Young Appalachian Leaders and Learners (Y’ALL) is a committee within the Appalachian Studies Association. We seek to facilitate connections and relationships between young people in Appalachia, provide opportunities for professional advancement and training, as well as encourage lifelong scholarship and activism in the region. We strive to foster an inclusive environment that breaks down walls between institutions and encourages engagement, leadership, and collegiality. To accomplish this mission, we commit to sponsoring professional development panels, meetings, trainings, mixers, and a roommate matching service at every annual ASA conference. We’re just getting started, and we would love for you to be involved!
Membership and Duties
Membership. The committee shall consist of two co-chairpersons (elected as Y’ALL Steering Committee members) and a minimum of four members interested in upholding the mission of Y’ALL. Y’ALL co-chairs shall serve for two (2) years, with one new co-chair being elected each year. Y’ALL committee co-chairs are expected to attend all steering committee meetings and shall be elected by written ballot as described in Article IX, Section 4.
Duties. Y’ALL committee members shall work to facilitate connections and relationships between young people in Appalachia, provide opportunities for professional advancement and training, as well as encourage lifelong scholarship and activism in the region. The committee will strive to foster an inclusive environment that breaks down walls between institutions and encourages engagement, leadership, and collegiality.
For more information about The Young Appalachian Leaders and Learners (Y'ALL) Committee's members, Annual Conference involvement and other documents, click here.
Maxwell Cloe is an independent scholar of queer Appalachian art and archives currently based out of Richmond, Virginia. They are also an instructor of Community Studies at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Garrett Blaize is a 24-year-old community organizer and administrator from the Appalachian Mountains. As the staff lead for grantmaking and philanthropic partnerships at the Appalachian Community Fund (ACF), a regional funding intermediary and movement support fund, Garrett is deeply committed to supporting the vital movements of the region.
Garrett's leadership extends to his role as a representative of ACF, where he sits on the Steering Committee of the Appalachian Funders Network, serving as Co-Chair. He also provides ex officio support to the Waymakers Collective, an Assembly of radical arts grantmakers that serve artists and culture-bearers throughout Appalachia.
Additionally, Garrett's expertise and dedication have benefited numerous youth, educational, and community programs, including the Southwest Virginia Community College School for the Arts and Alternate Roots, a regional arts service organization.
Garrett's commitments are also demonstrated through his work on the Coordinating Committee of Alliance for Appalachia and as a volunteer leader of their local affiliate, Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards, an organizing collective dedicated to building deep democracy, accelerating a just transition, and remediating the harm caused by the historic extraction of labor, capital, and natural resources from the Appalachian region.