About Us

Programs

Commonweal hosts more than 20 programs, from integrative cancer support, to juvenile justice reform, to arts education for kids.

People

Commonweal’s diverse staff and board are doctors, scientists, artists, and educators, and much more.

Events

From community medicine circles; to environmental science conference calls; to conversations about community resilience and art, this list shows Commonweal events happening across all of our programs.

History

Commonweal started with a vision. In 1975, Michael Lerner was walking at the edge of the small coastal town of Bolinas just north of San Francisco. He looked out across grasslands and woods at an old RCA radio transmitter facility on a bluff overlooking the ocean. He imagined that this site could be a center for work in healing people and healing the earth.

Michael joined with two friends, child care worker Carolyn Brown and conservationist Burr Heneman, to create Commonweal. After negotiations with RCA and Trust for Public Lands, Commonweal was given a 50-year lease on 60 acres as the site became the southern end of the Point Reyes National Seashore. Commonweal’s site includes a main office building, our Retreat Center, and a permaculture garden. Find out more about our location and get directions here.

Today, Commonweal works in three core fields—health and healing, art and education, and environment and justice. Within those fields, Commonweal incubates and supports a dozen different programs including programs in cancer, health professional education, environmental health, adult learning, yoga, healing nutrition, permaculture gardening, and juvenile justice. We couldn’t do any of this without the support of our foundation and individual donors. Thank you!

Read more About Commonweal’s Early Years (PDF)

Financial Statements

Commonweal is proud to be a four-star Charity Navigator non-profit.