West Coast Communities Conference


WCCC 2016: Racial & Economic Justice

Thursday September 29th to Sunday October 2nd 2016

@ Groundswell Institute, a queer ecovillage and retreat center

Cassandra gives the opening presentation for the conference

Cassandra gives the opening presentation for the 2015 West Coast Communities Conference

Whether old hat to intentional community or just diving in for the first time, join us at the second annual West Coast Communities Conference to get the boost in skills, connections, and wisdom that will take your engagement to the next level. A blend of workshops and interactive social activities, we will go deep into the topics that matter most to our communities while also making time for joyous connections.

Inspired by the Communities Conference that takes place at Twin Oaks in Virginia each year, and organized with sponsorship from the Fellowship for Intentional Communities (FIC) and Federation of Egalitarian Communities (FEC), this event promises to be a brilliant convergence of those who see the vital role community has to play in the  trying times we live in. Anyone with interest or experience in worker cooperatives, rural communes, artist collectives, or any other kind of communal enterprise is invited to participate.

The focus for this year’s conference will be on racial and economic justice. These struggles remain present in our lives and more evident than ever – so, we feel it is essential for us to focus on these issues within the communities movement. We have tremendous potential to be leaders in confronting racial and economic disparities, and we also have a long way to go before our own movement reflects the diversity of our country. Continued discussion is key, so we are encouraging all presenters to find ways to bring these subjects into their workshops or activities and for WCCC participants to come with both ideas and open minds.

We want to stimulate your minds around this intersection of topics. So here are concepts to let your mind wander over before the conference:

  • diverse communities and diversity within communities
  • affordability & accessibility in communities
  • different approaches to creating communities
  • engaging radical land redistribution & reparations
  • POC, Indigenous, & LGBTQI-led land projects
  • food & ag movement solidarity
  • political education in intentional communities
  • membership and financing
  • sustainable building and living practices
  • social and organizational skills
  • decision-making, consensus, and practices of inclusivity
  • communications and group process
  • conflict resolution
  • resource management
  • models and sources for community building
  • visions and charters

We will be limiting attendance to around 100 in order to minimize impact on our land, so please register to ensure your spot. Registration fees are $100 for tenting and $150 for cabins, which includes access to all programs and three scrumptious hot meals a day. In addition, there are day passes for those who don’t wish to stay overnight. Plentiful scholarship and work trade options are available – we do not want economic status to be a barrier to attending this event.


Innisfree presents during the communities salon at twin oaks

Innisfree presents during the communities salon at Twin Oaks


On Saturday of the conference, representatives of different communities will have the opportunity to introduce themselves through short (1-3 minute) presentations to the attendees. In addition, communities are invited to bring tabletop displays to help show off their home. This will be a great opportunity for communities to meet potential new members and vice versa. Last year we had over 20 community projects present – it was wonderful! If you would like your community to have space at the Communities Salon, please email us here.

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Read more about the WCCC 2016 Keynote:  Moving Beyond Diversity To Collective Liberation: Engaging the Communities Movement in Racial & Economic Justice presented by Deseree Fontenot & Tavi Baker of the People of Color Sustainable Housing Network

Social time between sessions on the lawn in front of the dining hall.

Social time between sessions on the hill in front of the dining hall.

About Groundswell Community & Institute

Groundswell Community & Ecovillage

Some of our alpacas around the animal barn

The Groundswell Community & Institute includes an ecovillage of permanent residents committed to loving the land and its inhabitants as well as a retreat center with focuses on environmental education and queer consciousness. Groundswell aims to model a more sustainable way of living through heart-centered connection, self-reliance, conscientious land stewardship, creativity, celebration of queer spirit, sex and intimacy, and interdependence with the larger world.