Photo by Firdouss Ross on Unsplash

After almost ten years of building co-working spaces and communities, I joined my very first co-working space today! This new experience as a co-working customer got me thinking — now that I’m a paying customer, am I automatically part of a community? If the WeWork story taught us anything it’s that community is a powerful and seductive word, and just because you call something a community does not make it so. In fact, as a professional community builder, the ambiguity around the definition of community that I spend much of my time clarifying.

Community is one of those words that…

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Finding a Way to Alleviate the Isolation of Motherhood

“Why is parenting so hard” “Why is parenting so exhausting” Why is parenting so lonely” Google search results that both affirmed how I feel and further depressed me. Parenting IS hard and it IS lonely and if Google is telling the truth, many of my fellow parents feel the same way and are probably desperate for support. They say parenting is supposed to take a village- it’s just that we’re missing the village.

As a community builder and a parent, I want to explore why isolation as a parent feels like such a devastating universal truth in this moment and…

For four years, I worked to build a big, branded, and imperfect community for women. That whole time, and in the months since, I’ve been reflecting on what it takes to build a vibrant and sustainable community organization. By trying my own hand at hyper-local grassroots organizing and engaging with my neighborhood mutual aid network, I’ve learned a ton about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to building a truly connected community. There were new lessons I learned navigating both the principles and the restraints of mutual aid networks, things I hadn’t considered when building branded communities. There…

Marianna Gose Martinelli

Community Builder and Strategist. Thinking a lot about community, belonging, parenting and where they intersect. Texan. Brooklynite. Parent and Partner.

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