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Common House Background
On Thursday, November 5, 2015, a group of people from Leaven Community and other interested organizations gathered to discuss the potential for this property and what it would mean to design a co-working space and a "Common House" that would truly be welcoming and accessible, especially for people of color and other barriered communities.
That summer, organizing relationships had brought Trash for Peace's youth-run pop-up cafe into the sunroom, (which has continued on Thursday mornings). The experience of the cafe made the sunroom and other shared spaces at Leaven start to feel welcoming and open during the weekdays. For those who might otherwise be working in relative isolation on community projects or business start-ups, having a place like this to come to where we can work and feel connected and supported is a rare gift. We began to wonder: how could more people from different backgrounds feel at home here? What would 100% utilization of all the spaces and opportunities here look like?
Our plan is to form a "Common House" collaborative with representatives from Leaven Community and current partners who meet regularly and develop the project's vision, mission and goals with conversation from the larger community.
Why the "Common House?"
Opportunity to deepen and expand the living out of our Leaven Community mission; specifically living more fully into relational power and neighborhood action that honors the mix of and generations in a way that will draw displaced residents back to the neighborhood and catalyze similar transformations in other buildings and neighborhoods.
Opportunity for synergy, collaboration and empowerment among all the efforts and people working together in the same space
Financial opportunities that could emerge for individuals and groups to generate revenue and improve economic well-being
Opportunities to use resources to build capacity for organizations or projects
Opportunity to move from a transactional system (renters with leases) to relational (partners with memorandums of understanding)
All this has come about because of the personal relationships woven among the individuals involved in Leaven Community and the wide variety of community projects we are connected to with potential for greater impact together. Everything that comes next will continue to be driven by our relationships, both new and emerging, and our Leaven Community mission. We look forward to creating our "Common House" with you!