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Welcome to the Phoenix Zones Initiative Newsroom, which includes a collection of the most recent news, press mentions, and media assets.

To access past events, articles, and resources, please visit our Resource Center.

Dr. Charu Chandrasekera

See our Press Kit for our Transforming Medical Research virtual event, simulcasting on Thursday, January 27, 2022.

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Interested in writing about Phoenix Zones Initiative or have a media request? Contact us with more details. If you are a member of the media and on deadline, please contact Clark Curtis, Media and Public Relations Specialist: [email protected].

Clark Curtis

Media Kit

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What People Are Saying

“Phoenix Zones Initiative is a strong rudder in tumultuous waters.” ~ Colleen Plumb, artist

“We can no longer look away from or rationalize harm, or systems that impose harm, as necessary or acceptable. This is a new era for transformative thought leadership and Phoenix Zones Initiative is at the forefront.” ~ Kimberly J. Soenen, Director, SomePeopleEveryBody

“Phoenix Zones Initiative drives toward an awakening of rights, and creative and effective methods of living . . . my personal and material support provides an important opportunity for my own growth as a citizen of this world.” ~ John P. Gluck PhD, Emeritus Professor, University of New Mexico; Affiliate Faculty, The Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University

Press Releases, Recent News, and Media Mentions


Selected Press Releases:


January 19, 2022
More Than 192 Million Animals Are Used Each Year for Laboratory Research
Virtual Event Will Create a Roadmap Toward More Ethical, Human-Centered Medical Research MethodsIn the US, almost any species of animal can be used in research, and almost anything can be done to them in the name of science. Fortunately, there are more ethical and relevant research tools and methods that can be used to study diseases and potential life-saving therapies. Phoenix Zones Initiative is hosting a groundbreaking virtual event to transform medical research on Thursday, January 27, 2022. A panel of experts will share how we can create a framework for more modern, ethical research practices that benefit humans and other animals.

January 4, 2022
The Time is Now to Transform Medical Research for Humans and Animals
Expert Panel Charts a New Course for Modern, Ethical Research
Phoenix Zones Initiative will host a revolutionary virtual event, Transforming Medical Research: Advancing Modern, Ethical Methods to Help People and Animals, on Thursday, January 27, 2022, at 7 pm EST/4 pm PST. The event will feature a group of esteemed experts from fields such as medicine, ethics, the sciences, and public health, who will help chart a path and make recommendations for more modern and more ethical
research practices. 

December 7, 2021
Why Ecological Justice and the Right to Health Matter
Human Rights Journal’s Special Section Focuses on the Interconnectedness of Humans, Animals, and the Planet
The connections between ecological justice and the right to health are the focus of the December 2021 special section of the Health and Human Rights Journal. Phoenix Zones Initiative’s CEO, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, is the section’s guest editor. Six articles from esteemed scientists and researchers challenge long-standing assumptions about relationships between humans, other animals, and the planet in light of moral, legal, and scientific advancements and offer meaningful solutions.

August 11, 2021
Preventing Future Pandemics Act of 2021 Remains Stalled in Congress
A Public Health Expert Fears We Have Collectively Become Complacent in Thinking the Pandemic Was “Unprecedented” and Urges Immediate Passage of the Bill
A bipartisan bill that would help significantly reduce the risk of future pandemics by stopping the trade of wild animals for food and breeding is stalled in the US Congress. Phoenix Zones Initiative CEO Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, a double board-certified physician and public health expert, is urging Congress to pass the bill immediately to save lives and prevent future public health catastrophes.

July 14, 2021
Concerns Raised Over the UN’s High-Level Political Forum Ministerial Declaration
Key Recommendations Regarding Global Response to COVID-19 Are Being Ignored
Phoenix Zones Initiative, a member of the NGO Major Group, has raised concerns that government delegations at the High-Level Political Forum have yet to agree on vital issues, including climate change, healthcare, and biodiversity. Of special concern are some governments’ attempts to downplay the importance of key recommendations regarding a global response to COVID-19, its impact, and the prevention of future pandemics.

June 1, 2021
Phoenix Zones Initiative CEO Dr. Hope Ferdowsian Provides Recommendations to the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development
Dr. Ferdowsian was selected as an expert to advise on the preparations for the UN HLPF on Sustainable Development, which is the UN’s core platform for follow-up and review of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Dr. Ferdowsian provided expertise on SDG 3: “Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages.”

May 3, 2021
Phoenix Zones Initiative Advances a Just One Health Approach: Phoenix Zones Initiative and Project ECHO Announce New Partnership
This partnership will afford Phoenix Zones Initiative the opportunity to provide a Just One Health foundation on which public policies, institutions, and practices can promote optimal health.


Recent News:


January 20, 2022 (Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics)
Toward an Anti-Maleficent Research Agenda
Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, Phoenix Zones Initiative’s president and CEO, and her colleagues argue for the adoption of an “antimaleficent” research agenda that is in line with the principles from The Belmont Report. Their recommendations include embracing a just, ethical research paradigm that benefits both humans and animals and that centers non-animal methods.

January 4, 2022 (“Some People” (Every)Body))
What Will the SARS-CoV-2 Global Pandemic Teach Us about Human Rights, Nonhuman Rights, and Public Health?
Kimberly J. Soenen of “Some People” (Every)Body interviews PZI CEO Dr. Hope Ferdowsian about the importance of embracing the interconnectedness of the rights, health, and wellbeing of people, animals, and the planet; the challenges of the pandemic and public health; and the need for hope.

December 10, 2021 (Marie Claire)
Today, on Human Rights Day, the US Must Abolish Child Marriage
Child marriage is an everywhere problem. In all but six US states, adults can marry children ages 17 and under. US laws don’t do enough to protect children, and COVID-19 is putting more kids at risk. In this op-ed, PZI team members Dr. Hope Ferdowsian and Saryn Chorney explore why the US must ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as an important step to protecting and uplifting vulnerable children.

December 9, 2021 (Health and Human Rights Journal)
Special Section: Ecological Justice and the Right to Health
This special section, the first of its kind to be published in a health and human rights journal, addresses the explicit connections between the treatment of humans, nonhuman animals, and our shared environment. Six articles from esteemed scientists and researchers challenge various long-standing assumption about relationships between humans, other animals, and the planet in light of moral, legal, and scientific advancements and advocate for a Just One Health approach. The special section was edited by PZI CEO, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian.

December 8, 2021 (Issues in Science and Technology)
Ethics in Animal Research
In this invited letter responding to an opinion piece by philosopher and lecturer Jane Johnson, Phoenix Zones Initiative CEO Dr. Hope Ferdowsian discusses how extending principles such as respect for autonomy and duties to nonmaleficence and justice to decisions about the use of animals in research could lead a national research agenda that favors more translatable, human-centered, modern research methods. 

September 16, 2021 (Scientific American)
Stop Torturing Animals in the Name of Science
We know that animals feel pain and fear, but we’re still acting as if that’s not true. This op-ed by Phoenix Zones Initiative CEO Dr. Hope Ferdowsian calls for the creation of a more ethical, modern research paradigm in which animals receive the same protections that humans get.

May 12, 2021 (Health Affairs)
Re-Imagining the Asylum System: Recommendations from Asylum Medicine Experts
The Physicians for Human Rights Asylum Policy Working Group, which includes Phoenix Zones Initiative CEO Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, has outlined important key issues and proposed solutions for creating a rights-based and evidence-based US asylum system.

March 23, 2021 (Sentient Media)
Want to Protect Workers, Animals, and the Planet? 
Phoenix Zones Initiative’s vice president of programs, Elan Abrell, and his colleague, Nico Stubler, make a powerful case for banning the sale of Big Meat to protect people, animals, and the planet: “A sales ban…[enables] progressive legislative bodies to target the harms caused by industrial animal farming, despite the production of its harms being centered elsewhere.”

May 18, 2020 (American College of Preventive Medicine)
COVID-19: Challenging the Way We Produce and Consume Food
Phoenix Zones Initiative CEO Dr. Hope Ferdowsian underscores how the COVID-19 pandemic provides opportunities to change how we produce and consume food in a way that values the rights, health, and wellbeing of people, animals, and the planet.

March 27, 2020 (Albuquerque Journal)
Movement–Animal and Human–Key to Pandemics
Phoenix Zones Initiative CEO Dr. Hope Ferdowsian outlines how the novel coronavirus pandemic has tested how Americans respond to restrictions of their civil liberties, and that it provides a deeper opportunity to reevaluate how we view the right to freedom of movement.

January 29, 2020 (Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics)
A Belmont Report for Animals?
As Phoenix Zones Initiative CEO Dr. Hope Ferdowsian and her colleagues note, responding to historical abuses in the conduct of human research, in 1979, the Belmont Report published key ethical principles to which human research should adhere. The same principles can be extended to nonhuman animals.

November 3, 2019 (Albuquerque Journal)
Animals Deserve Research Protections People Get
Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, CEO of Phoenix Zones Initiative, outlines how Americans have a deep, but often ambivalent, relationship with animals, and that societal changes beg the question of how our institutions might better respond to monumental shifts in our understanding of and concern for animals.


Media Mentions:


May 5, 2021 (Danbury’s HamletHub)
WCSU Professor Releases New Book, Explores the Impact of Animal Sanctuaries on Animals and Humans
In his new book, Elan Abrell, Phoenix Zones Initiative’s vice president of programs, shares what he learned about the ethics of care around animal sanctuaries, and how they can serve as a model for a proactive ethos of care and empathy that can help us build a more resilient future.

May 5, 2021 (Psyche)
My Cancer Scars Map the Pain of Animals Held in Research Labs
Using her experience with cancer as a foundation, author and professor Barbara J. King advocates for an evolved moral and scientific calculus recognizing that the most successful and ethical human health research will not involve nonhuman animals. She references Phoenix Zones Initiative CEO Dr. Hope Ferdowsian’s work on a Belmont Report for Animals.

March 23, 2021 (Faunalytics)
Why We Need Proper Ethical Guidelines on Animal Research
This essay highlights the need to adopt a Belmont Report for Animals and to revolutionize how research works.

March 22, 2021 (The Concordian)
The Ethical Dilemma of Animal Testing: Are Animals Equal to Humans?
This opinion piece on whether animal research is ethical quotes Phoenix Zones Initiative CEO Dr. Hope Ferdowsian about the importance of pushing research innovation forward.

October 10, 2020 (The Regulatory Review)
Regulation of Animal Subjects Research
This scholarly discussion of whether the Animal Welfare Act achieves its aim of protecting “animal research subjects” references Phoenix Zones Initiative CEO Dr. Hope Ferdowsian’s article on a Belmont Report for Animals and its recommendations for stricter ethical guidelines.

Selected Videos:

A brief message from our founders (1:06)

Find out about our mission (1:16)

Learn why we’re working to end child and animal trafficking (1:20)

Watch our 5/1/21 Facebook Live Event: How to Prevent the Next Pandemic (33:05)

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