Urban Communities Panel

(I’ve written about urban communes before, but next Sunday I will be on a panel talking about urban communities–all types of communities, not just communes. If this is a subject that interests you, you should join us. – Raven)

Join us for Free Online Intentional Urban Community Panel Discussion

Would you and your co-op mates be interested in participating in an online urban intentional communities event? The topic is the struggles and resilience of urban communities.  Urban communities often encounter challenges that rural ones do not, as how to create a rural community is more established.  It is organized by Ganas (an urban community in New York City) and also an ecovillage activist group called Gen North America.  The panel consists of 5 seasoned leaders and experienced dwellers of urban intentional communities from San Francisco, New York City, and Washington DC.

Join here for the Zoom call that is taking place Sunday, April 11, 3PM EST/ 2PM CDT/ 1 PM MDT/ 12 PM PST.


Buildings at Ganas


Dr. Zarinah Agnew lived in an intentional community in San Francisco for the last 9 years, and is a steward of Haight St Commons (HsC), which is a collective of around 75 communities in the Bay Area.  It has a decentralized federation that shares resources, learnings, housemates, documents, a radical fund, a newsletter and more.  She is part of a global federation called the Embassy Network.  She is director of a non profit that supports the creation of experimental commons and autonomous spaces. On the ground, one of the projects that she stewarded is called the Second Life Project, which are autonomous spaces centered around the needs and wisdoms of formerly incarcerated individuals.

Darrell Duane is the founder of Glowhouse in Washington, DC, which existed since 2000.  Glowhouse hosts a community of holistic practitioners, burners (people passionate about Burning Man), and also meditators. They do avid couch surfing, and enjoy healthy eating and authentic relating.  Duane is working on a number of projects, such as the Crypto Universal Basic Income Foundation, DMV Ecovillages, Ranked Choice Voting Support Network, Lovers of Living Together DC, and Organic Groups

Raven Glomus has helped start a number of urban communities.  In 1995 he founded Common Threads in Cambridge, Massachusetts which lasted 5 years and more recently created Cotelydon Community in Queens.  He has also lived in a number of co-op houses in the Boston area and he manages the Commune Life blog.  Ironically, he now lives in a rural commune in the western foothills of the Catskills.  He is concerned about the fact that there are no more urban egalitarian income sharing communities in the Federation of Egalitarian Communities, and is passionate about how to start and maintain such communities.

Maddie Hana Fontaine is a lifelong urban communitarian.  She was part of communal living since she was 10 years old, and as an only child, learned a lot growing up in an intentional community in Madison, Wisconsin from other children and adults. She was part of Madison Community Cooperative (MCC), an organization of multiple urban coops.   She lived in Ambrosia and also Friends in Madison, both part of MCC, and then after college, she lived in Youtopia in Brooklyn.  She learned much about conflict resolution, adaptability, leadership, interpersonal relationships, and how to share space with others in her experience.

Michael Johnson co-founded Ganas, a 65 member community in New York City in 1980,   He regards it as an experiential research center in democratic culture where people live and work together.  He had been immersed in the cooperative/solidarity economic movements since 2007 with the Valley Alliance of Worker Co-operatives (New England), SolidarityNYC, and Grassroots Economic Organizing Collective (GEO), which he is a regular contributor and editor.   He is the author of The Growing Democracy Project: A Cultural Strategy for Taking Our Love, Power, and Democracy to New Levels.  


Leon Tsao (Ganas member and fellow communitarian)

former home of Cotyledon, urban commune that was in NYC

Urban Communities Panel

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