Points of Unity
These 5 points guide how we run our organization and all of the work we do.
1. Climate change comes from the same system that approaches life saying that people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and those who are poor have no value in society except to make someone else rich. This system causes both climate chaos and those who aren’t white and rich to struggle. When fighting climate change we must find solutions to rebuild the entire system in order to get rid of the climate crisis. Based on this understanding, YVA stands in solidarity with movements for a sustainable world including but not limited to Black Lives Matter, Abolish ICE, LandBack and LGBTQ+ Rights.
2. We need everyone to fight in the movement against the climate catastrophe. But, we want to prioritize the voices and the leadership of those who have been abused by the system that causes climate change, and by those who are most affected by pollution. We all come from different experiences and have different levels and types of privilege -- it is important that we work to notice those privileges, and notice that privilege can blind us to oppression. To truly achieve climate justice, we all need to recognize the challenges of oppressed people and resist together to dismantle all destructive systems.
3. All living beings have the right to live happily and do good on this planet. All humans have a right to easily access basic necessities that allow them to lead healthy lives, including clean water and air, healthy food, safe housing, relevant truthful education, free healthcare, and representation and respect by their government. All people have a right to do work that means something to them, that is healthy, that is safe and fair for themself, their communities, and the planet.
4. Our society must invest in systems that actually keep our communities safe— to prevent violence, support mental health, create jobs that provide enough money to live without worrying about money, secure housing, provide education and healthcare etc— instead of systems that promise safety and accountability, but don’t deliver these things, and instead contribute to things like racism and sexism.
5. As we watch the impacts of the climate crisis get worse and continue to change what we consider as normal, we recognize that we have a unique opportunity to rebuild society. It’s time to fully take down our unsustainable foundation of abuse and violence and build a new one of equity, love, respect for life, and true sustainability.