Re: Diversity
From: Liz Ryan Cole (
Date: Sat, 4 Aug 2018 06:12:06 -0700 (PDT)
some years ago, when the U of Wisconsin Law School was acutely aware that their 
faculty was almost 100% white, they decided that hiring a critical mass of 
African American faculty could make a difference and was worth the effort - as 
I recall they hired 5 African Americans.  At least in the early years it made a 
significant positive difference in many ways and I believe it made it easier to 
recruit more diverse (and not just African American) faculty going forward.  I 
think the “posse” admission practices at many colleges also reflect how 
thoughtful awareness of difference in skin color, culture, etc. can help people 
who are less well represented in what ever group, be able to participate 

remember too that among humans, race has no taxonomic significance - all living 
humans belong to the same species, Homo sapiens, and (as far as applicable) 
subspecies, Homo sapiens sapiens.  (I highly recommend a visit to the Cradle of 
Humankind near Johannesburg South Africa if you ever get the chance!!). 

We have work to do.  

Pinnacle Cohousing is finally (after years of zoning problems) looking for 
members (aiming to have our first stage move in Fall 2019), and one part of our 
design is apodments - 3 sharing a kitchen (there will part-time kitchen 
steward, probably someone who lives here, but not necessarily, who will help 
organize leftovers, kitchen organization, etc.  With designed shared housing, 
using a pod model, we may make some of our homes slightly more affordable.  We 
also hope to have a few of the units be rentals.  So…. from a very white part 
of the world, let’s see what happens. 

I hope to see some of you at the Northeast Cohousing Conference


Liz Ryan Cole
lizryancole [at]
Pinnacle Cohousing at Loch Lyme Lodge
Lyme, NH
Home 802.785.4124
Mobile 802.274.1511
Lodge 603-795-2141

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire 
to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”
― E.B. White

On Aug 3, 2018, at 9:43 PM, Hollie Butler <holliebutler [at]> wrote:

On Fri, Aug 3, 2018 at 8:53 AM, Dick Margulis <dick [at]> wrote:

> So that brings up an idea. There is strength in numbers. If three black
> families (or three of any other group that shared this feeling of not
> wanting to be "the only") found each other and joined a cohousing community
> *together*, wouldn't that help mitigate that feeling? Not my place to
> suggest how that might come about. I'm just tossing the idea out there.

I'm sure this is a well-intentioned suggestion, but it's putting the
problem right onto people of color to solve. It's exactly our place as
white people to consider how we could make that come about. If the spirit
of the idea is meant to be, "It'd be nice to have more than one family of
color in a cohousing neighborhood, so they'd feel less alone," that's a
great sentiment, but how do we make that happen?

Has there been any good research (polls, actual data) into why cohousing is
overwhelmingly white? Is it mostly economic, mostly cultural? Can we find
the place where these factors create gaps, and bridge them somehow, through
better marketing, better financing options, better outreach and education?
What would those efforts look like? These are a few things I've been
wondering as I'm reading this discussion.

- Hollie
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