The Association Blog

News, ideas & inspiration from industry leaders


What Do Our Communities Most Need to Be the Places We Already Think They Are?

April 18, 2023, The Association

3 quick questions with Dalbin Osorio

What’re you doing next Wednesday, April 26? If you didn’t already save the date for Virtual Equity: Using Tech to Increase Access for Emerging Communities, we think you’re going to want to after reading this Q&A with the presenter. Dalbin Osorio has dedicated his professional career to improving the lives of emerging communities, and has much insight to share.

The Association: We are looking forward to your upcoming webinar, Virtual Equity: Using Tech to Increase Access for Emerging CommunitiesWhat is one data point that shelters can look out for to ensure they are reaching their target audience?

Dalbin Osorio:
 To me, the most important data point is length of adoptions. When I worked in foster care as a social worker, I wasn’t always focused on the number of adoptions we were able to complete, but on whether the adoptive parents kept at it long after we were out of the picture.

With rescues and shelters, it is no different: if we are building out a system where people who are first-time parents do not feel supported leaving the shelter, then how soon after that interaction are they returning to you? We have to create the system to ensure every adopter has everything they need to be the best pet parent they can be, and the length of an adoption can usually tell us if we succeeded at that. 

The Association: What can attendees prepare or think about before your session?
Dalbin Osorio:
 I want attendees to ask themselves what they are trying to take away from my session, as well as asking these two key questions:

  • How often are you evaluating whether the services you provide are truly reachable to your target audience?
  • Are you reviewing the data you collect to make informed decisions, even if it is illustrating tough realizations?

It’s important that we come into the space as we are, and that we commit to leaving with the exact thing we needed.

Now, notice I didn’t say we leave with what we wanted: sometimes, we are our own barriers after all. It is important that we hear each other, and that we are able to find something that will apply to our own practice.

The Association: What’s the ultimate takeaway from your session?
Dalbin Osorio
: I want us to ask ourselves: What do our communities need to be the place we already think they are? We answer that, and that’s magic.

P.S. This webinar is part of our series, The DEI Dozen. Sign up for upcoming sessions and listen to recordings of past webinars.

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.