the burning phoenixes award is an ongoing cash prize
available for efforts creating radical change for humans, animals and our Earth. it is offered in recognition of those people re-imagining what liberation can look like.
by this, we mean the special folx envisioning a whole new image of total liberation – something that is sustainable, accessible and simply radical.
because the manifestation of liberation can and does look like many different things,
we are keeping the eligibility for this award open to different possible expressions of transformative justice.
all successful recipients of the burning phoenixes award will clearly demonstrate that their project promotes:
- short-term community empowerment that offers solutions for surviving today
- long-term community empowerment that offers a solution for healing tomorrow
- and community empowerment that is inclusive to the local human communities, the local animal communities, and the local natural ecology.
to nominate any efforts deserving of this award, please send us:
- preferred name, pronouns and location of the nominator;
- preferred name, pronouns and location of the nominee;
- a summary of the project and how it clearly meets the above 3-point criteria
- an explanation of why these efforts are deserving of cash support & signal boosting
burning phoenixes award winners!
– Seattle, Washington, USA
Zarna is a Climate Justice and Social Justice activist, who works with Women of Color Speak Out. She has been part of Shellno Action Council, Rising Tide Seattle, and Earthship Seattle, and is part of the Break Free campaign of 2016. She is a writer, public speaker, and storyteller and has published books about Hindu spirituality, self-examination, and cross-cultural understanding.
Zarna describes her role as working to dismantle the systems of oppression – Capitalism, Colonialism, Racism and Patriarchy – that exploits animals, humans, and Mother Earth. She does this by working with people in all parts of the movement: from Indigenous peoples to housing justice activists, to social justice activists, to workers’ rights activists, to transgender rights activists, to animal rights activists, to spiritual activists.
Zarna also does this work through education, such as public speaking, workshops, and sermons, and direct action like blockading fossil fuel infrastructure, building sustainable housing and teaching people how to cook plant-based meals. She is currently creating an “Activists Cookbook” that teaches the stages of direct action while discussing delicious vegan foods to cook & share while taking that direct action.
Zarna mobilizes communities to resist the fossil fuels leading us towards mass extinction by encouraging people to move towards a plant-based lifestyle and to rethink how we build our societies. She promotes radically sustainable building projects that take people off the grid and off the oppression of fossil fuels.
Zarna aspires to be in solidarity and take action to protect and uplift each other.
She speaks and writes about creating a radical shift in values away from money and profit, and towards valuing life and love.
“This is spiritual movement that must bring us all together.”
Zarna is a Community Supported Organizer (CSO) – which means she is financially supported by community members to do her important work.
And because she is not paid by any non-profit and is autonomous change agents, Zarna is not limited in what she can do or say as an activist, and so freely uses this CSO platform to shift consciousness in the mainstream movement towards supporting local activists who are doing the REAL work of changing the system.
– Occupied Palestinian Territories (West Bank), Palestine
The only locally-run animal protection organization in the occupied Palestinian territories, PAL was founded in 2011 by Ahmad Safi.
Following the ethos of “helping animals, empowering people”, this organization’s work strives to be inclusive and holistic as it works with many different local communities in the West Bank.
“Young Palestinians for Animal Protection”, a current programme of PAL, exemplifies their grassroots approach and transformative contributions to society.
Beginning in early 2015, this project has educated and trained a total of 52 student volunteers (from Al Quds (Abu Dis), Al Najah (Tulkarm) and Bir Zeit (Ramallah) universities) in a variety of areas, including leadership, campaigning, advocacy, animal welfare and animal ethics.
These 52 students have since become mentors to other school children in the West Bank, helping more students to devise, develop & deliver their own projects for addressing animal welfare in their local community. Some of these past student projects have included:
- caring for companion animals,
- promotion of a vegetarian and vegan diet,
- being kind to animals,
- tackling problems involving street animals humanely
- encouraging classmates to learn about animal protection & environmental issues
All these projects have been led by the children themselves and have applied creative approaches to deliver the messages to their peers, such using as theatre, art, classroom discussions, social media promotion, and healthy eating programmes.
So far, over 280 children have taken part in this project through 20 distinct groups at 14 different schools or community groups in the West Bank. In turn, these 280 participants have successfully reached over 1,000 other youths as they shared their own projects with classmates.
The project is continuing in 2016, with Bethlehem University joining the efforts.
The PAL team has described their efforts as especially important for the young people living in an area already heavily affected by ongoing conflict.
By encouraging an important sense of self-worth, PAL participants are realizing their own huge potential to do good and how to make a difference in their own communities.
The impact PAL is having on Palestinian youth and animals in the West Bank cannot be underestimated.