Cohousing communities, ecovillages, co-ops, and other Intentional communities of all kinds are a response to problems in society. They are a recognition that some of the essentials that make community what it us, mutual support, love and caring, sharing lives and livelihood in a meaningful and satisfying way, are lacking in the world. Not all intentional communities share the same political or social views. Some mirror the trend towards isolationism and protectionism we see politics today. But most value, at least in theory, diversity, equality, and sustainability, and want to help create a world that works for everyone.
Intentional communities have a unique opportunity to address oppression and privilege. And while most value diversity, they often struggle to achieve it. Why? This is one of the questions that will be addressed through many of the workshops at the conference this year. How do racism, classism, hetero-cis-sexism, and other forms of oppression play out within intentional communities? How can they become truly accessible and inclusive spaces? How can people with privilege, especially white people and men, let go of their privilege or put it in the service of others? How can intentional communities help address oppression in larger society, both directly and by providing accessible and relevant alternatives?
The theme of this year’s Twin Oaks Communities Conference is Inclusivity and Social Justice. Held every year on Labor Day weekend, Sept 1 - 4, 2017, in Central Virginia, this conference is unique opportunity to connect with other community builders and seekers, and experience community while learning more about it.
In addition to covering other topics of interest and importance to intentional communities, like legal structures and fundraising, and the usual opportunities for networking and sharing, we’re excited to host this opportunity for intentional communities to look at how they are perpetuating these issues and how they can become powerful agents for real change.
Here’s a selection of workshop titles (a full list of current confirmed workshops can be found here):
Why is My Community So White?
Building Resilience through Disaster Preparedness
Will Raise Money for Sanity
Black and Native American Land Legacies & Intentional Communitie
Community Land Co-ops and the Decolonizing Urban Ecovillage
Legal Clinic for Intentional Communities
Sacred Clowning: The wisdom of the fool
Attracting Diverse People to Intentional Communities
Together as one body: gender, power, and multiplicity
We look forward to seeing you there!