About the Ecovillagers Mid-Atlantic Launch
In Ecovillagers Cooperative’s network, each neighborhood will be owned and governed by a community land cooperative.
Owners will be renters and renters will be owners. Every household and community business can own equity and build it over time, while every owner’s vote will remain equal. Ecovillagers can buy and sell shares of equity but never anyone’s home. Wealth will reward lasting commitment, not buying low to sell high, and newcomers’ costs will resemble old-timers’.
Even non-residents can join in the investment, to maximize our cooperative power.
Step 1. Have dedicated professional support.
A cooperative business depends on knowledgeable owner-members, and a property business depends on strong legal footing. These hurdles have held back cooperative investment until now.
The Ecovillagers Alliance is a charitable nonprofit organization run by volunteer organizers, teachers, communicators, and social entrepreneurs. It exists to serve Ecovillagers Cooperative’s membership with educational resources, well-vetted financial and organizational models, and legal preparations to assure compliance with state and federal regulators.
Step 2. Start with the Mid-Atlantic.
This region, from New York to Virginia, is a microcosm of America and the world. Once we build a regional network of ecovillage neighborhoods here, we can do it anywhere!
Step 3. Incorporate Ecovillagers Co-op.
An investment cooperative, like any co-op, begins with its members. We will gather for the First Ecovillagers Assembly in Fall 2019 and vote to incorporate Ecovillagers Cooperative, together. Will you be there?
Step 4. Incubate ecovillage neighborhoods.
Ecovillagers Co-op members have the right to band together and propose new ecovillage neighborhoods anywhere in the Mid-Atlantic region. Ecovillagers Co-op will provide a professionally-supported incubator program to develop the team, their plan, and the funding to ensure each neighborhood’s ultimate success.
Angelique Arroyo - Columbia, PA
Angelique A. Arroyo is the owner of Angelique Guides: Infrastructure for Conscious Leaders & Collective Healing. Through a social justice and healing lens, she brings an array of experiences through her work with ASSETS PA, where she developed and taught the Women’s Leadership Circle. She also teaches on business through a social justice perspective. A Jewyorican from Brooklyn, she has served as trainer and program developer for the Latino Empowerment Project and was a Community Presenter and Social Justice Trainer for the YWCA. She has also Co-Led with Maya Hackett from the Calibration Institute, a Guidess Economy Community with 60+ authors, artists, pro-bloggers and entrepreneurs.
Brandy H. M. Brooks - Silver Spring, MD
Brandy was an Ecovillagers Alliance cofounder, and is currently running for Montgomery County (MD) Council At-Large. An activist, educator, facilitator, designer, and nonprofit senior manager with a focus on supporting community leadership and developing participatory decision-making in organizations and public processes, Brandy shares her expertise in community engagement and empowerment; community-based design and land use planning; and food justice and food sovereignty.
Eve Bratman - Lancaster, PA
Eve is Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. She researches, writes about, and teaches subjects related to sustainable development, urban affairs, food systems, and environmental politics and policy.
Dahkil Hausif - Brooklyn, NY
Dahkil is quite simply a professional storyteller. He creates as a writer and director (his last short airing on HBO), a film editor (cutting commercials for Verizon, BMW, Pepsi and ESPN), and as a voice over artist (ESPN’s 30 for 30 commercials). Dahkil has served on the Board of Trustees at the Corlears School in NYC as chair of both their Advancement and Diversity Committees, focusing on fundraising through sharing the school’s story and helping to craft its social justice and equity initiatives.
Taylor Mercedes - Harrisburg, PA
Taylor is the Operations Manager for an IT Consulting Firm. She has participated in a diversity of volunteer grassroots organizing efforts in Pennsylvania, with a focus on collaboration with local businesses to drive positive change within communities. Taylor’s passion is in creating processes and structures that encourage sustainability, cooperation, and inclusivity within organizations and communities.
Chris Nettles - Santa Rosa, CA
Chris is a Clinical and Community Psychologist. He is also an ordained Buddhist priest in the Japanese Tendai tradition. As a Community Psychologist, he is interested in the two-way interaction between individuals and the social-ecological system, with the aim of helping people thrive within the various communities they occupy. Chris is committed to the (ambitious) goal of helping transition from the current “Age of Me” to a future “Age of We.”
Joel Rothschild - Lancaster, PA
Joel is the Ecovillagers Alliance’s founding organizer. With a background in cooperative governance, urban design, and peer-to-peer systems engineering, Joel is an affiliated project manager of CoHousing Solutions’ 500 Communities initiative, and past founder of the Ravenna Kibbutz, a 2000s-era ecovillage neighborhood in Seattle, where Joel is from. With an academic background in Geography and Sociology and two decades’ experience in cooperative organizing, Joel has been privileged to serve on the boards of several community nonprofits, including that of the Ravenna Kibbutz 501(c)(3) which Joel founded. As a seasoned internet applications developer and part-time professional cantor, Joel enjoys leading groups in decision-making, learning, and community bonding activities as much as providing systems support from behind the scenes.
Galina Varchena - Richmond, VA
Galina is a practicing lawyer and champion of underappreciated causes. An immigrant from post-Soviet Latvia, Galina has worked for Defenders of Wildlife International Law division, House of Ruth Domestic Violence Legal Clinic, Women Thrive Worldwide, the Greenpeace Chemical Security team, and Virginia law firms representing clients in Arlington and Baltimore Immigration Courts. Licensed in Virginia and New York, she is Policy and Communications Director at NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. Galina’s interests include work with social and environmental justice coalitions, business entity organization, landlord/tenant litigation, public benefits law.
Olivia Williams - Madison, WI
Olivia R. Williams is a researcher, writer, educator, and organizer in the cooperative movement. With a background in housing and urban politics, she received a PhD in Geography in 2017, and has done research on community land trusts and worker cooperatives. Olivia is active in sustaining and promoting group equity housing cooperatives through her local work with Madison Community Cooperative (MCC) and Madison Area Cooperative Housing Alliance (MACHA), as well as her national work with North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO), where she serves on the board of directors for NASCO Development Services. Olivia is driven to act at the systems level, developing new collective ownership structures, funding and investment tools, and strategies for collaboration across movements.