Re: Diversity
From: carol collier (
Date: Fri, 3 Aug 2018 08:08:09 -0700 (PDT)
 i can't speak for every person of color or every black person, but there 
definitely are lots of black folks that fit the demographic of those in 
co-housing, except for color, that are alienated and don't have a church family 
or extended family that they can depend on especially as they age. Similar to 
the rest of the U.S. population, the number of blacks going to church has 
declined significantly.Two things stick out in my mind as deterrents to getting 
people of color to join co-housing: one- fear of being seen as the other. We 
all have biases, and you don't live in the U.S. without have stereotypical 
views of certainminority groups. For example, I belong to the group seen as 
predators, criminals, and welfare queens. We are seen as being dirty and 
destroying the purity of neighborhoods and schools. We are viewed as dumber 
than other ethnic groups, so you wouldn't want your child sitting in a 
classroom full of us whether we are rich or poor. i could go on. I was part of 
a group where someone questioned my ability to buy a home in the community; 
even though, at the time, I was an Ivy League educated physician, owned three 
other homes, and had a high net worth. All the person saw was a black, single 
parent. The second things is being the only. It is hard being the only black 
person. I get fatigue from people assuming that I am the spokesperson for 
anything black. Just my two cents. 
    On Friday, August 3, 2018, 8:00:17 AM MDT, Liz Gewirtz <liz.gewirtz [at]> wrote:  
 This is helpful insight and maybe not the whole story.  I bet there are a
good deal of people of color who are alienated.  I am white, but until the
last 10 years (I'm 54), I lived in diverse neighborhoods.  I grew up, poor,
in a Puerto Rican neighborhood.  I dislike the idea of buying into an all
white community and I hope there are others like me - people of all colors,
who would like to create a community, or perhaps one that already exists.
Do the urban co-housing communities tend to be all white too?

Liz Gewirtz

There are many ways to have community in your life, and when I'm in our
booth at a farmers' market and talk with a cross-section of people, the
theme that emerges is "That sounds great, but I already have community
in my life." And when I press a little, I find out it's true. "I've got
three aunts, four uncles, and two sets of grandparents within a block of
where I live." "My church is my community. I'm at choir practice twice a
week, two services on Sunday, the sewing circle on Wednesday afternoons.
How much more community do I need?" "Everyone on my block comes from the
same village in Guatemala. We all grew up together."

What does this tell us? Cohousing is a healing balm for people who grew
up alienated in suburbia. It provides community for people who don't
already have it. The demographics are what they are.

Liz Gewirtz
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