Backwater Bay is free to its visitors and accepts no ads.

Its founder receives no salary or stipend. Yet there are recurring operating costs, including site maintenance and technical support.

If you think Backwater Bay merits your support and can afford to give, please consider a donation.

*Backwater Bay is not tax-deductible.

You can become a Backwater Bay Dear Heart with a donation in any amount. It all helps. Thank you.


Backwater Bay exists to support you in efforts to constructively startle, unsettle, and disrupt the dominant public imagination, while shifting it in life-affirming, community-building, radically transformative directions.

We encourage new ways of bringing together social, political, economic, cultural, and ecological disruptive imagination within frameworks of interdependence. This, in turn, helps inspire, energize, and sustain the kind of community organizing that moves one savvy step at a time toward systemic transformation.

Backwater Bay doesn’t have all or even any of the answers for how to get from here to a transformed-for-the-better there. But we’ve been thinking about it quite a bit. So have many friends, neighbors, and colleagues whose work you’ll find links for here. Take what’s useful, dream your own powerful, collective dreams, and translate them into imaginative, on-the-ground organizing in your own communities.

Our Name

back·wa·ter [bak-waw-ter, -wot-er]

Some people think of a backwater as inherently stagnant, backward, and out of touch.

We prefer to think of it as clear, fresh water held or turned back from its powerful, natural course by foolish barriers, unnecessary obstacles, and greed.


Getting Around

Main destinations include:

The Crossroads

The main community hub providing visitors with access to ideas and resources in several areas, including Interdependence, Reimagining Justice, Biota/Land/Water in the Public Imagination, and Spirit & Faith in the Public Square.

On The Air

The Backwater Bay podcast, featuring unofficial town crier Bette “Cupcake” Crawford and occaisional guests: “Where speech is free, so are we, and we never shut up!

Bette’s Blog

Occasional musings by Bette “Cupcake” Crawford and esteemed neighbors, guest writers, thinkers, and artists.


Ever-evolving collection of websites, books, articles, and cultural links to nourish curiosity and imagination. You never know what you’ll find.


A simple topographic map showing Backwater Bay located equidistant from the communities of West Thither and Yon

The Backwater Bay Ethos

  • All forms of life are interrelated. Individual and collective well-being depends on paying closer attention to how and why – and to protecting water, air, land, flora, and fauna.
  • Indigenous peoples, lands, and traditions were here first. And still are.
  • Black Lives Matter.
  • Nobody is disposable.
  • No person is illegal.
  • We believe in open borders.
  • We share the good times and struggle through hard times together.
  • We’d rather build communities than tear them apart.
  • There really is enough to go around. Especially when we establish new budget priorities and when corporations and the wealthy stop picking the pockets of everyone else, especially poor and low-income people.
  • The commons – publicly held and shared spaces, lands, services, programs, institutions, water, and infrastructure – should be radically expanded for the benefit of all, not shrunk, compromised, or sold for commercial profit and the benefit of a few.
  • We think safety and justice are created by securing rights and resources, ensuring decent lives for everybody within a framework of fair, trustworthy, and accountable relationships. Not with guns, policing, prisons, cages, detention, deportation, walls, surveillance, and militarization. Our vision and commitments are abolitionist.
  • The massively harmful ideologies, practices, and institutionalization of white supremacy, patriarchy, and racial capitalism have got to be dismantled. Seriously. (Robin D.G. Kelley video on “What is Racial Capitalism and Why Does It Matter?”; article here).
  • When danger appears, we develop imaginative new lifeboats big enough for us all.
  • Backwater Bay folks are imperfect (and so are you). We remain accountable for our blunders and short-sightedness, and we try to learn and grow from them.


3 + 5 =


The name Backwater Bay™ is the trademark of this website and podcast. The name and content of this website/podcast are protected by US trademark and copyright law. Blog posts, pages, and podcasts are licensed for sharing, linking, and citation as described below.
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