Meet Our Team

Pennie Opal Plant

Pennie Opal Plant is an Indigenous grandmother of Yaqui, Mexican, undocumented Choctaw and Cherokee and European descent. Born in the shadow of the Chevron Refinery in Richmond, CA, she has been a protector and defender of the sacred system of life for over 45 years. She is co-founder, along with Shannon Biggs, of Movement Rights and is now an advisor. She is a signatory on the Indigenous Women of the Americas Defending Mother Earth Treaty, along with Casey Camp-Horinek. Pennie is also the co-founder of Idle No More SF Bay and continues as an advisor.  She started the group, The Society of Fearless Grandmothers, which trains older women to be police liaisons and to nonviolently stand between law enforcement and younger people at direct actions.  She is a mother and grandmother who lives above Lake Superior in Minnesota with her husband, two cats, and many non-human relatives of the forest.

Shannon Biggs

Shannon Biggs co-founded Movement Rights in 2014 to work with tribes and primarily communities of color to align human laws with the laws of the natural world. Prior to that she was with Global Exchange for 12 years, where she directed Community & Nature’s Rights program. At that time she was among a handful of US organizers to articulate and spread the ideas that have become a vibrant global movement for the Rights of Nature. She is a co-founder and Executive Committee member of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature. In addition to working with communities in California to pass rights-based laws, in 2017 Movement Rights assisted the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma to make history as the first tribe to recognize the Rights of Nature in tribal law. Since that time 5 other tribes in North America have recognized legal standing for tribal ecosystems. Globally, she has worked with Indigenous communities, led Rights of Nature fact-finding delegations in India, New Zealand, Bolivia and Ecuador, and organized and participated in international Rights of Nature Tribunals. She is the co-author of two books, Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grass Roots and The Rights of Nature: Making the Case for the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth. She was a senior staffer at International Forum on Globalization (IFG) and a Lecturer in International Relations and Environment at SFSU and holds a Masters in Economics, Empire and Decolonization from the London School of Economics (LSE).

Casey Camp Horinek

In addition to her leadership as part of Movement Rights’ Board (see her full bio here), Casey Camp Horinek, Elder and Environmental Ambassador for the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma, leads our  Ponca Rights of Nature program, and co-leads our Intertribal Rights of Nature (IRON) forums, connecting tribal communities across Turtle Island interested in or actively working on passing Rights of Nature into tribal law.

Isabella Zizi

Isabella Zizi is Northern Cheyenne, Muskogee Creek and enrolled Three Affiliated Tribes. Born and living in Richmond, California Isabella is a frontline community organizer passionate about climate justice, food justice, youth empowerment, Rights of Nature and cultural preservation. She is the youngest leading member of Idle No More SF Bay while still receiving the guidance, wisdom, and support from the Indigenous Grandmother Advisors. As a signatory of the Indigenous Women of the Americas Defending Mother Earth Treaty, she actively participates or organizes non-violent direct actions or teach-ins on every Solstice and Equinox. As Movement Rights’ organizer, Isabella works with Indigenous communities on Rights of Nature and with national coalitions including People Vs Fossil Fuels. You can also find Isabella in her home community working for Urban Tilth providing freshly grown and harvested fruits and vegetables to community members who don’t have easy access to grocery stores or fresh produce.  

Julia Horinek

Julia  Horinek, a member of the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma, brings an extensive background in grassroots activism, and Tribal Grant and Contract Administration to her new position as Plains Organizer for Movement Rights. Julia, born and raised in Oklahoma to a family with a long history of activism, has been involved in grassroots Rights of Nature and Human Rights organizing and action as long as she can remember.  From marching with Cesar Chavez in the early 1970’s as a small child,  logistically organizing Indigenous Rights of Nature and Front Line Oil and Gas summits in her home State, to a 30 + year career in Tribal Grants and Contracts Administration, Julia looks forward to bringing her passion, experience and skill set to Movement Rights.