Intertwined Movements: Education and Climate Justice

For more than 100 years, United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County (UWABC) has demonstrated a fierce commitment to addressing poverty and injustice in our community.  

Historically, social justice movements have focused primarily on equity, education, healthcare, racism, and economic inequality. Environmental issues, including climate change, have often been seen as separate from these struggles. 

Climate justice and social justice are closely interconnected because climate change disproportionately affects marginalized and vulnerable communities, which often have fewer resources and less power to adapt to or mitigate the impacts of climate change.




Recognizing that the consequences of climate change disproportionately affect young people, women, and future generations, Women of Tocqueville and Women United are joining together on Tuesday, April 11 at Pleb Urban Winery to bring awareness to the intersection of social and climate justice by hosting the official book release, Love Your Mother: 50 States, 50 Stories, and 50 Women United for Climate Justice featuring local author and professor at Warren Wilson College, Mallory McDuff, Ph.D.


McDuff shares, “the values that are reflected in the women's stories from Love Your Mother are congruent with United Way’s guiding principles of collective wisdom, equity at the center, and courageous leadership, which are congruent with how Catherine and LaKyla are living their lives.” LaKyla Hodges and Catherine Tsarouhtsis will be speaking alongside McDuff during this book launch event and both young women work in environmental education.



Not only are the values of collective wisdom and equity at the center shared in UWABC’s work and McDuff’s most recent book, but Tsarouhtsis explains the true interconnectivity of our work and environmental justice.

“Education ties into the climate crisis. War and crisis tend to deflate education and especially women's  rights,” she goes on to say, “All these movements are intertwined because they have to do with people, and people are directly impacted by the environment and the Earth.”



As McDuff said, “Climate justice means access to a healthy environment for all.” And UWABC profoundly cares about creating a healthy environment for all of our youth and students so that we can achieve our Bold Community Goal that by 2035, ALL Buncombe County and Asheville City School students will graduate from high school fully ready to pursue their goals and dreams. We know this ambitious goal takes a dedicated community effort, and that community must extend beyond those who work directly in the school systems, to all local organizations that share our values.


These values are a vital commonality because as LaKyla Hodges, Equity and Education Manager at Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservacy, states, “we humans can’t be devoted to equity without acknowledging how equity, education, and climate interact.” Hodges also stresses the importance of having a resilient and unified community throughout our entire region, “It’s so important to cultivate a community where ever you are. Once you bring the community with you, you start caring more about everything around you.”


UWABC has an opportunity to do something spectacular for our long-term operations costs, our ability to fulfill our mission, and the health of our planet. With leadership from Green Built Alliance and their Appalachian Offsets program, United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County has been selected as the first nonprofit recipient of their program to channel carbon offsets from local companies into local community solar projects. This investment will reduce our carbon footprint by 60% and allow us to convert those savings into greater investments in youth and families across Buncombe County.

A wine reception hosted by Alexis de Tocqueville and Women United members Marla Adams, Jenny Boyer, Janice Brumit, Shelia Christofalos, Taylor Foss, Heather Goldstein, and Marjorie McGuirk starts at 5:30 pm and precedes the book talk starting at 6:30 pm. The talk and book signing will share real-life stories on how women are making a collective difference toward transforming society away from dependence on fossil fuels.
UWABC and our partner's care for Buncombe County and Western North Carolina extend to all aspects of healthy living and access to resources and opportunities for all. We are excited that Women United will be  small part of moving the needle forward on climate justice for all through the official book launch, “Love Your Mother” and panel discussion event on  April 11th at 6:30 pm at Plēb Urban Winery.

  • You can order Signed Copies of Love Your Mother: 50 States, 50 Stories, and 50 Women United for Climate Justice by Mallory McDuff. 



Don't Stop There!

RSVP to the "Love your Mother" Book launch at Pleb: HERE

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