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JOHN CLARK: From Social & Ecological Crisis to Personal & Planetary Flourishing

This presentation by John Clark will be an introduction to the history, theory and practice of cooperative community. The central focus will be on the importance of primary communities, or, as I call them in my recent book The Impossible Community, “communities of liberation and solidarity.” “Liberation” means liberation from the forces that do harm to and limit the development of the person, the community, and the Earth, and liberation for personal, communal and planetary flourishing and self-realization. “Solidarity” means the practice of mutual aid and cooperation in pursuit of our common social and ecological good. Primary communities include such forms as affinity groups, base communities, and intentional communities. The philosopher Martin Buber in his book Paths in Utopia, writes about four types of co-operatives: consumer co-operatives (like food co-ops) ; producer cooperatives (like worker co-ops) ; living cooperatives (like intentional communities and community land trusts); and what he calls “full cooperatives,” in which people produce, consume, and live together. I want to talk about the importance of all these forms of cooperation and related forms of community, and about how they are all crucial to the future, and even to the very survival, of the human and Earth communities.

John Clark is a philosopher, writer, teacher and community activist in New Orleans, where his family has been for twelve generations. He has been active in the cooperative, communitarian, and ecology movements, and has worked with child care co-ops, alternative schools, worker co-ops, food co-ops, community education projects, community gardens, alternative publishing, and support for indigenous and traditional communities. Since the early 90’s he has worked on an ecological restoration and community-building project on 83 acres of land on Bayou LaTerre near the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He is a Curtin Distinguished Professor, Professor of Philosophy, and a member of the Environment Program at Loyola University, where he is soon to be Professor Emeritus.

This event is sponsored by the Curtin Distinguished Professorship and Gumbo Housing: The Next Step, (A Growing Playce for Collaborative Community) a coalition of people exploring intentional community in the urban environment of New Orleans, and is free and open to the general public. For more information, please call Jean[masked]-9265. -

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  • A former member
    A former member

    I would be glad to give someone a ride. I live off Metairie Road, in Metairie.

    July 14, 2014

    • Jean M.

      Ann, give me a call. I have one person left who needs a ride from Treme. Will that work?[masked]

      July 14, 2014

  • Jean M.

    Thanks Ann. Would you be able to go to Treme? I have a young mother there who is getting a sitter for her child but needs a ride. call me[masked]

    July 14, 2014

  • Jean M.

    RIDES. In the spirit of the event, let's offer rides to those who may need them or just to conserve fuel use via car pools. Post here if you can offer a ride to John Clark's presentation "Creating Cooperative Communities," and I will coordinate the rides Monday morning. Best to send phone numbers to me too: [masked] [masked]
    Thanks, Jean

    July 13, 2014

  • Jean M.

    Steven, Good to hear from you. You say a "Permaculture Store," How old was he? What else was in his "store." Was it a store for other things? I can't remember such a store. Any body else ring a bell? I wish you well in finding people for your project. There are those here who would like that opportunity, but most have settled here because they are intensely in love with the culture and the city. Permaculture looks a little different here in this urban environment, but it is here woven thoughout the city, and we would like YOU here to help make more of it happen. Maybe you could be our evacuation partner that would receive us if we have to get out of town quickly with our rabbits, chickens, and goats during hurricane months. In return, we could offer you some great festivals and some lovely vacations. The problem is not lack of land. We have many abandoned lots here, but that does not mean we can just start building on them. Let's keep in touch. Anybody else want to chime in here?

    July 4, 2014

  • Steven Paul J.

    Hello, I was in NO helping with the cleanup of Katrina and I met a person who had a Permaculture store, I am looking to find them or maybe you could be of assistance. I work with an organization who has 82 acres in Ohio who are purposing the facility towards a Sustainable Living and Permaculture Community and teaching facility. We are looking for people who would like to use the land for such a purpose. If you know anyone who would be interested in being leadership and or assisting in this endeavor please let me know. Looking for people who have such a dream but are lacking the land to make it a reality. On the land already is a Retreat Center and Facilities.

    Steve Jones[masked]

    July 3, 2014

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