Julia Feliz is the founder of Sanctuary Publishers, a unique vegan book publisher dedicated to raising the voices of nonhumans and other marginalized communities. A nonbinary, AfroIndigenous Boricua born and raised on the island of Puerto Rico and then planted in Florida, Julia is a resource activist committed to consistent anti-oppression across all movements – human and nonhuman.
Writer, Illustrator, and Activist
Julia is the author and illustrator of the first ever vegan-themed board book for babies and toddlers, Libby Finds Vegan Sanctuary, which was published in 2016.
In Spring of 2017, Julia published their second book, the Baby and Toddler Vegan Feeding Guide, which became the first evidence-based, dietician approved guide written by a scientist and vegan parent to help other parents raise their little vegans safely and simply. The book is a supportive resource and tool to help parents break down myths about plant-based eating and help arm themselves with the most up-to-date information.
Julia’s third book, Veganism in an Oppressive World, was Sanctuary Publisher’s second book and published in Fall of 2017, A community book project edited by Julia, the book is a collection of perspectives, essays, poems, reflections, and more with an aim of guiding the mainstream vegan movement towards one that is inclusive, consistently anti-oppression, and effective on behalf of nonhuman animals.
The year 2018 saw Julia raising the voices of other authors through books, such as Food Justice: A Primer by Saryta Rodriguez, as well as writing features, articles, and more. In 2019, Julia released the book, Veganism of Color: Decentering Whiteness in Human and NonHuman Liberation, which would be a book dedicated to Black, Brown, Indigenous people and other People of Color. Queer and Trans Voices: Liberation Through Consistent Anti-Oppression is Julia’s latest release (April 2020) along with queering scholar Z. Zane McNeill.
Ivy League Reject
Late 2019, Julia was accepted into a science communication fellowship at Cornell University, where they experienced racism, disability discrimination, and gender-based discrimination. They were terminated from the program after 8-9 weeks due to retaliation by Sarah Evanega, Director of Alliance for Science. Sarah Evanega found this easier to do than to “deal” with Julia’s consistent request that the racism they experienced throughout the program be addressed. It seems Julia’s neurodivergence and dedication to anti-racism (in this case, merely requesting something be done about racism in the 12-week program) proved too radical for a racist institution that desperately tries to grab on to performative “inclusion and diversity.” You can read about Julia’s journey and reflection of what led to this in their chapter “NeuroAbleism, Racism, and White Supremacy” in an upcoming eco-disability book by Anthony J. Nocella II.
Cornell’s racism and retaliation garnered Julia Medium’s Racism Writer Award!
- Critical Animal Studies Britches Scholar of the Year
- Critical Animal Studies Tyke Scholar of the Year
- Critical Animal Studies Hilda Scholar of the Year
Publications & Resource Activism
Julia has been an ethical vegan since 2008. They have always been passionate about nonhuman animals (their favorite to illustrate!) and hopes to continue to use their abilities to give them a voice and spread compassion and justice towards them, as well as to help raise the voices of People of Color and all other oppressed and marginalized groups.
Because of this, through their resource activism, Julia plans to continue expanding their work and reach as an author, illustrator, and publisher.
Julia has been working to help white folks understand their role in racism through self-study resources under a series known as “Stories”, which will be available for purchase as a course by early 2021.