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In July of 2020, Animal Friends Alliance made a commitment in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement to stand up for justice in our community and ensure our organization is a welcoming and inclusive place for people of color. We have taken meaningful action this past year to lay the foundation for addressing and dismantling any systemic racism in our organization. In the spirit of transparency and accountability to our community, we would like to share the progress we have made so far and the work that still lies ahead. We hope by providing semi-annual reports on our progress, we will show rather than tell our community members, clients and supporters that we are committed to this issue beyond our anti-racism statement.

Accomplishments from July 2020 – January 2021:

  • Established an internal Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council (or JEDI Council) to review policies and procedures within the organization and support inclusion and diversity in the organization and our community.
  • Adopted JEDI Council meeting agreements to create a welcoming, cooperative, and productive space to discuss diversity and inclusion.
  • Gathered & synthesized information on the role of a diversity and inclusion committee in the workplace by researching other animal welfare and nonprofit organizations with similar committees.
  • Conducted research on best practices for implicit bias training as well as diversity and inclusion learning tools to build appropriate training for our employees.
  • Built a diversity and inclusion survey, based on industry standards for staff to complete anonymously. Results were presented at the October all-staff meeting.
  • Committed to regular JEDI Council updates for both staff and the public to hold ourselves accountable and build trust with staff and community members.

Next steps for 2021:

  • Organization wide implicit bias training will be implemented for all Animal Friends Alliance employees in February and a central part of our April all-staff meeting.
  • The JEDI Council will have a set list of goals as well as an action plan to achieve them by January 2022. More information to come in the next semi-annual update!
  • The JEDI Council will have definitive vision and mission statements to guide the group’s focus and priorities by February, which will then go to our board for approval and following that will be shared with the community.

We welcome feedback on how we can do better and will continue to inform our community of our progress, goals and vision. You can email feedback to development@savinganimalstoday.org. We are so grateful to be part of a community that supports our ongoing dedication to ensure that every person is welcomed and included at Animal Friends Alliance.