Re: New diversity statement
From: Alice Alexander (
Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2016 11:17:58 -0700 (PDT)
Thank you Crystal, I agree with your statement:
It is very typical for black people to be told what their experience is instead
of others listening to them.

However, while Katie's profile of some of the challenges of attracting
African Americans to cohousing may be valid, I don't believe that Katie or
the many of us who reach out to diverse communities overlay those views on
anyone. I would like to think and assume that we are all welcoming at our
respective farmer market tables, and that we engage in creative marketing
strategies to reach diverse communities! Katie is voicing a frustration, in
which I sympathize.

That said, I am pleased to see diversity blooming in several forming
cohousing groups, in which for some, the diversity isn't a big deal.
Alice Alexander, Coho/US Executive Director

On Tue, Sep 27, 2016 at 1:51 PM, Crystal Farmer <crystalbyrdfarmer [at]
> wrote:

> It's fine to presume that the majority of black people don't want to live
> in cohousing, but you have at least two black people on this mailing list
> that say they do. We are also suggesting ways to make minorities more
> comfortable with learning about and living in cohousing. Are you going to
> discount those views because it takes too much work?
> People of all races come by our tables at events and listen to my spiel
> about cohousing. It takes less than a minute. When they say, "That's a
> great idea!" I invite them to learn more. I don't say, "Well you probably
> already have a supportive community so you don't need us."
> It is very typical for black people to be told what their experience is
> instead of others listening to them.
> Crystal Farmer
> Charlotte Cohousing Community
> Quote:
> Based on my experience managing outreach for a forming community in the DC
> area, I've come to the conclusion that cohousers may want diversity, but
> "minorities" (for lack of a better umbrella term) don't necessarily want
> more community. For starters, they're more likely to either stay close to
> home and family or bring family with them if they move. Either way, they'll
> also be deeply involved in cultural and/or religious organizations.
> For example, your typical home-buying African American female in the DC
> area will have a demanding job, will have extended family in the area (or
> maybe in southern VA or NC, where she will visit often), will be very
> active in a church, and will also be involved with her college sorority. Is
> she really going to be looking for another set of commitments and
> activities when she comes home from a long day at work? Especially
> involving a bunch of earnest liberals trying to excise their white guilt?
> White people are the ones who leave their families and move cross-country
> all by themselves and find themselves rootless and lonely and seeking
> community.
> Of course there will be exceptions to everything I've said, and maybe I'm
> completely wrong, but I spent way too much time trying to explain cohousing
> to people who were clearly thinking "Why on earth would I want to get
> involved in something like that?" Then I started marketing to the LGBTQ
> community and got a much better reception.
> Katie Henry
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Alice Alexander
Executive Director
[image: The Cohousing Association]

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