The STAY (Stay Together Appalachian Youth) Project has played an important role in the lives of many young Appalachians in the past six years.
STAY’s mission is to serve as a diverse regional network of young people working together to create, advocate for and participate in safe, sustainable, engaging and inclusive communities throughout Appalachia and beyond.
STAY members are hard at work advocating in their communities all across the region, and you can find them engaging other young people in Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
But we’d like to highlight the special opportunities that West Virginians will have to engage with The STAY Project this year.
A big part of STAY’s work this year has been to organize queer gatherings in almost every state they represent – the Out in the South Initiative: Central Appalachia Gathering Series.
Now, it’s West Virginia’s turn.
In Charleston on May 23, Out in the South will bring queer folk of all ages together with organizations that serve queer folk for an opportunity to connect, celebrate, share stories and resources, and connect the dots between apparent needs and sources of LGBTQ+ funding.
Organizations planning to attend include: the Straight & Gay Alliance of Charleston, Planned Parenthood, Fairness WV, Covenant House, and others. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Courtney Roark at 606-344-2038.
Ready to register? Do it online here!
The STAY Project’s most well known event is the STAY Summer Institute (SSI), an annual gathering of all STAY members, where a bunch of folks get together for youth leadership development, celebration, and collective learning and growth.
SSI rotates to a new state in the region every year. This year the institute will be hosted in West Virginia!
This summer, STAY members will gather at the Appalachian South Folklife Center in Pipestem, July 6 – 9, where they will engage new members and bring new people into their network.
Are you between the ages of 14 and 30? Do you live in central Appalachia? Register for SSI 2017 here!