A Social Justice Commune in the heart of Seattle
We are NOT currently seeking members! We are however open to time-specific subletters.Check out the Becoming a Member page, and spread the word!
The Emma Goldman Finishing School is an intentional community in the North Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle.
Our community is based on the principles of societal change, egalitarianism, non-violence, ecology, simplicity, and community living. We are, like a lot of people all over the place, trying to figure out how to have different relationships with each other and the world. We think the world is burning and the time to collaborate and try and struggle and work is now.
In 1996, our community started when a bunch of radicals pooled their resources together and bought a funky old twelve-bedroom house. They turned it into an egalitarian commune where people lived together and experimented with different economic and political models. For example: we save up money every month in the hopes of seeding other radical and egalitarian communities in Seattle and have a time-based micro-economy where everyone's time is valued the same as everyone else's. Core to our project is that people need a strong home-base to be effective and healthy activists, organizers, and humans, and that we should try to live with each other in more egalitarian and humane ways. To that end, everyone who lives here has healthy food, transportation, health care, and a safe and cozy place to call home. Our home is a fun and supportive place to live, and it is also an institution working to build economic, political, and cultural alternatives. We see ourselves as part of a growing infrastructure to oppose and replace the dominant system.
We are just one strategy among many social justice projects in this town, this country, and this world. We don't have all the answers. We don't even know all the questions. We are messed up and problematic in interesting and specific ways, and could write tell-all books about the missteps and heartaches of life at Emma's. Another way of saying this is that we are a human project made up of humans. At the very least, we are an excellent training ground in direct democracy, and all the messiness that horizontal structures bring. And on our good days, we're a lot more than that.
As an egalitarian community, we value our labor equally. Some of us work more hours at jobs which bring in money, others work more around the house and on community projects. Regardless, we all contribute equal time.
While we work to maintain a gender balance and to preserve our community's values and politics, we encourage membership in all ages, races, ethnicities, abilities, orientations, and class backgrounds.
We are temporarily not seeking members, but are open to short-term subletters.
While we have had children over the years, the community is not currently accepting 'little' emmunards.
Past and current members have founded the Homestead Community Land Trust, Riseup.net, L@s Quixotes and Gallery 1412. They've worked with the Independent Media Center, KBCS, the Dance Art Group, the Community Pantry. Members have also been the driving force behind bringing Democracy Now to Seattle, were part of the direct action that shut down the WTO in 1999, and have facilitated, hosted, and helped out with many events in town. We have worked as educators, social workers, barristas and bartenders, tech geeks, mathematicians, buskers, nurses, gardeners and laborers.
In the past, we've had some housemates who do all their community labor working on Emma's. Currently, with the economy how it is, everyone who lives here has to have some form of income. Sucks, but true (at least for now.)
Last, our house has lots of delicious queers. If that's a problem for you, go away. Far far away. Similarly, racists, fascists, patriarchs, bigots, vanguardists, and anyone who's doesn't see the need to examine their own privilege in the world are not a good fit. Sleepy dreamers, wise fools, and fellow travelers are always welcome.
The Finishing School