Re: Cohousing-L Digest, Vol 163, Issue 16
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sat, 12 Aug 2017 09:57:01 -0700 (PDT)
> On Aug 12, 2017, at 11:39 AM, Crystal Farmer <crystalbyrdfarmer [at] 
>> wrote:
> So unless cohousing neighborhoods are
> planning to build in a mixed community, they are not even attracting
> non-white residents. Barb's point about advertising in other cultural areas
> is important too. If your network only includes people like you---that's
> who's going to come to the meetings.

But in DC it would be impossible to not advertise in ethnically mixed 
neighborhoods. From Wikipedia on the ethnic composition of DC

> Ethnic composition. The population distribution is 49% black, 43.6% white, 
> 5.0% other (including Native Americans, Alaskans, Hawaiians, and Pacific 
> Islanders), and 3.1% Asian. Of these, there were 8.3% Hispanic (of any race) 
> and 1.6% mixed.

The “black” population of DC is split amongst its factions. Jamaican, 
descendants of slaves, North Africans who speak French and work in embassies, 
rich middle class professionals, etc. It’s huge variation and the reason DC 
isn’t run by an effective “black” government is they won’t work together. So 
counting them as 49% is deceptive. 

But still if any cohousing community had a chance of being black and white, it 
would be Takoma Village. We have 5 households owned by people who identify as 
black. Two are moving for reasons unrelated to race but they have been here for 
years. We also have Hispanic households and Indian. We have three households 
with physical disabilities.

In terms of cultural diversity, to me those who are religious observant brings 
much more diversity. It requires attention to respect their values and 
interests, and be comfortable with them. The animal rights people — one drove 
us nuts when we were trying to refurnish the common house.

What is meaningful diversity?

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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