Episode 16

Leaning in and Listening - Diversity and Inclusion in Animal Welfare

Published on: 4th June, 2020

The nation is gripped by racial tensions and division exacerbated by the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African American man in Minneapolis. Days of protests and demonstrations in all fifty states are demanding an end to police brutality, and have underscored conversations about institutionalized racism and the treatment of people of color in American society.

Animal welfare and animal services lack diversity and inclusion, both in our staffing and how we relate to the communities we serve. The number of pet-loving people of color is into the tens of millions and addressing this is not only crucial to ending the killing of pets in our nation's shelters it is a moral imperative for all of us.

This episode we take the time to listen and try to understand how we can do better and be better moving forward in our lifesaving work.

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About the Podcast

The Best Friends Podcast
An animal welfare professional’s typical day includes unparalleled joy and heart-wrenching despair, often in equal measure. Small triumphs are huge, huge losses are expected. The burn out is real but it’s the hard-won progress that sustains us.

The Best Friends Podcast brings you stories from the front lines of lifesaving. You’ll hear from leading experts on topics that impact all of us. These are stories that matter to shelters, rescue groups, and the animal welfare organizations that enable their service to a community and its animals. These are stories for all of us.

About your host

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Jon Dunn

I began working with Best Friends in 2004 as a volunteer with No More Homeless Pets in Utah. I began working full-time for the organization in 2007, and I have been lucky to be able to work in many areas across the organization and the opportunity to host a podcast just adds to that list!

I am passionate about all animals (especially cats!) and truly believe in the vision of Best Friends: A better world through kindness to animals. In 2011, my wife Kolene and I founded Vegan Grand Rapids.

We are the proud parents of four cats, Carl, Ralph, Bob, and Tina.