SustainUS is a youth-led organization advancing justice and sustainability by empowering young people to engage in advocacy at the domestic and international levels.
We are building toward a sustainable world free from systemic injustice.
We mobilize as US youth at key political moments to push political leaders, multinational institutions, and other global actors to stand on the side of justice.
Far too often, those who have power in global institutions do not represent the interests of the people. Corrupt multinational corporations, fossil fuel billionaires, and political elites are able to buy access and power at our international institutions, setting the agenda to serve the interests of the few over the many.
At the same time, those most impacted by climate change, international trade agreements, and UN treaties are not at the decision-making table. As young people, we have more to lose than any other generation. This means the agenda is stacked against us and the demands of our communities and our generation are not heard. We believe that young people should have a voice in the policy decisions that will shape our future.
SustainUS empowers young people in taking creative action to demand justice and sustainability on a global stage. By doing this, we build youth leaders who are able to strengthen social movements at home and around the globe to meet the urgency of our global crises.
We need to kick out corporate polluters, fossil fuel CEOs, and finance executives from our international institutions, hold our political, business and cultural leaders accountable to the people, and ensure those most impacted have seats at the table and are driving the agenda.
1. We are US youth demanding a world free from systemic injustice. We are young people born into crises we did not create. Our communities are poisoned. Our climate is destabilizing. Our futures are uncertain. We refuse to allow established leaders to sell us incremental change as the only solution to global ecological, social, and economic crises.
2. We intervene at global spaces of power. Wherever global decisions are made, we empower young people to shift the narrative toward justice and sustainability. Sound policymaking cements social movements’ victories into law at domestic and international levels. We work with global allies who share our vision to challenge injustice at the deepest levels, pushing for long-term solutions over short-term wins.
3. We translate the demands of the peoples’ movements into action. Social movements create demands for transformational shifts toward justice. We help put these demands to use by disrupting spaces of decision-making through media, creative direct actions, and policy advocacy rooted in our identity as young people. In doing so, we bring the public consciousness to our side, shift the political climate, and rewrite the story.
4. We show up as United States youth honoring indigenous treaties and seeking liberation for all people. The country that we call home has contributed most to global warming, engineered unfair trade deals, and perpetrated violence both locally and across the globe. We push the United States to take responsibility for its actions and demand that our country wield its outsized influence on the side of justice.
5. We build power by celebrating difference. We are individuals who are differently rooted and affiliated. We come from many creeds, homes, and histories. We are unevenly impacted by injustice. But together, we act as SustainUS. By honoring our differences, we are able to address the crises we face more fully, act with greater urgency, and show up with many at our side.
6. We are nonviolent in word and deed. We believe nonviolence is the only way to win the hearts and minds of the public and decision-makers. We practice nonviolence in our relationships, in our meetings, and in every public action we take.
7. We take risks and challenge the limits of what is possible. We address challenges and opportunities with creativity. As young people, we dream up and implement solutions to meet the scale of our crises. If we encounter something that isn’t working, we take initiative and offer an alternative, honoring the wisdom of those who have come before us.
8. We show up as our full selves in community. We embrace all aspects of life. We have fun. We celebrate our victories. We feel grief. We nourish ourselves and form powerful connection in song, dance, and active hope. We build community together with the recognition that we are in this movement together for the long haul.
9. We are always learning and growing together. Leadership development is crucial to sustain social movements. We skill-up young people by connecting each other to a global community of change-agents. We engage coaching, training, and collaborative learning to further our leadership. We learn by engaging in immersive experiences that have real impact, today and tomorrow.
10. We build toward a world where we can all thrive. We are the generation to transition our society from extractive to regenerative economies. We believe the pace of change is limited only by the scope of our imagination, the depth of our courage, and the strength of our communities. Together, we will win.