Living Revolutionary Praxis
Self Determined Cooperative Living
Community Control of Land Use & Development
Going strong for 20 years, Crystal House is a cooperative holding down a liberated, low-cost living space for Black/Brown, Afrikan/Indigenous, creatives, community members, educators, visionaries & organizers regardless of gender, class, gender representation, or sexual orientation. The initiative continues to be developed by folks who see our communities completely different than the militarized helicopters hovering throughout our communities, borders and respective countries.
The living cooperative supports social, cultural and political leaders in determining spaces for the betterment of ourselves and our respective communities. We came together to exchange positive energy, growth, leadership and healing while looking out for one another. At Crystal House, folks come as they are and be who they be.
Our process relies on cooperative economics by highlighting social solidarity, mutual aid, reciprocity, and compassion. No one is trying to beat folks in the head for not having access to housing or space to develop self, relationships and/or initiatives/businesses that promote the economic self determination of one's overall well being and the community at large. So we utilize the space to be all around beneficial place for residents.
We've housed over 150 headz below the cost of market rate housing and saved our communities over $500,000 in cost of living expenses. Expenses that are better directed on developing self and communities. Our time, energy and labor should never be subjugated by the denial of life affirming resources.
At Crystal House, we know that LAND is the basis for self-determination and see self-determination as the political and spiritual right of a people to socially, culturally and economically control their own will, resources, agendas, and destiny. We know that without community control and without the power to determine our own lives, we will continue to fall victim to predatory systems of invasion, conquest and genocide manufactured in patriarchy, white frailty and capitalism. We co-create space to live and not just be survivors of our daily oppressions.
Crystal House is a place of Solidarity not charity. Folks come through Crystal House to take a step back, tap into their personal genius, build power, transcend obstacles and tighten their next move. We develop the world we want to live in by moving in healthier ways than we were conditioned to be. We promote both personal and social change by understanding praxis: theory, action, reflection. We hold space down for individuals to self-determine their personal and community transformation. We emphasize individual change and its interconnectedness to larger social revolutions.
The housing initiative was founded as a social investment based on solidarity economics in order to bring about the knowledge of community control in determining the development of land into a reality. We persevere in the face of state violence, conscious/unconscious ops & agents, monthly bills, greedy developers and financial institutions, as well as the strain/joy of organizing to transform violence targeted at and within our communities. Crystal House exist because of the number of people who've worked together and invested in its vision since 2001.
Our Journeys Our Narratives
The concept of deconstructing oppressive power dynamics that each of us may not be aware of, that only comes out of analyzing our interactions with one another. The space can become a space of transformation to get you closer to fullest potential as a leader and innovator by building with a diverse team within the space.
I instantly fell in-love with Crystal House and wanted to be involved, not just as an outsider looking in, but to experience what it means to undergo the process of living there. Overtime, I grew to understand that this whole operation reveals a lot more about ourselves than we can imagine. No matter what age and life experiences a person harbors, we are all still growing, each and every single one of us still has a lot to learn, and knowing this puts my mind at ease with the reassurance that a better world is possible. No one has all the answers, but every single person, by contributing to their commitments, can elevate us to new heights of understanding and unity further than any movement had ever speculated. --- J.C.
When we harness our energies to transform conditions, we become a force based on social justice and human needs. Solidarity is fundamental to our inter-generational communal being. Residents are dedicated to co-creating environments which prevent, heal, navigate and address personal, communal and institutional violence with strategies that confront and transform both external and internal forms of oppression.
Since 2001, we've struggled to make a positive impact with those that we live with and our surrounding communities. With our initiatives purpose always in mind, we strive to act in accordance, as we reimagine, reconnect, practice, self determine, and heal from forced cross-generational traumas and labors. We aim to co-develop, practice and implement tactics for navigating and challenging the diasporic entrapments and bondages of racialized capitalism rooted in imperialism, colonialism and enslavement. We remain vigilant in our mission to community organizing while holding down sustainable living and real low cost housing.
We are not aimed at government sponsorship. Building successful self-reliant movements depends on how well we build one another to take care materially, socially, and emotionally. We create systems that address our material and social needs ranging from housing to environmental to wellness. Our interest are rooted in cooperative economics based in solidarity, skill and labor shares, and revolutionary social justice organizing. We co-coordinate the creativity, resilience, and beauty of our community in order to develop and share skills necessary to create solutions that transmute the manufactured causes of predatory systems.
Liberated Space Initiatives:
Liberated, proactive, intentional spaces since 2001
A “liberated space” is where; people are able to exist and create spaces to nourish the ability to cultivate self-determination and self-reliance as they are, with respect to their immigration status, class, gender/gender representation and/or sexual orientation.
Community Life Marketplace:
The Community Life Marketplace is a space for the creative self determining mind set to gather, build relationships, and unity around food, music, art, and co-operative experiences. The marketplace was created as a space to practice solidarity economics, and serve the interest of community building. Giving folks in our community an opportunity to sell products, services and/or share their talents. With access to the right resources and net works, folks become transformative by their own abilities and gain the momentum to fulfill their self-directed potential.
Green Gems Garden:
When banks/government agencies abandoned communities, folks committed themselves to improving conditions for their families, their neighbors and each other. Going strong for 27 yrs the garden continues to grow food and be an urban oasis in the community supporting culture, healing and education.
Justice & Solidarity Actions:
“There is no such thing as a single issue struggle because we do not lead single issue lives.”---Audre Lorde
The majority of “human services” our communities utilize today, started with grassroots led education, direct actions and civil disobedience. Through awareness-to-mobilization organizing, we continue to co-create the emotional, psychological, ideological, material and institutional foundations needed for lived alternatives. Networks of affinity groups and other empowering decentralized formations are utilized to offer something more than abstract ideas to confront and transform external and internal forms of oppression and bring about our cross communal interdependent wellness.
Ways to Support
Partner with Us
Want to collaborate but not sure where to start? It’s a great way to co-create solutions and share causes. Every little bit counts towards paving the path for a better tomorrow. Get in touch with us today for more details.
Make a Donation
This is one of the simplest ways to support. We know the best way for our initiatives to be successful is for the community to actively get involved. This is an easy and efficient way of contributing to the great work we do at Crystal House. Get in touch with any questions about how you can make a donation today.
Time & Labor
The initiative always appreciates solidarity, struggles/successes are intertwined. Reciprocity and support is key to building healthier communities, don’t hesitate to contact us with ways we can skill share.