Our Story

What We Do

Our Goals

What will PYCC members actually do?

While individuals and communities marginalized based on race, gender, class, citizenship status, ability, age, religion, and sexual orientation are those most impacted by social and environmental harms like pollution, climate change, food insecurity, gentrification, housing insecurity, and lack of access to healthcare (and more) those in positions of elected or organizational power continue to be those with most privilege and the least impacted by these issues. Systems thinking is crucial to help address the issues of social and ecological injustice. Now, more than ever, youth from all walks of life need to be at the table to make decisions that are going to affect them.  The Pittsburgh Youth Council for Change (PYCC) was created to serve this purpose by diverse groups of organizations and people in the Pittsburgh region. This PYCC will convene an intergenerational network of partners on a regular basis to dialogue and make progress on key initiatives, tied to the Equitable and Just Greater Pittsburgh policy platforms. These network meetings will have agendas set by the Pittsburgh Youth Council for Change.

Pittsburgh Youth Council for Change (PYCC) is the driving core of an intergenerational Social Justice and Sustainability Network. This group of 15 youth age 14-20, is a new opportunity developed by young people for young people to make an impact in the greater Pittsburgh community. This is a paid opportunity with an expectation of 10 hours of work per month.  It is an initiative to provide opportunities for activism and career pathways for young people with an interest in social justice and sustainability.  The PYCC members will act as the connectors and builders in growing youth power and civic engagement in Pittsburgh's many nonprofits, social enterprises, and local government. This council will serve as the bridge to connect their peers to opportunities for civic and social engagement as it relates to sustainability and social justice.

  • Remove barriers and provide pathways to paid, professional leadership for marginalized young leaders in the environmental and sustainability field in Western PA

  • Increase interconnectivity and collaboration between various organizations, businesses and schools, regionally and nationally. Remove silos.

  • Provide a platform for sharing and increasing scope of the great existing work being led by individuals who have been historically marginalized based on their identities.

  • Increase awareness and accountability for connecting and embodying sustainability and social justice topics/action within schools, non-profits, businesses and beyond

  • Train more folks to be systems thinkers and in specific action-oriented skills

  • Provide insight to other regions based on successes and lessons learned 

  • Center network and PYCC member individual self-care 

  • Heal from trauma and intersectional barriers

  • Engage at the intersection between art and activism

Our inaugural action will be planning a youth-led candidates forum before the municipal elections primary this year. This event will be held in late April and will coincide with our social media, website and application launch. If you are interested in co-hosting this event, please email pghyouthcouncil4change@gmail.com. Current co-hosts include: Human Rights City Alliance and Sunrise PGH.


Listed below are some potential ideas for the tasks the council could work on (we are in no way committed to these ideas...they will change as the council is formed and sets its own goals and priorities):

  • Draft a list of demands and action plans for deliverables in our region based on the agenda set by the council

  • Draft recommendations on ways to increase engagement for youth from backgrounds historically underrepresented in the United States.

  • Organize events for civic engagement and social change

  • Make a newsletter for youth to be informed about opportunities for civic engagement and programming offered by existing nonprofits and social enterprises.

  • Encourage classmates and peers to attend opportunities and become civically engaged.

  • Create media that can express the vision of a better world