Watch here for information on our speakers as it becomes available.
Alicia DeLashmutt is the Founder and President of Our Home, Inclusive Community Collaborative, a non-profit whose mission is to promote, support and develop inclusive, diverse communities. She is currently working with her team to develop a mutually supportive, inclusive cohousing inspired community in the Cathedral Park neighborhood of Portland, OR. She is the proud mother of an awesome young adult daughter whose diverse interests include baseball, Fritos and opera. Her daughter experiences Mowat-Wilson, a rare genetic syndrome whose effects are widespread and significant. Alicia is an active advocate and parent mentor who believes that the inclusion of ALL – regardless of race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, or gender identity is necessary for a vibrant and healthy community.
Alicia Wilson-Ahlstrom is a nationally-recognized expert in youth development and youth organizing, and building systems that reflect the human-centered needs of children, youth and families. She is also a parent of three children, living in a seven-person, multi-generational household where all manner of self-directed creative, community-focused and scientific inquiry projects are encouraged. She currently lives in Chicago.
Over the last 20 years, she has worked with youth, families and the organizations that support them in advocating and organizing around their own community and social supports; in strengthening community partnerships and improving the work of foundations and intermediaries to promote community-driven work around ensuring that the social and community ecosystem supports all youth.
Specific to cohousing, Alicia was an original member of the Great Oak Cohousing community in Ann Arbor, Michigan living there until 2014 when a career move necessitated the need to leave cohousing. In fact, she and her husband Aaron were among the first seven households to move in (before the common house was completed) – a move that occurred the week that the Eastern electric grid that extended from the Northeast all the way into Michigan went down, and the community had its first communal meal as everyone needed to clear out their freezers. She spent a lot of her cohousing community work focused on being part of the facilitation team that guided the consensus-based community meetings that are at the center of the cohousing model. All three of her children were literally born in co-housing. Her family frequently comes back to visit their “forever neighbors” and each summer she brings her children back to spend a week in cohousing just to maintain that foundational community connection.
Crystal Byrd Farmer
Crystal Farmer is an engineer turned educator from North Carolina. She became the organizer for Charlotte Cohousing in 2016 and has been involved in cohousing and the intentional communities movement ever since. She is passionate about encouraging people to change their perspectives on diversity, relationships, and the world. She owns Big Sister Team Building and teaches at Gastonia Freedom School, an Agile Learning Center.
Daisy Birch is a neurocoach, facilitator and writer. But her favorite of hats, is community connection igniter. Working, living, with people, in different parts of the world, (Filmmakers, performers, freed prisoners, execs),
She coaches, they leverage, old skills are unfurled, To impact diverse regions with creative projects.
She learned young;
How communities and tribes have succeeded. Her father warned: “their true stories, Are rarely taught, and much needed.”
So with a lifetime of study in what it is to be human,To the feds she went workin’–partnerships to be proven. With said feds; she worked internationally, on accessibility for folks with disabilities, then started up programs matching feds, up with youth, who were brilliant while black, in schools underfunded (in truth).
Years of non-stop working, little sleep and much travel, Brought on chronic fatigue; a new mystery to unravel. So she opened a free clinic of natural technologies, (With her researcher husband), which they called, “Back to Chi”.
She pitched simplicity circles, for groups near and far. And helped connect salon networks of folks whose ambition, Was to better their own and their community’s condition. Cohousing w/hubby, she’s now spry, and still coaching. But past clients have pushed her to learn how to sing.So she sings in four languages, most often, on par. And researches, race-relations with folks near and far.
Dancingwater Catherine Shiel
I am one of the founding members of East Lake Commons cohousing community. For the first 10 years worked as a member of our community facilitation committee. I have also served as both a vice president and president of our board. I am a current member of the garden and common grounds committee and have served on common house and Group Structure & Process committee.
Deb Finck is a retired teacher, writer, curriculum development specialist. She is the retired CC Director for Northwest Autism Center of Spokane and serves on the Spokane County Developmental Disabilities Advisory Board of Directors.
In June of 2013, a small group of parents and professionals formed BUILDING OHANA as a Washington state nonprofit to offer a community response to these issues, identifying home and neighborhood as a place where all individuals and families can be helped to thrive–to better know who we are and how we matter to others. Deb Finck is the Founding Member and Executive Director for BUILDING OHANA. Her personal and professional experience equip her for this service, and her son Jonathan inspire her to help to create this new option for supported community living in Spokane, WA.
As a Facilitator and Consultant, Joe Cole supports communities and non-profit organizations in developing cooperative skills, collaborative governance, and conflict transformation. Joe has a PhD in Philosophy, and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He was one of the original residents of Pacifica Cohousing Community, and is a member of Common Ground Ecovillage, North Carolina. Joe is the author of “I’m Not a Racist, But Racism is in Me” (Communities Magazine #178) and “Skill Building for a Culture of Collaboration” (Communities Magazine #181).
Joi Faison Saleem is an African American convert Muslimah, wife to a kind husband, and mother to 5 awe-inspiring children. As an aspiring minimalist, she strives to live her life with intention, clarity, a sense of wonder and gratitude. She is the founder of Doorway, a company that helps believing women turn their homes into places of worship and joy. Joi also volunteers as a part time administrator for her children’s school. In her down time, she treasures a good book, connecting with nature, and engaging in the arts.
Marta Carlucci – Marta’s passion for community is the constant thread woven into both her personal and professional life. In addition to being a partner at Hive & House Consulting Marta is also an Inclusion Liaison with STEPS Forward and brings many years of experience collaborating with families who have a loved one with a disability both as a parent and as a professional. Marta has presented as a keynote speaker and has presented workshops on the topic of inclusion in relation to education, housing and community. When her family became cohousing members 4 years ago, she knew this model of living fit with her family’s values of inclusion and would support an equitable and inclusive life for her daughter.
Desiree Kameka Galloway is the Director of the Autism Housing Networks for the Madison House Autism Foundation (MHAF). Having visited over 100 residential opportunities and social enterprises across the USA, her passion is empowering the neurodiverse community to create a future that is exciting and life affirming. As a recognized disability housing expert, she is cited in media outlets such as The Atlantic, Rolling Stone Magazine, NPR, Psychology Today, ABC News and more. She has spoken nationally and internationally at prestigious events such as the UBS Global Autism Innovation Roundtable, Great Minds Coming Together on Autism International Conference, United Nations World Autism Awareness Day, and at the National Institute of Health (NIH) to the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. She is also a Certified Cohousing Consultant.
Rosemary Linares, Founder and Principal of Cross Movement Social Justice Consulting, has devoted her work and studies to promoting social change within the nonprofit sector. In her work with charitable organizations, philanthropic communities, social justice movements and social entrepreneurs, she incorporates a nuanced analysis of how intersectionality shows up in systems and structures of power, privilege, and oppression. She has a Master of Public Administration in nonprofit and public management from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service and a Bachelor of Arts from Antioch College. She joins others in cultivating a movement to confront the historic and contemporary effects of racism with the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation effort in Battle Creek, Michigan. She lives in Sunward Cohousing Community in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her family, where she and her partner are co-launching a local meat harvesting and processing business. As a queer, Latina, cisgender woman, Rosemary acknowledges her white and heterosexual privilege. Because the personal is political, she has committed to this professional trajectory, in part for her own self-determination and because of her recognition that liberation from all forms of oppression is inextricably linked.
Grace Kim (she/her) is an award-winning architect and co-founder of Schemata Workshop – a full services architectural firm located in Seattle, WA. Her projects focus on building community, social equity, and sustainability. Grace is also a co-founder of a 9-household cohousing community – that was self-developed as a limited equity, rental model. The 5-story building occupies a 4500sf lot in a very urban neighborhood called Capitol Hill. Grace serves on the Seattle Planning Commission and is on the Board of Directors for the Housing Development Consortium – a regional advocacy organization for the affordable housing industry.
Kathy Sayers (she/her) spent most of her professional career working in communications, first as the owner of her own company, then in medical research at a major hospital. Having moved every two years as a child, she has a longing for deep roots and cohousing caught her imagination. She and three founders launched the first “cohousing light” community in Canada, designed to streamline the cohousing process without compromising community building. She believes that Our Urban Village might be one variation on the cohousing theme that would help more urban communities be built in pricey urban settings like Vancouver, Canada where prices just reached $1200 a square foot. OUV is a small (12 families) community with folks who are passionate about cohousing in an urban setting.
Emma Sutton (she/her) is an East-Coast native with a lifelong passion for community building and sustainable design. She is an architectural designer at Schemata Workshop, a Seattle-based architecture and urban design firm with a focus on cohousing, sustainability, and affordable housing. Emma is also a founding member of Seattle Urban Cohousing, a forming community working together to create a model for home that is both affordable and replicable by others. Emma was shaped by the communities she had the opportunity to be a part of growing up. Through her work and personal endeavors, she forges connections through community, and to create opportunities for others to do the same.
Yana Ludwig is a cooperative culture pioneer, intentional communities advocate and anti-oppression activist. She serves on the board of the Foundation for Intentional Community and is a former chapter coach for Showing Up for Racial Justice. Her latest book, Together Resilient: Building Community in the Age of Climate Disruption, was awarded the Communal Studies Association 2017 Book of the Year Award. She is a podcast host on Solidarity House (advocating for cooperative culture and economics) and a founding member of the Solidarity Collective, an income sharing community in Laramie, WY. Yana is also a candidate for US Senate in 2020 to represent Wyoming.