing group we expect to share cars, facilities and other resources extensively.

Our target population is between 20 and 35 adults. About half of our core group have lived in community previously, and we range in age from mid-twenties to 50. Laramie is a college town of 32,000 at 7,200 feet of elevation. It is a liberal hub within a very red state. We are, in turn, an unapologetically lefty bubble in the midst of liberalness, with members who identify as socialists, anarchists and a variety of other politics.

  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 2016
  • Start Living Together: 2018
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1944871482405639/
  • Contact Name: Yana Ludwig, Matt Stannard
  • Phone: +16602345506

About

  • Type(s): Commune (organized around sharing almost everything), Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability)
  • Programs & Activities: School, Educational Institute or Experience
  • Location: Small Town or Village

Housing

  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 3 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building, Apartments, space for tiny houses and RV’s
  • Current Number of Residences: 6
  • Planned Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building, Tiny house, Natural built structues, Apartments
  • Housing Provided: Rental, Included in Membership
  • Land owned by: The entire community membership
  • Additional Comments:

    We are currently organized as a Close LLC: the closest thing to a co-op in Wyoming. We exploring either a land trust and/or a 501d3 (income sharing) structure for our permanent structure, but may keep it as it is now.

Membership

  • Adult Members: 4
  • Child Members: 3
  • Non-member Residents: 5
  • Percent Women: 21-30%
  • Percent Men: 41-49%
  • Percent Transgender: 21-30%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Email us to have an initial conversation about your interest, and then we can set up a visit if it seems like a potentially good match. You can also ask to join our facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1944871482405639/

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    Membership starts with spending time with us and writing a letter of intent. There is a minimum of a one-year provisional member period (during which time people will live with us and otherwise participate as members do) before people can apply to become full members. Please request our full process if you are interested in membership.

  • Additional Comments:

    We currently have rentals available and once those spaces are filled, we sill start a waiting list. Families and pets are welcome!

Government

  • Decision Making: Consensus (everyone agrees)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: No
  • Additional Comments:

    Note from Yana who is a consensus trainer and one of the founding members: I dislike the “everyone agrees” shorthand for consensus. It is more that we listen closely and take everyone’s input into account and then find what we all believe is the best answer to the question. It isn’t about group think or wiping out our differences, but it is about reaching for what is best for the whole on an ongoing basis.

Economics

  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Regular Fee per Month: $0
  • Shared Income: All or close to all
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Please email for a full description of our economic agreements. Members can either be part of shared business endeavors, be primarily involved with traditionally labeled “domestic” work, or have an independent business or a job. (And for most it is a combination of all three.) We are in the process of starting Solidarity House Media, a shared business doing lefty podcasting. We also host educational programs on site.

    Our expectation is that everyone will contribute in a substantive way to the community, and each hour is valued the same. We are also in dialogue about how to hold a wide range of what qualifies as contributions, recognizing differences in ability and life-stage that affect what society normally considers valuable. We intend to turn that on its head.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Planned renewable energy generation: Almost All, around 90%
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Planned food produced: From 50-75%
  • Food produced locally: Up to 25%

Lifestyle

  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Vehicle Share, Library, Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Hot tub or hot springs, Internet, art space, meeting and teaching room
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, exceptionally.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: Approximately all dinners
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Paleo (no grains, dairy, processed foods, or legumes), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), Mostly Vegetarian, Opportunivore (dumpster diving, nature harvesting, etc.), Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Sometimes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    We work to accommodate a range of diets, and also appreciate members taking some responsibility for getting their own needs met. We currently have no members who smoke tobacco, but do have a smoking policy that can accommodate smokers.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Eclectic (integrates multiple religious or spiritual beliefs), Unitarian Universalist, Paganism or Earth Religions, Humanist
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: No
  • Education Style(s): Public Schooling, Up to each family or individual
  • Additional Comments:

    We are not yet fully income sharing, but hold the intention to provide healthcare once we are. Currently, members have healthcare through the ACA, their parents, on medicaid or as students through the university.

Additional Comments

We laugh a lot, are not particularly pretentious, and yet are very serious about anti-oppression work. We aren’t saviors of anyone else: we are in a deep struggle to transform society as people who have known the direct sting of various forms of oppression, and recognize the interconnection of all oppressions.

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), Global Ecovillage Network – North America (GENNA)

Keywords

justice, sustainability, ecovillage, consensus, income sharing, resilience