Understanding Diversity in Community

5-Week Online Course | Starts April 1st

Learn how to foster inclusive communities that are welcoming of people across identities of race, LGBTQ+, gender, and disability.

Course fee: $299 ($249 early bird through 3/12/23)

On this page:

Course description and syllabus

Everyone deserves access to safe communities, and often people with marginalized identities are inadvertently harmed in our communities. In the Understanding Diversity in Community course we will explore the various dimensions of diversity, including race, age, class, gender, sexuality and disability. You’ll learn about the unique challenges and experiences of each identity as well as the way that these forms of diversity intersect and overlap.

Throughout the course, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with your fellow students and share your own experiences and perspectives on these topics. By the end of the course, you’ll have a greater understanding and appreciation of the diversity that exists within our world as well as the importance of promoting inclusion and equity for all.

Live classes are hosted on Zoom. All classes are recorded and available on our learning platform within 24 hours after each class ends and through 30 days after the last class. 

Classes and topics in the Understanding Diversity in Community syllabus include:

1st Class: Race and Ethnicity

  • introduction and ground rules
  • resources to dive deeper
  • common biases and microaggressions
  • stages of response

2nd Class: White Supremacy

  • white supremacy culture in intentional communities
  • cultural appropriation

3rd Class: Gender and Sexuality

  • gender and sexual identities
  • the triangle of consent

4th Class: Disability and Age

  • ten principles of disability justice
  • neurodivergence in community

5th Class: Socioeconomic Status and Closing

  • socioeconomic status
  • intersectionality
  • wrap up and reflections

Course schedule

  • 1st Class – April 1, 2023
  • 2nd Class – April 8, 2023
  • 3rd Class – April 15, 2023
  • 4th Class – April 22, 2023
  • 5th Class – April 29, 2023

All Understanding Diversity in Community classes are from 10:00am-12:00pm Central on Saturdays. View your local time here.

Your instructor

Crystal Byrd Farmer

Crystal Byrd Farmer is an organizer and consultant in the intentional communities movement. She serves as Co-Director for the Foundation for Intentional Community and is on the Editorial Review Board of Communities Magazine published by the Global Ecovillage Network-United States. She also serves as Co-President for the BIPOC Intentional Community Council. In 2020 she published The Token: Common Sense Ideas for Increasing Diversity in Your Organization. Crystal is passionate about encouraging people to change their perspectives on diversity, relationships, and the world.

Learn more about Crystal and her work here.


“This course was a great way to connect with others and feel less isolated in my experiences. It also offered insights into identities I don’t inhabit that will help me understand others more and be a better ally.”

-Fatima Hirsi

“I’m strongly encouraging other people in our community to attend [Understanding Diversity in Community]. The class was so well organized and I appreciated the variety of topics covered from BIPOC to disabilities-related issues. Crystal packs a lot of material into a short time, offering practical suggestions that we can put in practice in our mainly white community. I found the resources and homework to be really useful and insightful. I feel that I gained a much deeper understanding of how white supremacy lives in me and how I can grow and evolved in my relationships with non-majority-culture people.”

-Sara Bruya

“Participating in this course was the most important thing I’ve done this year. Crystal’s presentation was organized, moving and real. We covered how to prepare our community and ourselves for relating with and creating safety for members of multiple abilities, races, identities, ages and ethnicities; mistakes to avoid and tools for conflict resolution. The additional resources will be my ongoing project.”

-Kathleen Biernat

“Really valuable space to talk about topics that we sometimes avoid or are not sure how to talk about! Emphasis on ICs makes it particularly relevant. The discussion about ‘self-appointed white ally’ and allyship vs accomplice moved my understanding forward; appreciated and was challenged by some of the discussions around disability, in particular about mental health. LOVED the resources (articles and videos).”

-Karen Cowgill

The elements of an online course

Online learning platform

Once you register, you’ll get access to our learning area that includes:

  • your course schedule with zoom links
  • recommended books
  • a dedicated discussion forum to connect with your classmates
  • class slides and other course materials
  • class video recordings and Zoom chat feed (posted after class ends)

Live interactive sessions

Each week you join a 2-hour live class with the course instructor, where you learn in a group setting with:

  • interactive presentations
  • break out sessions
  • group discussions
  • the opportunity for questions and answers, and personalized support

Classes are recorded if you miss one.

Journey with a cohort

You’ll join participants from around the world how, like you, want to learn how to be better communitarians. Benefits include:

  • opportunities to connect with like-minded people
  • opportunities to share ideas and stories
  • a network of support to carry your community project forward


Understanding Diversity in Community Course


(Price is per person)*

*Interested in participating as a group? Please email Lauren at events@ic.org.

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Become a member learner

You get several benefits, including 20% off all our online courses, and access to our Member Library with hundreds of videos, guides, policies and templates.

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Financial support

You can apply for a scholarship if you need financial support to attend one of our courses. We encourage those with low-income and from marginalized groups to apply. We’re committed to ensuring everyone has access to intentional community learning opportunities.

Apply for a scholarship