About Us


Commonweal hosts more than 40 programs, from integrative cancer support, to juvenile justice reform, to arts education for youth.


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


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.

Commonweal is a center for learning and research, transformation, and discovery. Our programs work in the areas of health and healing; education and the arts; and environment and justice. We are located in Bolinas, California, on land that is part of the Point Reyes National Seashore.

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 incubates and supports more than 40 different programs including programs in cancer, health professional education, environmental health, social justice, healing arts, art education, yoga, 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)

Find out more about Commonweal’s site history as a telegraph transmitting station on Pt. Reyes National Seashore’s website.

Financial Statements

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