Re: cultural/racial diversity
From: Elizabeth Stevenson (
Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2003 09:48:16 -0700 (MST)
Even in an urban setting, with financing for low and moderate-income people,
we were unable to attract a representative sampling form the surrounding
area. And Sacramento is the most diverse city in the US, according to Time
magazine. We have one person of Japanese descent, one with an African
father, and one African-American. I think we're more diverse than the
average coho group.

I would point out that several groups, including ours, are in neighborhoods
and cities that are quite diverse. One has only to take a trip to an area
that is mostly white to appreciate that it doesn't really matter that we
didn't get every kind of diversity we wanted within cohousing proper. I felt
quite uncomfortable on my recent trip to my sister's house, where the
neighborhoods were clearly delineated black and white, and the racial
tension was palpable. My larger neighborhood outside of cohousing is much
more of a factor in my quality of life than even I had thought, and I sought
out this neighborhood particularly because it was diverse, stable and
centrally located. (I found out cohousing was here after the fact.)

Liz Stevenson
Southside Park Cohousing
Sacramento, California
tamgoddess [at]

> On Tuesday, January 14, 2003, at 10:02  AM, Gotogenes [at] wrote:
>> the word "diversity" is almost always included in the vision
>> statements and
>> we see diversity by occupation,sexual orientation, religion, politics
>> and
>> lifestyle etc. however  the ones we've looked at (for all their
>> undoubted
>> merits) appear very wasp-ish.
>> my wife is japanese and i'm a brit. we're both naturalized americans
>> and our
>> kids have lived here all their life. my wife (even though she's lived
>> in usa
>> for 25 years) in some ways is still very much an oriental and is most
>> comfortable living with a mix of races and nationalities, at least a
>> smattering of color. myself also.
> The problem with any new and thus marginal social phenomenon is that it
> is marginal. For those who are in the minority to join would be
> duplicating their minority -- minority on top of minority. So getting
> minority households involved is difficult at best.
> If you look at the actual numbers, cohousing communities are more
> diverse than their larger communities. Mine is certainly more diverse
> than any community of 43 households that I could choose to live in
> anywhere, even in Manhattan. Urban communities will more diverse than
> suburban communities because suburban communities are probably the
> least diverse in America. Rural communities even less diverse. But that
> is where the land is.
> Sharon

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