A very moving portrayal of the diversity element most difficult to include in cohousing
From: David Heimann (heimanntheworld.com)
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2016 10:30:57 -0800 (PST)

Hello Everyone,

Recently we've been having a thread about diversity in cohousing and understanding people not in our own culture. A lot of the discussion has centered around diversities such as people of color, LGBT, immigrants, disabled people, etc. However, there is one diversity we in cohousing haven't mentioned much and whom we ignore at our peril -- white "working-class" without a college education, especially those in the Midwest, Appalachia, and the South, and especially men.

Nathaniel Rich has written a book reporting on an extensive study he has conducted of this group of people. He has not only investigated them but also has lived among them, gaining incredible understanding. I read the following article about Rich's work in the New York Review of Books, www.nybooks.com/articles/2016/11/10/american-right-inside-the-sacrifice-zone, and am floored by the haunting picture he draws. Haunting not just for white rural working-class people (especially men), but also for the rest of us, considering the way the election and its atmosphere has gone and what that portends.

From what Rich describes, it is possible (at least by my mind) to really understand and connect with them, but gosh is it difficult! It requires a totally different mind set than I have and that I assume most on this list have! Do you, dear readers and fellow cohousers, have thoughts on how best to do so? And especially those on this list who are white working-class rural folks or have such among your family and close friends, can you share your perspective? Not only cohousing depends on bridging this diversity, but the health of country does as well!

Yours in *full* diversity,
David Heimann
Jamaica Plain Cohousing

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