Who We Are
Who We Are
Commún was founded in a Southwest Denver living room when community leaders came together to discuss the growing need to address gentrification, displacement, and a lack of community gathering space in our neighborhoods. With the sale of the Loretto Heights campus just a mile away, we knew that our community would continue to change at an accelerated rate. After 500 one-on-one conversations, community meetings, and volunteer hours, Commún began launching community-identified programs that would make our community stronger and more resilient in the face of change. Through community meetings, resident trainings, and a growing sense of belonging and mutual support, Commún supports community power to meet collective needs. Commún operates with the goal and practice of being community led, meaning that all of our programs are identified, designed, developed, and led by community members most impacted by the issue we are working to solve.
In the past three years, our South West Denver based team has,
- Engaged 98 youth in peer designed mental health programming
- Distributed 44,000 boxes of free, fresh, culturally appropriate food
- Activated and cultivated 32 garden plots farmed by community residents
- Created 42 jobs at communally decided wages
- Engaged 600 residents in conversation about their dreams, needs, and strengths
- Hosted 36 paid trainings on requested topics such as communication and computer skills
- Trained 17 residents as community organizers
- Advocated for the successful passing of 6 mission-aligned bills
What’s in a Name?
Commún is an invented spelling of the verb commune (as in to commune with each other). We put action into the noun “community,” reminding ourselves of and holding ourselves accountable to the joy and hard work that it takes to cultivate community across income, language, race, age, and other distinctions. We chose the word and the spelling to be accessible in both Spanish and English, the primary languages spoken in Southwest Denver. In Spanish, the word común means common, signifying the every-day neighborly feeling that we seek to generate with each other.
A Community Center as a Resilience Strategy
Across the globe, communities are grappling with housing shortages, gentrification and displacement, social unrest, and climate chaos. Our community in Southwest Denver is experiencing these issues at an intensified rate, facing systemic barriers to health and wellbeing. In the face of all of this, we are coming together to build something new. We believe that being together, working together, and dreaming together is how we will create a healthier world.
At Commún, we envision a community center as an act of resistance and resilience. Our community knows what we need to thrive, and our relationships across language, culture, age, lived experience, and skill sets is what makes us strong, nimble, and creative. Through partnerships, community organizing, widespread engagement, and relationship building, we are engaging the dreaming minds, hopeful hearts, and down-to-earth skills of all of our community, centering the needs in our community that are most impacted by institutional racism, discrimination, poverty, and injustice. We seek to create a space that is welcoming, inclusive, and interactive, bringing people together across all social strata to build understanding, trust, and a sense of belonging. We believe that having a safe, resource rich, and inclusive space will enable the kind of creativity and collaboration that will enable our community to build for ourselves what we need in order to thrive in even the most trying times.
Be a part of this vision! Get involved here!