Brianna has been acknowledged for her work leading grassroots community projects for climate justice, and her commitment to bring small island representation and young Pacific voices to the forefront of global climate conversations.
The Global Citizen Prize recognizes activists across the world whose efforts focus on ending extreme poverty and achieving the United Nations’ Global Goals. It aims to identify changemakers in local communities who have been championing and uplifting the most vulnerable people.
Brianna has been a climate champion in the Pacific since the age of 11, when she became a founding member of 350.org Samoa, and 350.org’s youngest ever country coordinator. Through her work as the youth representative on the Pacific Climate Warriors Council of Elders, Brianna has consistently fought for the future of vulnerable Pacific island states in the face of the climate crisis. At 16, she also became the youngest winner of the Commonwealth Youth Award.
Last November, Brianna addressed world leaders at the UN Climate talks in Glasgow COP26. Taking the Youth4Pacific Declaration to COP26, she told world leaders to “remember that your meeting rooms and drafting documents are not just black and white objects; to remember that, in your words, you wield the weapons that can save us or sell us out for profit and power”. Brianna’s work demonstrates the power of youth and grassroots movements in ending the age of fossil fuels and inspiring bold climate action.
Joseph Sikulu, 350.org Pacific Managing Director said, “Pacific Climate Warriors the world over will be rejoicing in this news. We know there’s no one more deserving of this recognition and celebration. We are so proud to be a part of the journey of this incredible human, who constantly shows us that eldership isn’t tied to age but instead to the wisdom, story and vision you carry.
We take this moment to celebrate Brianna Fruean, Pacific Climate Warriors Council of Elders representative, founding member of 350 Samoa, storyteller, dancer, activist, leader and the title we are most proud to call her, our family.”
Inangaro Vakaafi, Pacific Climate Warriors Council Elder, said, “Brianna is a shining example of Pasifika leadership through service. Serving with her on the Pacific Climate Warriors Council of Elders has been an absolute privilege. She brings such a youthful spirit and wisdom beyond her years as she continues to inspire others. Brianna has dedicated much of her life and voice to advocate for the Pacific and, much like our ocean, touches so many people’s lives. Congratulations and a well deserved acknowledgement we can all be proud of.”
Namrata Chowdhary, 350.org Chief of Public Engagement said, “Brianna is an inspiration — an eloquent, authentic voice for her people and her generation. It is wonderful to see her work with the Pacific Climate Warriors being acknowledged via the Global Citizen Award. As 350.org’s youngest ever country coordinator, Brianna brings tremendous power to the hard and courageous work of the Pacific Climate Warriors. Hailing from one of the regions on the frontlines of the climate crisis, the Pacific Climate Warriors have breathed vital energy into the global climate justice movement with their rallying cry, ‘we are not drowning, we are fighting’. Brianna’s fierce leadership, and the Warriors’ unwavering drive in their advocacy for concrete solutions are indispensable as we collectively look to bring about a more just and equitable future.”
Photo source SPREP Caption: Brianna Fruean speaking at COP26 in Glasgow in 2021