A long history of fighting for a better Kentucky
In 2007, students from Kentucky met at the National Power Shift Convergence in Washington DC and decided to form an organization to improve Kentucky's environmental health and economy through non-violent action and education: the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition. In the years since, KSEC has grown to be the leading voice for Kentucky youth.
Original Mission Statement
KSEC is a coalition of students and youth across KY created to improve KY’s environmental health and economy through non-violent action and education. We influence policy decision by challenging power structures to implement socially just and sustainable solutions.
- Make environmental issues relevant to Kentuckians
- Work to shift the cultural mindset of consumption
- Show people connections - between themselves and the land, economics and the environment, etc.
- Develop off-campus relationships (with other universities and non-collegiate organizations)
- Challenge voter apathy
- Lobby to bring green jobs to Kentucky - be the vanguards of the new economy
- Acknowledge and work to counter segregation within the environmental movement and environmental injustice.
Highlights from Our History
- Kentucky young people meet up in Washington DC for the first national Power Shift conference and realize that there are a lot of young Kentuckians concerned with the environment.
- First KSEC gathering took place at Western KY University in Bowling Green, KY
- Start using conference calls to organize and collaborate across the state
- Focus on I <3 Mountains Day and Summer MTR resistance
- Second KSEC gathering took place at Transylvania University in Lexington, KY
- Registered voters and did youth environmental voter turnout work with the Power Vote Campaign.
- Kentucky representation on the SEAC National Council
- KY Power Shift at Western KY University brought together folks from all across the country and had amazing speakers like Larry Gibson in attendance
- Over 100 Kentuckians head to the 2009 National Power Shift Conference in Washington, D.C.
- On the bus ride home Transylvania students and Western KY University students decide to shut down their on-campus coal boilers
- KSEC starts working groups to take on off-campus issues around Food, Conservation, Education, I <3 Mountains, Power Shift planning, and Power Past Coal
- Appalachian Power Shift happens at Marshall University in West Virginia as a joint effort between West Virginia Youth Action League and KSEC and ends with a large march and rally for Green Jobs
- First statewide day of action happens at campuses across the state! Students drop banners at multiple universities calling the campuses to move towards more sustainable energy
- WKU and Transylvania University students win commitments to shut down their campus coal boilers
- Other campuses start working on renewable energy and green fee campaigns including Murray Environmental Student Society at Murray State University
- Students from several campuses connected at Sierra Club Activist Weekend and committed to rebuilding the state network
- Campuses took on new campaigns aimed around banning plastic bottles on campus and University of Kentucky’s Greenthumb organization launched a campaign to shut down their on-campus coal boiler
- First annual spring summit to introduce new members to KSEC and train them in anti-oppression and organizing skills
- KSEC mobilizes 100+ young Kentuckians to attend the Power Shift environmental youth conference in Pittsburg
- KSEC launches the Political Working Group (PWG) to build political power by increasing participation in elections and facilitating the passage of progressive energy legislation in Kentucky through organizing direct actions, educating our peers, and sharing our stories and visions for a more democratic and community-based political system
- PWG launches Power to the People campaign to support renewable energy policies in Kentucky
- First annual Fall Summit to introduce new members to KSEC and train them in anti-oppression and organizing skills
- KSEC contributes to a successful a grassroots movement to stop the Bluegrass Pipeline from being built across the state to carry natural gas liquids from the shale fields in the north east to the refineries and ports on the gulf coast, namely being the first to develop and publish resistance resources on our website and drawing attention to and shutting down the pipeline's proposed route through the Kentucky State University Research Farm
- Centre students win a Green Revolving Fund and gets $5,000 yearly allocated to the newly established fund
- duPont Manual High School students win campaign for local food in their cafeterias
- EKU Green Crew is successful in their campaign to get the university to sign onto the President’s Climate Commitment
- KSU Green Society wins campaign for campus-wide recycling
- PWG hosts Sen. Reggie Thomas for its first Clean Energy Tour in Murray to show how renewables are already working in Kentucky
- PWG secures state senators Reggie Thomas and Julian Carroll as the first senate sponsors for the Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance backed Clean Energy Opportunity Act
- KSEC launches its annual summer program, Catalyst, a youth-focused, anti-oppressive, inclusive, week-long training for folks interested in becoming activists and who want to make a difference on environmental and social justice issues.
- UK Greenthumb claims a victory in their campaign for a climate action plan when President Capilouto signs a commitment to reduce carbon emissions 25% below 2010 levels by 2020 and credits student leadership
- KSEC Just Transition Working Group launches the Solutions Tour to elevate young voices in the discussion of Appalachia post-coal economy and inspire
- At the request of the PWG, Representative Mary Lou Marzian and Senator Reggie Thomas file resolutions for LRC studies into renewable energy and energy efficiency legislation in other states with the goal of identifying policies that would be beneficial and applicable to Kentucky
- PWG hosts its second clean energy tour in Frankfort with a teach-in on hydropower from Shaker Landing Hydro Associates and a visit to see and learn about the solar installation at Boone National Guard Center
- Created our first ever KSEC Strategic Plan to meet a statewide objective of "We will unite and uplift our voices to resist all new threats to our communities and our environment. We will no longer be ignored"
- KSEC Political Working Group participates in an emergency action coalition to successfully halt SB 214 which would have ended net metering in Kentucky and harmed the state’s burgeoning renewable energy sector
- KSEC members hosted a total of 30 actions and events across the state
- KSEC Just Transition Working Group hosts its first Solutions Summit to talk about what young Appalachians want for their region and participate in the region's just economic transition away from extractive industries.
- We developed 31 new leaders
- Members met with 10 decision makers
- We earned 25 media hits, including articles in New Southerner Magazine and Yes Magazine