2021 Award Winner: Daniel Sherrell
“Climate activist Sherrell brilliantly balances despair and hope in his searing debut that confronts the impending climate catastrophe. A 30-something organizer who led the successful Sierra Club campaign to pass clean energy legislation in New York State, he shares his inner struggle with what he refers to as ‘the Problem’: the looming threat to all life from global warming.”
— From Publishers Weekly
review of Sherrell’s novel Warmth
We are proud to announce that Daniel Sherrell is the winner of the 2021 Bruce Piasecki and Andrea Masters Annual Award on Business and Society Writing.
Creative Force Foundation Statement
We are giving this Annual Award to Daniel Sherrell for several reasons. He is a new-generation writer who combines science, big data, emotional maturity, and a sense of social and corporate urgencies in Warmth. This book takes him into a special position as the world comes around, after 30 years, to figuring out the role of consumers, governments, and corporates to address climate change—now led by the nose, as Piasecki predicted in 1990 and in his years of service to Al Gore in the White House Council—by the capital markets. Carbon risks are a risk to all financial institutions and corporates, not just the energy companies.
About the Winner
Daniel Sherrell is an organizer born in 1990. He graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies. He later helped lead a campaign to pass landmark climate justice legislation in New York and is the recipient of a Fulbright grant in creative nonfiction. Warmth: Coming of Age at the End of Our World, published in August 2021 by Penguin Random House, is his first book.
2021 Award-winning Essay Submission
Statement of Future Plans
by Daniel Sherrell
Addressing climate change—in prose and in politics—is going to be my life’s work. I wouldn’t say this is something I’ve chosen. The world, in its increasing precarity, has made the choice for me. Nearly everything I hold dear—every person, every principle, every plan, every pleasure—depends fundamentally on averting catastrophic climate change. I will continue to engage deeply in the global climate movement, organizing for concrete policy change at a scale commensurate to the crisis. But I also plan to devote myself to the artistic but no less consequential project of making meaning in the face of that crisis. Because we must do both things at once: we must radically turn down the global thermostat, and we must also find the wells of beauty, courage, and solidarity that will see us through the warming we’ve already baked in.
First, to stabilizing the thermostat. Over the next two to four years, I will continue in my role as Campaign Director for the Climate Jobs National Resource Center, where I work with labor unions across the country to secure policies that tackle climate change, reverse income inequality, and create millions of good, green jobs. My focus will be primarily on our Carbon Free and Healthy Schools campaign, which seeks to retrofit and solarize every public school in the country, slashing carbon, boosting jobs, and saving money in the process. Working alongside teacher, service sector, and building trades unions, as well as parents, students, and local business communities, I am currently in the process of getting the campaign off the ground in a dozen states and four of the country’s largest municipal school districts (New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Houston). Having already had several middle and high school teachers approach me about reading Warmth in their classrooms, I want to do everything in my power to make sure those classrooms are mitigating—not exacerbating—the Problem they’ll be reading about.
Friday, September 24, 2021
University at Albany
Campus Center West Auditorium
The inaugural $5,000 Bruce Piasecki and Andrea Masters Award on Business and Society Writing will be presented to Daniel Sherrell at the New York State Author and Poet Award Ceremony, which will kick off the 2021 Albany Book Festival.