This series focuses on the communities we visit and the ways they influence our own approach to intentional community. We’re constantly exploring the requirements and possibilities that come with transitioning out of one world and into another, and after over a decade of exploration, we’ve realized our experiences may be of use to others. We’re sharing the process and discoveries of our journey for the benefit of, hopefully, anyone reading this.
Unfortunately, most of the communities we’ve found show little diversity in their membership, let alone leadership. Even the Executive Director of the Foundation for Intentional Communities understands that white supremacy plays a role in the intentional community movement, and he’s making efforts to participate in the work of decolonizing these and other spaces. Much of our research yields endless photos of virtually all-white communities favoring colonized family structures. Although many communities pay lip service to diversity (especially for ecosystems) and may truly have great intentions, the results reflect the broader cultural issue. Few intentional communities are doing the work to examine the roles white supremacy and patriarchy play in their dynamics. It cannot be only the oppressed that are doing this work. Access to the very land most communities are on–stolen Native territories, all–is itself an issue related to the continued legacy of slavery and genocide that settlers created.
Where else but on the land can decolonization and rematriation actually occur? Sharing and/or giving resources, sovereignty, and leadership to Black, Indigenous, femme, and non-binary people is what’s missing from solutions of this culture. Without applying the work at every level, the cultural norms leading to today’s catastrophes go unrecognized and slip into these new, “intentional” spaces. We are a generation of cycle breakers, and dare to imagine better.
No matter the challenges, we are grateful for this journey and continue to have beautiful experiences in the communities we visit, such as the ones below:
There’s a rising interest in permaculture, “primitive skills,” and self-sufficient homesteading, but this gathering is trying to make a transition.
Alex and Alyson Grey’s artistic vision support a spiritual community through workshops, classes, ceremonies, retreats, and church events.
Festivals offer a taste of shared intent and loving connection, but without The Work they’ll replicate the same social ills they’re trying to escape.