Topic outline

  • Overview

    Creating a Life Together: Building the Foundations for a Thriving Community Culture

    Ultimately all communities and cooperatives thrive because their members thrive. This workshop begins the ongoing discussion of how to build a healthy and thriving community culture. We will focus on developing shared community vision documents and principles. 

    Fundamentally the experts in any discussion of group culture are its members - the workshop will be co-facilitated by members of the POC Sustainable Housing Network collective, along with members of existing co-ownership communities with the goal of supporting each cohort group in developing the group culture that helps them thrive.

    May 20, 2018 Presenter Bios:

    Tavi Baker is a co-founder of The People of Color Sustainable Housing Network (POCSHN).  Since moving to Berkeley in 1996, she has lived in three coops: the African American Theme House (Afro House), Rochdale Village, and Parker St Coop, where she has lived since 2009.  She was inspired to start POCSHN as a way of centering the wisdom and experience of black, indigenous, and people of color communities in the current intentional communities movement.

    Marissa Ashkar is a co-organizer with People of Color Sustainable Housing Network (POCSHN) and is working with the Northern California Land Trust as resident co-organizer. She previously worked as Legal Assistant for an international development corporation as well as a local Oakland law firm. Marissa was active in institution co-building in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. She continues to hold a deeply rooted interest and affinity for the community land trust, collective land ownership and stewardship models. By co-creating an intentional community and eco-village Marissa is helping to make these models more accessible and replicable.  By sharing information as she builds with communities including the People of Color Sustainable Housing Network (POCSHN) she believes that cooperative living will continue to grow and be part of a global healing and regenerative movement.





    • Community Vision Homework - Readings & Assessment Tool

      1. In preparation for our discussion, please take some time to meet with your forming group and have a go around addressing at least the first 5 topics on this document: Group Discussion Topics for Forming A Shared Community Vision. You may want to take some time individually to reflect on these questions for yourself if you haven't already. The core of questions 1-5 will be a jumping off point for the framing and exercises we will be exploring during the May 20th Workshop. This visioning process, while always ongoing, will be the "glue" that guides this work forward. It's okay to not know the answers to much of this now, but it will help in building a foundation to grow from. 
      2. Complete the first 2 readings in the Resources on Creating Community Vision Documents section below. 

      A Note on the Importance of Community Visioning: In our years doing this work, we've found that no matter how many hard skills (i.e. legal and financial literacy) a forming cooperative or co-ownership group had, if they had not done the work of building a real sense of a shared vision, the project would crumble. That is why we are offering this training before jumping into the the technical logistics, cause it will all come back to building and sustaining this shared vision. 






    • Readings & Resources

      Resources on Creating Community Vision Documents:
      1. Creating a Life Together Book Excerpt: Creating Vision Documents - PDF

      2. Common Fire's Top Ten Hard-Earned Tips for Community Success PDF - The Common Fire Foundation

      3. Setting community goals and values in a vision statement Weblink - Fellowship of Intentional Communities 


      Resources on Conflict Mediation: 
      1. Defining Conflict Framework - Kingian Non-Violence Lens (Website) - East Point Peace Academy

      2. Empowered Relationships & Transformational Conflict PDF - The Common Fire Foundation 

      3. Interpersonal Relationships and Conflict Resolution Weblink - Fellowship of Intentional Communities 

      4. Anti-Oppression Reading & Training Alliance (AORTA): Video Training Series on Conflict Resolution for Cooperatives - 

      While we won't be taking a deep dive into conflict mediation during this workshop (as it can easily be it's own workshop), we would like to offer the above as starting off points to thinking about conflict mediation/resolution processes.