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Twin Oaks Intentional Community

Twin Oaks is an intentional community in rural central Virginia, made up of around 90 adult members and 15 children. Since the community's beginning in 1967, our way of life has reflected our values of cooperation, sharing, nonviolence, equality, and ecology. We welcome you to schedule a visit.

Due to concerns around the spread of COVID-19 coronoavirus, we have suspended our Visitor Program and Saturday Tours for the foreseeable future.

  We will be looking for new members as soon as our Visitor Program reopens, so if you are interested please write to us to let us know.


Our 3 public events this summer have all been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Twin Oaks Queer Gathering

 

Twin Oaks Commitment to Addressing Our Racism
 

Even though our world today is remarkably different from the one Twin Oaks was born into in 1967, history echoes in the social & political movements happening in our streets and in our homes. 2020’s charged cultural atmosphere in combination with internal energy from our POC members forced us to recognize the discrepancies between our stated values and our racial blindness. It forced us to reckon with our past actions taken in ignorant pursuit of a culturally exclusionary concept of egalitarianism. In our pursuit of this egalitarian lifestyle, we failed to recognize how the culture we created perpetuated systemic racism and injustice. By not deliberately and intentionally recognizing race as an important issue separate from other intersections of power & privilege, we failed to see how our color blindness ignored and marginalized the wants and needs of the few POC who have been through our community, and have directly led to their exodus and discontent with the communities movement. Our attempt at equality for all people created an unequal place for POC. This realization is sobering and saddening. We need to change.

In the past year, the POC of Twin Oaks created a team to begin the work of changing the culture around racial justice. At the inception it was called the Diversity Team; recently, the name was changed to REAL (Racial Equity & Advocacy Leaders) to better reflect its mission and goals. Because POC membership is consistently below ten, it has been difficult to make meaningful gains. The efforts of our few POC members were met with resistance and skepticism. Our ignorance of the seriousness of POC issues allowed us to be apathetic and overly bureaucratic. Their ideas have been trivialized or dismissed, called “crazy” and “moot.” For the most part, their struggles stayed silenced. This time, we won’t make the same mistakes again.

Corporations, woke celebs, and politicians have released their statements in support of Black Lives Matter. As a community founded in the spirit of egalitarianism & social justice, we would like to claim “we stand” with the outcry of the oppressed, the marches of the marginalized, and the struggles of the silenced. But what does it mean for a place with roots in white supremacy and a 90% white population to say they simply stand with the movements happening now? What does it mean to give hollow words & lip-service to changes that POC in the movement and in our own community have been proposing since the beginning?...Nothing. Now is the time for actions.

REAL facilitated two community meetings on June 24th & July 1st about racial justice in our community. The first served to establish an atmosphere of change to disrupt the stagnancy, while the second ended with the creation of several teams each dedicated to manifesting that change. This statement will be updated as we continue to implement policies and projects to improve our racial diversity, educate ourselves on our white supremacy, and support the POC who live at Twin Oaks.


We do not have a group religion; our beliefs are diverse. We do not have a central leader; we govern ourselves by a form of democracy with responsibility shared among various managers, planners, and committees. We are self-supporting economically, and partly self-sufficient. We are income-sharing. Each member works 42 hours a week in the community's business and domestic areas. Each member receives housing, food, healthcare, and personal spending money from the community.

Our hammocks and casual furniture business has generated most of our income in the past. Making tofu as of 2011 has become roughly equal in importance to hammocks. Indexing books and now seed growing are also significant sources of income. Still, less than half of our work goes into these income-producing activities; the balance goes into a variety of tasks that benefit our quality of life—including milking cows, gardening, cooking, and childcare. Most people prefer doing a variety of work, rather than the same job day in, day out.

A number of us choose to be politically active in issues of peace, ecology, anti-racism, and feminism. Each summer we host a Women's Gathering, Queer Gathering, and Communities Conference where we welcome both experienced communitarians, and seekers who are new to community living.

We give tours of Twin Oaks almost every Saturday afternoon from March through October, and on most alternating Saturdays from November through February. Read about the Saturday Tour here. Due to concerns about COVID-19 coronavirus, we have cancelled Saturday Tours for the forseeable future.

We offer a structured three week visit designed to give the visitor some general education and experience in living at Twin Oaks. Read about the Visitor Program here

Please do not drop in and expect to get a tour or be able to stay overnight. Tours and visits must always be pre-arranged, and to be a guest here, a member must agree to be your host before you arrive.

Twin Oaks Community
138 Twin Oaks Road # W
Louisa, VA 23093 USA

540-894-5126
888-424-8838 Fax
Email Us

When communicating with us by email please do not send attachments. Please send only plain text email, not HTML formatted mail. When you write, please tell us how/where you heard about Twin Oaks. If it was through another website, we'd like to know which one, and the URL if possible.

More about Twin Oaks

Bumper Sticker for an Income Sharing Community:
"My other car isn't mine either"
Read about Income Sharing

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