AYCC Principles and Values
We Are Pro-Worker
The Appalachian Youth Climate Coalition recognizes that many aspects of the main-stream climate movement disproportionately victimize working class individuals in a variety of industries, especially in the fields of resource extraction and fossil fuels. While we often disagree with the methods, impact, and nature of these industries, we understand that our quarrel is not, and will never be with working class laborers or their unions. AYCC is committed to fighting for the rights of workers, and continually striving for a sustainable future for everyone -- regardless of class.
When the environmental impact of industries necessitate that they be phased out in favor of green, long-term solutions, AYCC is committed to advocating for replacement of any jobs that may be lost or transferred in this process. We know that this is vital to the development of Appalachia as a whole, and to the continual strength of our coalition.
Y’all Means All
The Appalachian Youth Climate Coalition is committed to combating bigotry in all of its forms. We will never tolerate injustices of any kind such as on the basis of race, class, religion, gender, sexual identity, sexual orientation, immigration status, disability or background. We know that our coalition is stronger when we utilize the full diversity of our members and their backgrounds. We believe that this is crucial to our mission because of the strong ties between climate justice and all other inequalities, especially in regards to race and class. AYCC will always strive to bridge the gap between our diverse identities and the ties that they have to environmental inequality.
The Appalachian Youth Climate Coalition was designed to be accessible to a wide range of folx. While we do not exclusively operate in rural areas, AYCC was designed to be a movement of young people focused on meeting the needs of rural Appalachians. We know that each town, hill, and holler has its own unique culture and identity. We cherish this variety, and believe that our organizing strategies need to continuously adapt in order to meet the individual needs of each community in which we operate. Each regional team must have the autonomy to most effectively make decisions for their branch.
We Are Non-Partisan, but Not Apolitical
Due to the nature of the communities we operate in, AYCC is a non-partisan group; however, we are not apolitical. AYCC will always support policies and actions that benefit the people and environment of Appalachia. We support radical change to better our communities and preserve our homes for future generations. We believe that the best way to go about creating such change is to not prioritize any one political party or candidate over the interests of Appalachia as a whole. Doing so isolates members of our communities and prevents us from creating and preserving the broad coalition of voices that are necessary for our continued success as rural climate organizers.
We Recognize the Need to Build Broad Coalitions
The fight for climate justice is bigger than any one person, team, or coalition. In order to secure the future of our home, we know it to be crucial that we establish alliances with other people and organizations, and continually remain open to mutually beneficial collaboration. However, we will never compromise our values and our organizational strategies for the sake of partnerships.
Radical Hope and Positivity
Standing up to the systems of oppression that seek to destroy our home is a daunting task. We must remember to stay strong and hopeful even when facing the most influential people and industries. Fighting this power is something we should take pride and joy in, and let our work and attitudes show that. We must never forget what is at stake here: our hills, our hollers, and our lives as we know them.