Re: do you really value diversity?
From: Tom Smyth (tomsassafras.coop)
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2016 06:29:36 -0800 (PST)
I think this is an interesting point, but I would also caution against
thinking that diverse == apolitical. Just last night a fellow cohouser told
me that she is not allowed to wear her safety pin
<http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/14/fashion/safety-pin-ally-activism.html> at
her job as a middle school librarian as it's too "political". Umm, WTF! And
this is in a "liberal" school district!

I think cohousing communities can and should talk about and develop shared
values. Just because a community expresses a shared value of, say,
non-violence or anti-racism or etc., doesn't preclude diversity. There are
lots of people of color who espouse such values. I guess you're not going
to get a lot of white nationalists joining up but I would be okay with
that! (I guess we also need to be clear about along what lines we want to
be diverse...)

I think the more important thing to be aware of is how and when we may be
perpetuating oppressions such as racism, classism, and ableism and/or
implicit bias in the way we speak or write or act. If we really want
diversity, those are the difficult conversations we need to have. Luckily
there are some great groups out there to help us have them. The AORTA
Collective <http://aorta.coop/> is fantastic, for instance.

On Tue, Nov 15, 2016 at 10:52 AM, Eris Weaver <eris [at] erisweaver.info> wrote:

>
> In my seventeen years of cohousing - as a resident, facilitator, trainer,
> and consultant - one of the paradoxes I see over and over in CohoLand is
> the
> tension between desiring diversity yet wanting to live with like-minded
> folks. We kinda can't have it both ways...if you claim to value diversity,
> you need to include political and ideological diversity as well. (While
> cohousers do seem to skew
> left politically, I am quite sure there are not only some Republicans but
> possibly Trump supporters among us.)
>
> I am very aware of how frequently someone will say something along the
> lines of "I think we all agree that..."  and all I can think of is that if
> there IS
> someone in the room who does NOT share that belief, the message they
> receive
> is "you don't belong here" and someone less assertive than I might just
> keep
> their mouth shut and NOT share their diverse point of view. I try to
> eliminate that sort of phrase from my speech, ESPECIALLY when I am up in
> the
> front of the room with the resulting extra power & influence that gives me.
>
> I guess I'm asking for all of us to just be aware that not everyone in
> cohousing thinks the same...
>
> ********************************
> Eris Weaver
> Founding member, FrogSong Cohousing in Cotati, CA
> Graphic Facilitator & Group Process Consultant
>
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>
>
>


-- 
Tom Smyth

Worker-Owner, Sassafras Tech Collective
Specializing in innovative, usable tech for social change
sassafras.coop *·* @sassafrastech

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