Meet the finalists for the 2015 Kalamazoo College Global Prize for Transformative Social Justice Leadership

Global Prize finalists on stage
Meet the finalists for the 2015 Kalamazoo College Global Prize for Transformative Social Justice Leadership. Learn more about each finalist here: One finalist in this juried competition will receive the $25,000 Global Prize. The recipient will be announced by Kalamazoo College President Eileen B. Wilson-Oyelaran at 8:00 p.m., Saturday Oct. 10, in a celebration open to the public at the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, 205 Monroe St., on the K campus.

Global Prize Finalists Forest Dwellers of India
At a Crossroads: Forest Dwellers of India

Location: villages in Madhya Pradesh, India; communities in Canada and USA
The project empowers the hope of forest-dwelling tribal communities in India to reforest barren lands, convert wastelands into healthy eco-systems, and return identity, livelihood, sustenance, and rootedness to tribal communities. By honoring indigenous wisdom, traditional rituals, practices, and tribal languages, it hopes to revitalize the relationship between cultural indigeneity and biodiversity.

Global Prize Finalists Bavubuka: Transformative Voices of Justice
Bavubuka: Transformative Voices of Justice

Location: Kampala, Uganda
The Bavubuka Foundation believes that the use of music and the arts can transform young lives and unify diverse communities. Through the use of hip hop culture, they work to create and connect young Ugandan leaders to their authentic indigenous expression and to develop their understanding of the value of their culture and heritage, thus helping to rebuild, heal and restore the spirits, hearts and souls of the community.

Global Prize Finalist Black on Both Sides
Black on Both Sides
Chicago, Ill., USA
Black on Both Sides is a project that highlights the voices and experiences of Black youth who have experienced both the foster care system and the juvenile or adult justice system, while launching a direct action organizing campaign to address the root causes of the foster care to prison pipeline.

Global Prize Finalist Trans Queer Liberation Movement
Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement

Location: Los Angeles, Calif., USA National
Familia: TQLM is the only national LGBTQ Latina organization that focuses on racial justice through a trans and queer lens in and for the Latina community. Through an intergenerational community organizing, advocacy, and education movement, TQLM works on immigration, trans justice, and family acceptance.

Global Prize Finalist ASOTRECOL
Justice for Injured Colombian General Motors: ASOTRECOL
Location: Bogota, Colombia
The injured Colombian GM workers organized an association, ASOTRECOL, after developing injuries on the job that left them disabled. They have been camped in front of the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia for nearly four years and have used a series of creative actions to bring visibility to their struggle.

Global Prize Finalist MULYD
Mujeres, Lucha y Derechos Para Todas A.C. (MULYD)

Location: Región Norte del Estado de México, México
Mujeres, Lucha y Derechos para Todas is the first organized group led by indigenous women in the northern region of Mexico state. Their mission is to contribute to the knowledge and acknowledgement of women’s human rights by developing community leaders who promote and spread effective and appropriate information, particularly on sexual and reproductive rights to other women so that they may fully exercise their rights.

Global Prize Finalist Freedom Inc
Our Community is Our Campaign: Freedom Inc.
Madison, Wisc., USA
Freedom Inc. is a grassroots collective of intergenerational Black and Southeast Asian “wimmin,” queer folks, and youth whose work is to end violence (both interpersonal and systemic) within and against low-income communities of color. FI works to build the leadership and community organizing capacities of low-income wimmin, queer folks and youth.

Global Prize Finalist Radical Mental Health
Radical Mental Health: Paths for Individual & Collective Liberation: The Icarus Project

Location: New York, N.Y., USA
The Icarus Project is a support network and media project by and for people who experience the world in ways that are often diagnosed as mental illness. Through workshops, online and media presence, and other resources, their work shifts conceptions of mental wellness and directly impacts how psychiatrists, therapists, and institutions address emotional distress and provides people with tools to transform themselves and their cultures.

Global Prize Finalist Trans Women of Color Collective
Trans Women of Color Collective: Shifting the Narrative

Location: Washington, D.C., USA Transnational
Trans Women of Color Collective is a grassroots global initiative created to offer opportunities for trans people of color, their families and comrades in order to heal, foster kinship, and leverage resources to dismantle systems of oppression. Their mission is to uplift the narratives, lived experiences and leadership of trans and gender nonconforming people of color.

Uno por Uno: Puente Human Rights Movement
Location: Phoenix, Ariz., USA
Unfortunately, Uno por Uno [Puente Human Rights Movement] was unable to attend the Global Prize Weekend.
The Puente Human Rights Movement is a grassroots migrant justice organization that educates and empowers migrant communities to protect and defend their community members and improve their quality of life. By stopping deportations Uno por Uno (One by One), Puente attempts to transform the immigration debate, build new leaders, and challenge the criminalization and mass incarceration of migrant communities.

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About Andy Brown

As the Director of Media Relations and Online Content, Andy shares the stories that distinguish Kalamazoo College through social media, the Web and the news media. Contact him at