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Call for Nominations for the DEI Committee

January 24, 2023, The Association

The Association is looking for individuals to nominate themselves or a colleague to lead the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion journey for animal welfare

Our Commitment to DEI

Since 2019, the Association has been on a journey to lead and support DEI efforts across the animal welfare profession. To achieve an equitable profession, diversity must be respected and embraced. The road to a just and fair animal welfare field is an ongoing process that requires sustained effort and continuous learning.

The Association launched its first ever DEI Committee with a group of diverse leaders across animal welfare to assess the current animal welfare landscape, develop a DEI strategy for The Association, and serve as a collective voice calling for action to foster DEI for animal welfare professionals, as well as the communities we can and should serve.

The DEI Committee has produced an incredible amount of strategic thinking and planning the past couple years, but the hard work of implementation will define who we are as a sector in the 21st Century. Join us and create history.

~ Johnny Jenkins, Chief of Staff, Research & Development, C.A.R.E. (Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity)

In doing this work we acknowledge animal welfare has historically and predominantly been created and carried out by white people. We commit to lead intentionally by naming and calling out racism in the structures, systems, and culture of animal welfare. Successful DEI work in animal welfare requires internal organizational development, as well as external-facing strategies that impact society at-large. Both shifts are important, and one cannot occur genuinely and effectively without the other.

It has been my great privilege to work with such an incredibly diverse group of professionals in the animal welfare industry.  The experience has helped me understand that we will never outgrow our need to show humaneness towards each other and our unique differences just as we show that humaneness towards the animals who need us. We can make a difference in more ways than one.

~ Dr. Gloria Dorsey, MPH Vice President of Community Education and Advocacy, Atlanta Humane 

Call for Nominations

Over the last two years, the DEI Committee has been instrumental in establishing a foundation for this work. Now we are looking for animal welfare professionals to help take this work to the next level. We’re seeking folks from across the profession who are able and willing to commit their time and energy to help implement the Association’s DEI strategic plan and to serve as advocates for DEI in their animal welfare organizations and with the profession as a whole.

As a member of AAWA’s DEI committee, I’ve had the opportunity to learn from so many of my colleagues in animal welfare. Lessons that I draw on in my everyday work and will continue to apply for the rest of my career. The camaraderie shared and knowledge gained are invaluable.

~ Amanda Arrington, Senior Director, Pets for Life, the Humane Society of the United States

Nomination Considerations

If you are interested in volunteering yourself (self-nomination) or nominating someone to the DEI Committee, consider the following.

DEI Committee members:

  • Show commitment and personal or professional activity to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Are invested in assisting The Association and its membership in pursuing the objective of achieving a just and fair animal welfare field.
  • Are able to dedicate a minimum of 5 hours per month to DEI Committee activities, including monthly Committee meetings, DEI goal subcommittee meetings and activities, and personal learning/skill building.

I value my time serving on The AAWA’s DEI committee because the work is critically needed. We’re making huge, meaningful strides for our profession, and I’m continually learning and growing professionally through service. The group is open, safe, and committed to constantly improving—which I love.

~ Rachel Finney, CEO, Columbus Humane


  • The committee is for members or those who wish to become members. Financial assistance for membership dues is available. It is our priority to ensure that all those committed to this work have the opportunity to join the DEI committee.
  • There are no requirements in terms of job function, tenure, or role in an organization.

Nominations can be submitted here. Our consulting partner, MSM Global Consulting, will consolidate the nominations from this survey link and reach out to potential candidates.

It is an immense honor to work with great leaders on a collective commitment for animal welfare that demands inclusion, celebrates the boundless power of true diversity and works tirelessly to ensure all voices are heard.

~ Michael Robbins, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Atlanta Humane


  • Nominations Open – Jan 25
  • Nominations Close – Feb 24
  • Applications due – March 24
  • New members announced – May 5
  • First DEI meeting with new members – May 31

About The Association
The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement is a cohort of leaders on a mission to champion, advance, and unify the animal welfare profession.

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