Re: New diversity statement
From: mira Danyel brisk (
Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2016 12:18:15 -0700 (PDT)
HI Tiffany,
Where in Oregon are you?  Are you currently living in a community??


I had the opportunity to visit a few communities along a trip I took over
the Summer including a number of them in Portland.  There was a range of
racial issues either brought up or not (untalked about) during my visits.

This lack of understanding towards the experience of the people of color
either within or around their community among the general
'community-oriented white liberals' that lives in some of them (definitely
not all) was apparent in some cases.

I spoke with one person who was the only black or person or color in her
community and expressed feeling misunderstood or dismissed on a number of
occasions when she brought up topics that felt important and relevant to
her.   I would love her to know that she is not alone.... since she felt
like she may be the only black person in ANY cohousing community...  (most
communities live on Islands, it turns out.... and don't connect much with
fellow communities in the same state, let along across the country........
 and let alone their actual neighbors that are NOT within the
community........   )

Can we go more out of our way to Understand historically and presently
Disenfranchised / minority groups whether they are within or around where
we live?   What can we do in this regard?

It is worth us getting to know what others' experiences are - no matter
what "differences" we think exist?  Isn't that part of what CO-housing is
about??   Or is it???

We are ALL different....  in many ways since we all see things from our own
perspectives mostly.    How can we stretch outside our 'comfort zone' more
to understand others perspectives and a larger picture?

Thank you for bringing up and working on these too often untalked about and
needed questions in yourself and with this group Tiffany  and others!

Charlotte Cohousing,  among other things~

On Tue, Sep 27, 2016 at 2:57 PM, Tiffany Lee Brown <magdalen23 [at]>

> Carol and Crystal --
> Thank you for taking the time to respond. A lot of us progressive,
> community-oriented white liberals need to be helped along in our
> understanding of what others experience. Our good intentions only go so
> far. I imagine it would be frustrating to watch us make assumptions and
> cast generalizations. I apologize for any such remarks I've made in this
> conversation so far... And again thank you for not giving up on us entirely.
> -T in Oregon
> Sent from the far shores of a distant land
> > On Sep 27, 2016, at 11:16 AM, carol collier via Cohousing-L <
> cohousing-l [at]> wrote:
> >
> >
> > blockquote, div.yahoo_quoted { margin-left: 0 !important;
> border-left:1px #715FFA solid !important; padding-left:1ex !important;
> background-color:white !important; }  I left this conversation long ago
> because it is typical. You have a lot of people us what we think or feel
> based on some alleged interaction, but the very people living the life are
> dismissed.
> >
> >
> > Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone
> >
> >
> > On Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 11:51 AM, 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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> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > _________________________________________________________________
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> >
> >
> >
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Mira Danyel Brisk
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