The STAY Project roundtable discussion this month at the Appalachian Studies Conference in Cincinnati, OH.
Greetings STAY Project Family,
It's finally spring in Appalachia–– from the redbuds to the ramps, the hills are coming alive again!
At the beginning of this month STAY held a roundtable discussion at the Appalachian Studies Association Conference in Cincinnati. We had a powerful discussion with young leaders and older mentors from across Appalachia about the spaces that empower us and the spaces that make us feel powerless. We identified tools and resources that we need to make change in our community like access to physical spaces to organize, payment for our time, intentional ally-ship from older folks, and investment of time and money in youth leadership that allows space for us to explore who we are as leaders and that anticipates failure.
We are sure many of you have heard that members of STAY participated in protesting JD Vance's panel at the ASA Conference. In the spirit of transparency we want to be clear that this was not an action that was officially organized by STAY, specifically because it was not approved by the steering committee through our normal process. However, it was organized by members and leadership in STAY and as an organization we fully support their actions. For 10 years STAY has been encouraging and empowering young leaders in Appalachia to make their voices heard, and we support young people who are challenging power structures that do not serve us.
The round-table discussion and the events at ASA have offered us a chance to reflect on what has and has not changed for young people in Appalachia in the decade since the STAY Project was founded. We're eager to continue having this conversation with y'all throughout the year as we begin to strategize about what's ahead for us. Please check out what's coming up for STAY in the next few months and be sure to register for our membership call to be a part of this conversation.
This Spring is calling us to awaken and act. In April we have seen the insidious impact of racist immigration policies in our communities with ICE Raids that took 97 people from their communities in East Tennessee and 14 people in Western North Carolina. Across the country ICE has been ripping mamas, papas, aunties, and uncles away from their families, now they are targeting our communities in Appalachia. To support the families impacted by the raid in Tennessee you can donate here. To support families impacted by the raid in North Carolina you can donate here.
Finally, we want to say thank you, as always, to our members and fellow young people throughout Appalachia and beyond for being fiercely and un-apologetically in this world fighting for justice. We are fortified by your commitment to uprooting systems of oppression. Thank you to our ride-or-die elders and mentors who graciously give STAY the support, time, space, and feedback we need to grow.
*This call is for young people between the ages of 14-30 living in Appalachia
Coming up for STAY in 2018!
May 9th- STAY Project MembershipCall - Are you wanting to plug into social/racial/economic/environmental movements but unsure of where or how? Are you already doing work in your community but would like to connect to other people? Are you interested in STAY's work? Then join us as we talk about youth organizing happening in Appalachia and across the nation in this moment. We will learn from each other about the struggles and joys of working in Appalachia and how we can support eachother's work! Register for that call athttp://bit.ly/STAYProject *This call is for young people between the ages of 14-30 living in Appalachia
May 31st - June 1st - New Story 2018 at the WV Fairgrounds, Lewisburg,WV New Story is a project of the West Virginia Community Development Hub that is about empowering West Virginians to tell their own story. The STAY Project will be holding a youth caucus space at New Story for young West Virginians to connect with each other and discuss the issues they are facing in their communities. Register for New Story here.
June 1st -3rd - Seedtime on the Cumberland, Whitesburg, KY Seedtime's 32nd Annual year, we're celebrating youth in the mountains with a focus on Appalachian Media Institute (AMI) and The STAY Project (STAY). Seedtime has always been a time of year to portray the depth and richness of our culture and celebrate the process of passing it on to new generations. In 2018, AMI celebrates 30 years of youth media making and STAY celebrates 10 years of bringing mountain youth together to create, advocate for, and participate in safe, sustainable, engaging and inclusive communities.
July 12th-15th - The STAY Project's 2018 Summer Institute: Celebrating 10 Years of Youth Organizing in Appalachia! The Highlander Center, New Market, TN
Mark your calendars!!! The STAY Project invites Appalachian youth and STAY Project alumni to join us in celebrating our 10th Anniversary this summer by gathering at the Highlander Center to share history, stories, art, skills, music, and much more. We hope you can join us at this historic event!
**If you are a STAY alumni, member, or supporter and want to be a part of a planning team or want to support that work, please go to our website to let us know.
Be a STAY Project Member!
Wanna join the STAY Project? We’ve added a membership form to our website! If you are between the ages of 14-30 and living in Appalachia and want to be a member of the STAY Project, head on over to ourmembership pageand fill out the form.
If you are a current member go ahead and fill out the form to update your information.
Come be a part of the movement for youth and by youth that is working towards a just, sustainable, and equitable Appalachia!
Support the STAY Project!
We are a project for Appalachian youth by Appalachian youth, so any donation to help move our work forward is greatly appreciated. Here are a few ways you can support our work.