December 23, 2022
Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine and Oakland, Calif - The Center for Biological Diversity today awarded the 2022 “Rose Braz Award for Bold Activism” to Svitlana Romanko, Director of Ukrainian based organization Razom We Stand, and a grassroots climate campaigner. Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, she founded Razom We Stand and launched the #StandWithUkraine campaign with more than 820 groups. It calls on world leaders to end their fossil fuel dependence on Russia and phase out fossil fuels globally.
As the war rages on, Romanko has refused offers to leave Ukraine, enduring bombings and power and water cuts to keep up her relentless push for an end to fossil-fueled violence. Her fearless confrontation with the Russian regime this year included a protest that led to her suspension from the COP27 U.N. climate conference in Egypt.
Svitlana Romanko and Joye Braun, recipients of the 2022 Rose Braz Award for Bold Activism. Please credit: Piranha Photography and Nedahness Greene | Indigenous Environmental Network. Image is available for media use.
Ukrainian Svitlana Romanko, Director of non-profit organisation Razom We Stand, stated, “I'm very honored to receive the Rose Braz award”. “Our fight is a fight for justice, and we will not rest until Putin’s war machine is held accountable for the fossil-fueled crimes that have been and continue to be committed against innocent people across Ukraine and globally. We must fully phase out fossil fuels, eliminate the financial revenues of petro-dictatorships and drive the clean energy transition to realize a peaceful, livable planet for all.”
Svitlana’s expertise and moral authority make her an invaluable leader in fighting fossil fuels’ destruction in Ukraine and around the world,” said Kierán Suckling, the Center’s executive director. “No one’s done more to highlight how the war’s destruction and the resulting energy crunch connect to the climate crisis, with fossil fuels at the center of it all. Thanks to Svitlana’s courage, we’re seeing a major shift in how people perceive the many interconnected harms caused by fossil fuels and those who profit from them.”
The Rose Braz award honors Ms. Braz, who died of brain cancer in 2017, was a leading climate campaign leader and human-liberation activist. The Center for Biological Diversity also granted a posthumous award to devoted water protector and pipeline fighter Joye Braun (Wambii Wiyan Ka’win, “Eagle Feather Woman''), who died Nov. 13 at the age of 53.
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Svitlana Romanko, Razom We Stand, [email protected]