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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.

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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

“It’s rewarding to be a tiny part of something so powerfully good.” ~ Anonymous PZI donor

Press Releases, Recent News, and Media Mentions


Selected Press Releases and Media Advisories:


April 5, 2023
PZI President Speaks at Key UN Member States Meeting about the Interdependence of Animal Welfare, the Environment, and Sustainable Development
PZI’s President, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, presented to the UN Member States for their meeting focused on the UNEA 5 resolution on the nexus between animal welfare, the environment, and sustainable development. Dr. Ferdowsian discussed the importance of centering a just One Health (Just One Health) approach to policy and practice.

April 4, 2023
Pandemic Prevention Satellite Session Media Advisory
On April 13, PZI’s President, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, along with other experts, will lead an in-person satellite session on pandemic prevention in Washington, DC, as part of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) Conference on Pandemic Prevention. Attendees will learn about addressing current gaps in global policy and the root causes of pandemic risk, as well as expanding on the science and evidence-driven policy measures to create an effective pathway to prevent pandemics.

January 23, 2023
Congressional Briefing Media Advisory
On January 30, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, a physician, and president of Phoenix Zones Initiative, led a panel of experts in science and ethics will brief Congressional policy makers on transforming medical research and advancing science and ethics.

June 28, 2022
NGO Major Group Calls on Sustainable Development Goals to Prioritize the Rights, Health, and Wellbeing of People, Animals, and the Environment
Phoenix Zones Initiative (PZI) is part of the NGO Major Group, which has released a new position paper urging world leaders to embed the rights, health, and wellbeing of people, animals, and the planet into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure that the SDGs fully succeed.

May 18, 2022
Medical and Public Health Professionals Call on World Health Organization to Advance Pandemic Prevention Treaty
International Instrument Could Help Prevent the Next Pandemic
Phoenix Zones Initiative (PZI) and other medical and public health professionals have called upon the World Health Organization (WHO) to advance a justice-centered international instrument that would prevent the next pandemic. PZI’s open letter encourages decision makers to maintain a focus on primary prevention, including efforts to reduce the risk for the emergence of novel animal-borne pathogens.

May 16, 2022
FDA Modernization Act Clears Important Subcommittee
Changing One Word Could Help Revolutionize Modern Medical Research
Phoenix Zones Initiative (PZI) applauds the US House Subcommittee on Health for unanimously passing the FDA Modernization Act, which would eliminate the Food and Drug Administration’s Depression-era requirement for animal testing in the preclinical phase of drug development. When passed, this act will significantly move the needle to modernize medical research.

March 2, 2022
Phoenix Zones Initiative CEO Joins New One Health Journal as Senior Editor
New International Journal Focuses on Health of People, Animals, and the Planet
PZI President Dr. Hope Ferdowsian has joined as senior editor for CABI One Health, a new international open access journal focused on the interconnected health of humans, other animals, and the natural world on which we all depend. Dr. Ferdowsian hopes serving on the editorial board will help embolden international efforts to push forward legal, economic, and public policies that benefit the most vulnerable and marginalized.

February 2, 2022
Biomedical Research Must Evolve into the 21st Century
An Esteemed Group of Scientists and Public Health Officials Are Calling for Dramatic Changes to Medical Research Methods
An esteemed group of experts from the fields of medicine, ethics, the sciences, and public health have out-lined an innovative and revolutionary roadmap to a more ethical research framework for humans and other animals. They discussed the existing problems and potential solutions in a recent virtual event hosted by Phoenix Zones Initiative.

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 Methods
In 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 President, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, is the section’s guest editor. Six articles from esteemed scientists and researchers challenge long-standing assumptions about relationships between humans, 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 President 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:


April 6, 2023 (CABI One Health Cases)
Just One Health Project ECHO: Advancing Health and Justice
In this case study, PZI’s president, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, and other members of the PZI team summarize the creation, implementation, evaluation, and impact of an educational training and mentorship program centered on a socially and ecologically just One Health (Just One Health) framework, using the Project ECHO platform.

March 15, 2023 (CABI One Health)
A Silent Call for a Socially and Ecologically Just One Health Approach
In this commentary, PZI’s President, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, illustrates the need for a socially and ecologically just One Health approach to addressing and preventing global challenges; she also highlights the importance to global wellbeing of ensuring a right to health for both people and animals.

January 24, 2023 (Harvard Public Health)
“Silent Spring” Still Holds Lessons for Keeping the Planet, and Ourselves, Healthy
In this essay, PZI’s President, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, uses the example of how Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring inspired a revolution to highlight the need for a new revolution grounded in an ecological view of health.

November 4, 2022 (Medium)
Addressing the Harms of Animal Research: What Role Might Journals Play?
This post includes the letter PZI’s President, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, and several colleagues sent to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), urging them to increase the stringency of their publishing guidelines to better align the practices of science with genuinely ethical values.

August 8, 2022 (Newsweek)
US Children Carry a Double Burden for Gun Violence and Policy Gaps
This op-ed by PZI’s Director of Policy, Michelle Blake, looks at the double burden and long-term traumas that violence forces on children and their families and urges the creation of a federal-level entity dedicated to advancing children’s rights.

July 8, 2022 (The Hastings Center)
Primates in Medical Research: A Matter of Convenience, Not Sound Science
This op-ed by PZI President Dr. Hope Ferdowsian and Dr. L. Syd M Johnson highlights the translational failures in biomedical research caused by focusing on using animals in research and calls for transforming medical research so that it protects and benefits both people and animals.

March 10, 2022 (Health and Human Rights Journal)
US High-Level Office for Children is Critical for Children’s Rights
Led by Phoenix Zones Initiative and First Focus on Children, a coalition of groups focused on children’s rights highlights in this special Viewpoint how the US is falling short on ensuring the health and well-being of children and calls for a federal-level position dedicated to giving children a voice on policy issues that affect them.

January 20, 2022 (Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics)
Toward an Anti-Maleficent Research Agenda
Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, Phoenix Zones Initiative’s President, 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.

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, 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 Phoenix Zones Initiative President, 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 Dr. Jane Johnson, Phoenix Zones Initiative President 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 President 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 President Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, has outlined important key issues and proposed solutions for creating a rights-based and evidence-based US asylum system.

May 18, 2020 (American College of Preventive Medicine)
COVID-19: Challenging the Way We Produce and Consume Food
Phoenix Zones Initiative President 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 President 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 President 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. They describe how the same principles could be extended to nonhuman animals.

November 3, 2019 (Albuquerque Journal)
Animals Deserve Research Protections People Get
Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, President 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:


February 14, 2023 (University of New Mexico Newsroom)
A Search for Answers in Ethics: Where Animals Fit In
UNM interviews Phoenix Zones Initiative board member Dr. John P. Gluck, a former primate researcher, and now emeritus professor of psychology at the University of New Mexico and faculty affiliate at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, about his experiences and the importance of bringing ethics to research.

January 25, 2023 (A Relatable Voice Podcast)
Human and Animal Rights, a Meaningful Conversation with Dr. Hope Ferdowsian
PZI president, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, discusses what inspired her to become a doctor, how she got involved in human rights and animal rights, the importance of bridging silos in transforming systems and in addressing the root causes of global challenges, and what led her to co-found Phoenix Zones Initiative to focus on ending exploitation and creating a world in which everyone can thrive.

November 1, 2022 (AnthroBiology Podcast)
Research Animal Welfare
Dr. Agustín Fuentes and Dr. Barbara J. King, both members of PZI’s working group dedicated to transforming medical research, discuss the need to extend research protections–similar to those give to humans–to animals, and the importance of scientific and ethical justification in medical research. The podcast discussion focuses around the Toward an Anti-Maleficent Research Agenda paper published by several members of the working group, and headed by PZI’s President, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian.

October 12, 2022 (Yahoo! News)
Is It Time to End the Era of Animal Testing in Science?
Phoenix Zones Initiative’s President, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, is quoted in this article looking at the shift in support for using animals in research and providing a sampling of different perspectives on whether using animals in experiments is scientifically and ethically valid.

September 27, 2022 (The Ritz Herald)
FDA Modernization Act, as Amended by Senate HELP Committee, Reintroduced Today in U.S. Senate
Phoenix Zones Initiative is one of nearly 200 organizations and businesses that have called on the US Senate to pass the FDA Modernization Act, which was just reintroduced in the Senate. If passed, the bill would remove the Depression-era requirement for animal testing in new drug development and would pave the way for more modern, ethical, patient-centered methods.

September 1, 2022 (Species Unite Podcast)
Primates and Medical Research: A Matter of Convenience, Not Sound Science
Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, President of Phoenix Zones Initiative, and Dr. Syd Johnson, Associate Professor of Bioethics at the Center for Bioethics at Upstate Medical University, speak with Species Unite podcast about why we need to transform medical research so that it protects and benefits both people and animals. They also discuss their recent essay about the use of primates in medical research.

July 11, 2022 (FOUR PAWS PSA)
Powerful Support for #OneHealth
It’s vital that governments prioritize the rights, health, and wellbeing of people, animals, and the planet in their policies so that we can prevent the next pandemic. This powerful short video from FOUR PAWS International features actors Brian Cox and Thuso Mbedu, and experts, including PZI President Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, as they urge governments to adopt local and global prevention measures and a just One Health approach to preventing future pandemics.

April 6, 2022 (University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center Newsroom)
Plea for Protection: UNM Physician Joins in Call to Ratify UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, President of Phoenix Zones Initiative, is co-leading a coalition of organizations dedicated to children’s rights who are working to establish a US high-level entity dedicated to advancing children’s rights, health, and wellbeing via the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

March 26, 2022 (Our Hen House)
Phoenix Zones with Hope Ferdowsian
Phoenix Zones Initiative President, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, joins the Our Hen House podcast to discuss the importance of centering rights and justice to realize optimal health for people, animals, and the planet.

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 President 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.

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, Dr. 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 Dr. 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 President 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 President 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 President 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 PZI President Dr. Hope Ferdowsian’s November 2022 Grand Rounds talk to healthcare professionals and students at the University of New Mexico Department of Internal Medicine (38:29)

Watch our 5/19/22 Live event: Ecological Justice and the Right to Health (1:27:29)

Watch our 1/27/22 Live event: Transforming Medical Research (1:35:08)

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

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