Guiding Principles

We, the Maine Youth Environmental Association, believe that:

  • The current manner in which mainstream culture uses resources and the planet is not sustainable.

  • Young people will both shape the future and deal with its consequences, and therefore it is our unique duty to raise our voices against injustice of all kinds.

  • Young voices are powerful, and we must value and uplift them.

  • Environmental issues and climate change most severely impact those already systematically marginalized or oppressed as they are often least listened to and most exposed to the issue.

  • People of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, poor people, indigenous people, young people, women, people of marginalized faiths, and the Global South are all frontline communities and are uniquely impacted by climate change.

  • The only just way to fight climate change is to act intersectionally, lifting up the voices of these groups, their safety is our safety, we are all one community and unless we ensure the future of all we ensure the future of none.

  • Climate change is not an isolated issue; capitalism, racism, patriarchy, and colonialism as well as other systems of oppression are the mechanisms by which climate change has come about and we must fight all if we are to overcome any.

  • Change is not the responsibility of the people around us, or of elected officials, change starts when we as individuals have the courage to act.

  • Change is possible.

  • We have more power than we know.

In our actions…

  • We will be kind and peaceful.

  • We will respect all individuals at all times.

  • We will make way for new voices to grow and flourish.

  • We will work together in collaboration, not in competition.

  • We will accept when we are wrong, and will use it as an opportunity to learn and grow.

  • We will always act with the intention of creating a more kind and just world.

We affirm that…

  • Climate change is real.

  • We cannot be healthy unless nature is healthy.

  • Frontline communities are uniquely impacted by climate change.

  • Biodiversity is necessary for a healthy planet.

  • Fossil fuels pollute the atmosphere and we must strive towards renewability.

  • Capitalism finds its foundation in exploitation of humans, animals, and the planet.

  • Indigenous communities must be respected at all times.

  • Black lives matter.

  • The patriarchy and rape culture must end.

  • People with disabilities are just as valid and necessary to society and this movement as those without, and they deserve respect and inclusion.

  • Members of the LGBTQ+ community must always be listened to, respected, and appreciated.

  • Animal lives are important and animals are killed and mistreated by capitalism and climate issues stemming from it.

  • Human rights must not be denied.

  • Civil rights must not be denied.

  • Social justice will always be intertwined with climate justice.

  • Together, we have the power to foster a better world.

Adopted: March 6, 2019