This About page is from late 2015.
Who We Are
The Maypop Collective is a community and social movement organization based in Philadelphia, led by young organizers. We fight the root causes of climate change to create a just and equitable future for ourselves and for generations to come.
We’re living through a period of climate crises and deepening social inequity rooted in a global extractive economy. Amidst this rapidly changing and unequal world, we’re fighting for a just transition away from a fossil fuel economy of exploitation to community-centered, clean-energy economies that take care of people and ecosystems.
What We Mean by Climate Justice
We believe the transition to new economies and energy systems should be rooted in the fight for racial and economic justice. Indigenous Nations, working people, poor folks, and communities of color are already disproportionately harmed by fossil fuel extraction, burning, and transport. And as we see the effects of climate change intensify – extreme weather, natural disasters, resource scarcity, displacement – these communities (who are least responsible for the climate crisis) often have less resources and political power to weather the storm. The fight for economic and racial justice centers our understanding of ‘climate justice’ – that every community has a right to a stable climate as a fundamental need along with food, water, housing, health, mobility, and culture.
With corporate, white supremacist, and conservative forces fighting for their own vision of transition, it will take a mass movement with many sectors uniting around shared interests, targets, and goals to steer our course to a just transition. We must work and build locally while connecting with others around the country and the world toward a people-led transition that restores our rights to land, labor, and life.
We formed the Maypop Collective in October 2013 after several months of learning together, pushing each other, and building a shared understanding of our current moment. We met doing student organizing with Swarthmore Mountain Justice’s fossil fuel divestment campaign. After graduating, we committed to continuing work for climate justice and supporting other young people to join similar efforts. Over the last years, we’ve worked with the fossil fuel divestment movement, helping launch the Fossil Fuel Divestment Student Network and organizing national convergences; took part in emerging Philadelphia coalitions, including 215 People’s Alliance, helped launch Philly Thrive’s Right to Breathe Campaign and deepened relationships with social movement and community forces in the city.
In 2014, we organized a successful apprenticeship program supporting the leadership of eight college students and recent graduates through study, peer support, and hands-on internships with grassroots social justice groups in the city. In 2015 we helped develop and launch Philly Thrive and coordinated an organizing skills training with environmental justice leaders in Philly.
The Maypop, a nickname for the passionflower, is a plant native to our region of southeastern PA. Maypops thrive in disturbed or neglected ground, and are historically used for healing addiction and offering rejuvenation. We chose the name to honor our dedication to healing our society’s addiction to fossil fuels and creating living, thriving economies.
We’re looking to build our network of allies, partners, and friends. Please get in touch if you have questions, feedback, suggestions, or want to work together!