Our work began on a hillside in Vermont in 2003, stewarded by the vision and hard work of founders Peter Forbes and Helen Whybrow. The manifestation of the retreat center and Whole Thinking program was made possible with the help of many people, specifically CWC’s founding board: Gil Livingston, John Elder, Danyelle O’Hara, Torri Estrada, Diana Wright and Scott Chaskey.
Based at Knoll Farm for over a decade, we hosted hundreds of people in our Whole Thinking retreats and workshops. Over time, we saw a need to evolve our mission and scope to serve people in diverse communities where they live, and to move beyond our bucolic space. We set out to explore doing our work in other parts of the country and began a conscious leadership transition that would allow the work to evolve with integrity to serve a more diverse constituency. Our 2006 statement on Land, Race, Power, and Privilege documents our aspirations to be a diverse, multicultural organization that served people across sectors, differences, and geographies.
In 2010 we developed our Breakthrough Vision which set in motion a transition of leadership and methodology to further diversify our organization and to better serve change-makers in working in urban, suburban and rural communities across the country.
Fueled by our new vision, Center for Whole Communities rapidly expanded our work from the hillside in Vermont to leading retreats and workshops in Washington D.C., New Mexico, Ontario, Colorado, Maine, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, California, Michigan, British Columbia and New Jersey, New Hampshire, Maryland, and New York City. We have successfully evolved our work to engage more collaboratively with organizations and communities in the places where they live and work.
In the winter of 2015 we moved to our current offices in Burlington, Vermont in the ecotone of the Burlington city-scape and the waters of Lake Champlain.