Parable of the Sower Intentional Community worker – owned cooperative is for black women with children. They are women with partners gay and straight, bi and trans, children and grandparents, but the ten core cooperative members are black women. We are working on the bylaws and exactly how we will live this out, day to day, not 9-5, but 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, in charge of our own destiny.
Of the two thousand intentional communities that are recognized in the world, we will be the first for black women. Actually, I think we’ll also be the first [modern recognized intentional community] led by people of color, and the first led by women. So we are pioneers on the frontier of the New Economy for envisioning something that may have been talked about forever, but has not been supported.
This is a pilot that will support the next intentional communities that we will build for black women, women of color, and eventually others. There are four sections, or villages. We’re looking into easily made homes – tiny homes, or adobe houses, pre-fab, some trailers while we build. We have cooperative members in construction, so we’re looking at a lot of options. Sustainable may mean we try out different formats, and find out what’s best.
The first village is for women and children. That could also include beloved partners, or grandparents. The second village is more elderly and disabled individuals, and will be set up to give those members ways to meet their needs, through support from the rest of us, who will all work 35 hours a week. The third village is where we’ll get a lot of our income, from a central retreat space, and cabins around it. We’ll also get income from the fourth village, where you’ll see the organizing component, with interns coming out to stay for our organizing campaigns, and legal support – it will be almost like a dorm, with space to camp out, too, and a concert venue.
And then we’ll have our farm, our organic vegetable garden, our goats, our chickens and our bees. So some of our work will be selling our wares at a farmer’s market on Saturday. And we’ll have a collective kitchen and collective daycare.
We are developing our cooperative using proven models. We’re getting a lot of support from the Fellowship for Intentional Community. We did a workshop at their annual conference, at Twin Oaks Community in Virginia. And we use these cooperative guidelines that I really love called The Madison Principles, to make sure that we are clear of conflicts of interest, and holding our bylaws to the highest level of ethics.
All that you touch You Change.
All that you change Changes You.
The only lasting truth is change.
Octavia E. Butler – Parable of the Sower